Top 5 Revision Tips

By Naomi Grieve, student blogger for the University of Aberdeen

If you are a student you will most likely know that revision is hard.  However, it does not have to be!
I have given my 5 favourite tips to help revision go smoothly and be more enjoyable!

Revision tip #1

First things first, work out what is the best method of revision for you. There are endless methods of revision from hand-writing notes, listening to lecture recordings, making colourful mind maps and typing notes on a computer. It is trial and error but it will be much more productive once you find your best method.
My favourite is to type up my notes online, print them out and go through each page and highlight the important sections.

Revision tip #2

Distractions will be your worst nightmare while revising. However, they can be minimised by making simple changes.


Have you ever been in the position where you sit on your phone for ten minutes scrolling through Facebook and end up watching videos of cats being scared by cucumbers an hour later? Yeah, me too! So pretty much, turn your phone off for a period, even an hour with a 5-minute check in. But keep an eye on the time of usage.
Also, if you are using your laptop, log out of any social media to stop temptation!

Revision tip #3

To-do lists are key to a productive library session. I get myself settled in the library and, before I do any work, I write a quick to-do list of what I want to achieve within the day.


Placing the list where you can see it will keep you motivated to keep going as the tasks are small but plenty. If you are productive you will be able to have a relaxing evening after a full day of revision.

Revision tip #4

Food will help you keep going. Obviously, if you are sitting in the library the snacks may have to be slightly changed due to the noise, or smell of the food.


If I am going to have a long library session I will have a water bottle to keep hydrated and a bag full of good treats. I would bring cold pasta, salad or quesadillas made the night before for a healthy and energy boosting lunch. For the smaller snacks, bananas, apples, nut mix and mini chocolates will give you that much needed push to complete tasks and power through.

Revision #5

Where to revise? The environment you choose to revise in can impact your productivity. If you sit in front of a TV you may get distracted and watch the entire series of Stranger Things rather than looking at papers (this example has happened to me many times).


So, sitting somewhere with a desk, comfy chair and minimal distractions is key! I recommend Taylor Law Library as it has quiet zones, or the 6/7th floor in the Sir Duncan Rice Library where the noise of the café is minimal as it is so high up.

I hope that these revision tips will get you through the exam season.

 

Do you have any other revision tips which you use? Email cluedup@abdn.ac.uk, or message the StudentLifeUoA Facebook or Twitter pages.

If the work load is getting on top of you a bit, head over to our page on managing exam stress for some key tips and contacts.

Vegetarian Recipes

By Sofia Wigren, student blogger for the University of Aberdeen

Regardless of if you’re an avid meat-eater, a pescetarian, a vegetarian, a vegan or anything in between, this post contains vegetarian recipes for a whole day to suit all tastes. They are all student-friendly, that is – easy, cheap and delicious (because life is too short to eat bland food).

Breakfast

Starting off nice and easy with a three-ingredient recipe of banana pancakes: Mix 2 bananas, 2 eggs (chia egg or flaxseed egg should work for a vegan option) and 2 tablespoons of oats (easy to remember with a ratio of 2:2:2). If you’re feeling fancy you can add some cinnamon as well. Fry them on medium heat for a few minutes until they turn golden brown. Top it off with your sweetener of choice and whatever you can find in the kitchen. For me it was maple syrup, peanut butter and more bananas (there’s no such thing as too much banana, don’t fight me on this).

Lunch

If there’s any time you should listen to a stranger on the internet, now’s the time: I’m going to tell you how to pimp your ramen. This feeds two people or one very hungry student. In a medium pot fry one garlic clove, minced or pressed if you’re lazy, and ginger in vegetable oil and/or sesame oil. Add 3 tablespoons of green or red curry paste and all the veggies you like, here I used mushroom, green beans, and spinach. Once they’ve softened add 2 and a half cups of vegetable broth along with the noodles and its spice mix, wait approximately two minutes, add soy sauce and lime juice to taste and you’re done!

