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Mistakes 2: Not utilising resources

Main concepts

Recognise the resources available to you… you don’t have to use all of it it all the time, but you need to know what’s available and how to extract that resource…

There is a huge range of resources available to you.

To make it a bit easier, we’ve included a list of resources and how you should think about using them.

Resource guide

Resource availableBest usage guidelines
University lecturesFigure out whether you are a morning or afternoon lecture person. Experiment with lecture recordings. Don’t be afraid to not attend lectures if recordings are sufficient.
University lecture recordingsMany students prefer just listening to recordings at 1.5x speed. It has many advantages to physical lectures, but it isn’t for everyone.
University office hours with faculty staffGood for calibrating your understanding against lecturers. Generally underutilised and can be a potential time saver. Advise scheduling in to drop into office hours once every fortnight.
University course guides and lecture slidesWhen used correctly, these can be leveraged for some serious efficiency gains through “priming” before lectures. This technique is covered in our Study Smarter courses. Avoid reading passively like a book or simply highlighting or copying. See this article on basic smarter studying tips.
JTT Academy courses for academic subjectsThese courses are best used to prime your lectures in advance by learning ahead of time, or for focused revision on key subjects that you have had difficulty with. The worst way to use these videos is to watch a topic video immediately before or after the lecture as the efficiency gain is minimal. The learning tips are medium- long-term high impact boosts for efficiency.
JTT classesThe biggest benefit of classes is actually in the social aspect. It allows you to calibrate yourself against like-minded peers, as well as balance your social needs. Significant research shows that when social needs are ignored, our mood, productivity, attention, and motivation drop.
Online ClassroomIn our extensive private tutoring experience (10,000+ hours), 90% or more of students have the same questions. Roughly a quarter of the time, students think not many other people have their question. Online Classroom is a way to safely, anonymously (if you want), and frequently interact with tutors and peers to talk about academic issues.
QuicksenseMicrolearning is a heavily under-used studying technique which is enormously effective. Quicksense allows you to have the benefits of microlearning in addition to adaptive learning – i.e. learning resources that adapt to fit your individual needs. Quicksense should be used regularly, at least on a weekly basis, if not daily.
Other people’s notesHighly over-rated and virtually unnecessary for most papers. Sometimes they do a good job of summarising points but they run the risk of having incorrect information or presenting it inaccurately, which can seriously compromise your learning. If anyone sells you notes, that’s a strong no*. They can be useful sometimes, but just be careful.

*We have previously been asked by another company to review notes that they sold to pre-medical students. The quality was so horrible and with so many inaccuracies that we deemed them completely unethical to sell. They sold them anyway. We also reviewed notes handed down by medical students to younger years for free, some informally, and some as part of structured mentoring programmes. These were not much better. Be careful.

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