Study skills

La Trobe University Library La Trobe Library

Study skills

La Trobe University Library La Trobe Library

Study skills

La Trobe University Library La Trobe Library

Study skills


Managing your time

To be successful at university, you need to study consistently throughout the semester. The biggest adjustment for many students will be around structuring your time to fit in regular study sessions where you can review the material presented during the week and prepare ahead for next week.

Tips to help you with your time management:

Use a study timetable

  • download the PDF below. Colour blocks for lectures/tutorials/workshops/pracs, then add home study, group study, work, family commitments, sport.
  • Weekly Study Planner
    • look critically at the timetable.  Ask yourself, "Will this work for me as a student?"  AND "Is there something  I need to give up?"  Be realistic with what you can do.
    • put this weekly timetable up above your study area
    • fit the task to the particular block of time available.  eg. One hour or less is good for writing an essay plan or proofreading but two hours or more is good for extensive researching.  Have a specific goal for a certain block of time.

    Use a semester planner (print, mobile phone, computer)

    • add all due dates for assessments immediately.  Add exam times.
    • add other major social/family commitments so you know when you will be really busy

    Other ideas

    • create a weekly ‘to do’ list in print or on your mobile phone or computer.  Prioritise the items.
    • divide your large assignments into 'chunks' so that you are not trying to do the whole assessment at once
    • plan to have drafts done a few days before the due date to allow time for editing, polishing and formatting. Use the Assessment planner
    • reward yourself for tasks completed - take a break, go swimming, go to the gym or meet friends.
    • know your optimum study time and use that to the best advantage

    Find more tips here:

  • Time Management - University of New South Wales
  • Studying regularly with a partner or a small group is a great way to learn. Working in groups enables you to:

    • get help from others when you're struggling to understand a concept
    • brainstorm essay topics
    • help each other find sources
    • give feedback to each other on drafts
    • teach each other key concepts
    • keep motivated and on track


    However, study groups can become very ineffective if they're not structured and if groups members come unprepared. Effective students use study groups effectively. Make sure you:

    • plan meetings well ahead of time, if possible at regular times
    • let everyone know in advance when are where you will meet
    • have an online platform for communication outside face-to-face meetings (like Facebook)
    • have a topic for each meeting
    • prepare in advance by doing the reading and looking over your notes



    Effective study improves grades. Doing well at university is mostly about effort. 

    Some people may need to put in more than others (e.g. if you are studying something entirely new to you), but ultimately the effort you put in should be reflected in your grades.


    Video: 5 quick tips for getting better grades

    This video shows some effective tips to help you improve your grades.