Dinner

Finish the day off strong with a 15-minute chickpea stew: Fry 1 chopped onion and 2-3 minced garlic cloves in oil together with 2 tsp of turmeric and 1 tsp of spicy cayenne pepper. Add 1 can coconut milk, half a can of crushed tomatoes and salt. Finish it off by adding a can of rinsed chickpeas, a bag of spinach and lime juice. Serve with grain of choice and enjoy!

 

If you want to hear more from Sofia you can visit her blog at www.sofiawigren.se

Study Tips

My first semester at university was a bit of a mess in terms of organisation. In September I was so busy meeting people and moving into halls that I didn’t realise there was a course guide I should know about until about 4 weeks in. And then I was super behind on reading but had essays coming up so they had become my focus. Essays finished and exams began and I realised that my notes were all over the place. Thankfully, the second semester was much better.

But then I went on holiday for 3 months and promptly forgot many of my study hacks!

I’ve just started my fifth year of studying with the University of Aberdeen and I finally believe I have this down.

Want to save time and not find yourself sitting in the middle of a chaotic mountain of notes come December? Read on…

  1. You can get a free copy of Microsoft Word through the University! Make use of it.
  2. Course Guides are a thing. If you haven’t already, go onto MyAberdeen ASAP and have a scan of your course guides. They should include a note of your lecture timetable, your weekly readings and your assessment deadlines. Make a note of them.
  3. On that note, academic planners are invaluable. If you’re a new student you will have one on the back of your New Students’ Notebook. If not, this is my favourite.
  4. If you’re taking a laptop to your lectures, check MyAberdeen just before the lecture to see if the lecture slides have been uploaded. That way you can download them and just make notes of any extra things that the lecturer says directly onto the PowerPoint (or onto a Word document if you copy the notes over).
  5. However, don’t underestimate the power of handwritten notes. Apparently writing notes out helps you to remember them so both note taking styles are good.
  6. Do the readings for your tutorials. I’ve found that exams have been so much easier for the subjects where we’ve had real discussion in tutorials because I don’t have to revise as much. I just remember having the conversation.
  7. Around exam time, take a look at the Learner’s Toolkit online resources that you can use to aid your studying (and make it more fun and colourful). You might find MindManager, GoConqr, and Evernote useful.
  8. Make use of the interactive resources that are available at the University. The Student Learning Service offer frequent workshops about topics such as study skills, essay writing, and time management. Additionally, if you are a first year, you have the option of speaking to a mentor student who can advise you on academic and personal issues through the Student 4 Student scheme.
  9. You can also find guides on Academic Skills, Professional Skills, IT Skills, and Library Skills on Achieve which you can find on the first page of MyAberdeen after you log in.
  10. Unfortunately… There is almost always something to do. We all work differently and some people are good at cramming. However, it helps to get started early and so if you know you don’t do well under pressure, try getting ahead of your lecture readings when you have a spare moment.
  11. Mainly though, try not to stress too much. Take breaks and enjoy your time at University. Student Life is about so much more than just studying and if you have fun things to look forward to then staying in the library until late to finish your essay won’t feel quite so hard.
  12. Whichever year you are in, if you feel you are getting behind with your studies or that life is all getting a bit too much, try to talk to someone about it sooner rather than later so that provisions can be made. Have a look at the Key Contacts page on the CluedUp website if you need someone to speak to.

Making the most of University Life

Whilst the main reason you came to University is your degree, there are so many other opportunities that come with being a student that you might not have thought of.

Here at the University of Aberdeen we want you to make the most student life. Being a student isn’t all about sitting in the library and studying.  Here are four ways to get involved at university:

Societies

AUSA (Aberdeen University Student’s Union) has over 130 societies for you to get involved with. Societies are a great way to meet like-minded people, find a new hobby or pursue an interest. You can do something like join the A Cappella Society and sing to your heart’s content or join Mary’s meals and do something good for charity. We have so much available and getting involved in committees counts as volunteering hours that you can use towards a STAR award.

Sports teams

AUSA is also home to over 50 sports clubs. We try to have something for absolutely everyone, and if you can’t find what you’re looking for… you can set it up! We get to use the lovely Aberdeen Sports Village facilities for our training sessions, and then every Wednesday we compete in BUCS against other universities in a variety of sports. We’ve got your more obvious sports like Rugby, Football, Hockey and Lacrosse and also things that you might not expect like Golf, Fencing, Archery and Surfing. Getting involved with a sports committee also counts as volunteering hours that you can use towards your STAR award and it’s also a great addition to your CV!

Volunteering

Volunteering is another great way that you can add to a STAR award, do something for the community or add depth to your CV. Volunteering allows you to make new friends at University, and make a difference within the wider community. You can register your details with AUSA and they can help you find a volunteering opportunity in your local area!

Co-curricular activities you can put on your transcript

Who doesn’t want to be recognised for their hard work? By taking part in one of the careers services registered co-curricular activities/opportunities, you can have your hard work formally recognised on your transcript when you finally decide to leave us.
So what’s recognised as a co-curricular activity?
Accredited activities include:

Recognised Activities include:

A full list of roles recognised via the STAR Award is available on the Careers Service website.

About CluedUp

Get CluedUp and live happy!

The University of Aberdeen is dedicated to making sure that its students enjoy a university experience which is as safe, comfortable and happy as possible.

During your time at university, maintaining good health and wellbeing is important for your studies, safety and happiness.

CluedUp is a Student Health and Wellbeing Campaign which, as well as this website, includes activities and social media communication.  It aims to ensure that, as a student of the University of Aberdeen, you have access to all of the information that you need in order to make positive life choices and to be aware of the services which are available to you if you need support.

The CluedUp website acts as a signpost to other websites which provide health and wellbeing services and information. A non-judgemental website created solely for students and covering topics as diverse as mental health, fire safety, and societies, CluedUp supports students like you to find the information that you need fast.

Get involved!

The University of Aberdeen and The Aberdeen University Students’ Association have teamed up to bring you mid-week Health and Wellbeing activities and an annual Health and Wellbeing Day Fair which will be held in mid-October.  Keep an eye out on the Student Life Facebook page and the University of Aberdeen students event calendar for more information.

Got an idea about a topic that you think should be covered on this site or a suggestion for a Health and Wellbeing activity that you’d like to see organised?  Get in touch with us by emailing cluedup@abdn.ac.uk

Making your bedroom your own in halls

Moving into halls can be difficult for a number of reasons… We want you to be able to make it feel like home without fearing the damage bills at the end of the year.

Here are our top tips for making your bedroom your own whilst avoiding those dreaded bills:

  1. Storage boxes
    Many student rooms, especially in privately rented accommodation, don’t include much storage space so why not kill two birds with one stone and buy some patterned and colourful storage boxes to brighten up your room?  B&M have a wide range of cheap storage boxes.
  2. Photos, posters and all that jazz.
    This is where you have to be careful because blue tac/white tac leaves little moisture marks on the walls and that usually means that the whole room will need a coat of paint when you leave.  Try sticking posters to your walls using self-adhesive strips instead. These are supposed to come off cleanly and leave no surface damage – meaning you can make your room feel more like your own by adding that band poster to your wall.
  3. Optimize the use of your pin board.
    All of our halls rooms come with pin boards. So why not actually use it? You can pin up photos, bunting, fabric… the list could go on.
  4. Add comfort with cushions.
    Primark has one of the best and cheapest home ranges and it’s filled with ADORABLE cushions. Pile these onto your bed teamed with a huge, fluffy blanket and you will have the cosiest and comfiest spot to read, watch movies, or actually get some studying done.
  5. Desk top accessories.
    Let’s be honest, we can’t be expected to look after real plants… but the faux ones look just as good and can make your room feel brighter and more sophisticated. So why not grab yourself a few? They’ll look super cute next to candles and stationery storage baskets on your desk!
  6. Make it smell like home.
    Our parents are all fascinated with those plug in air fresheners so getting one for your room can help it smell like a boudoir while also reminding you of your home comforts. You could even try a lavender scented diffuser to help keep you calm during those stressful periods.