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Study habits of successful students! 5 ways you can improve your study habits

Life is full of distractions and never are those distractions more prominent when we have a huge amount of studying to complete.

Whether its friends, the TV, social media or even doing a little housework in order to put it off, we’re all seemingly attracted to procrastination.

When we’re at school, we usually complete homework as it comes and studying a couple of hours a day for our exams is usually enough to see us through. However, when you hit Uni, it’s an entirely different ball game. There just aren’t enough hours in the day!

Developing your own positive and effective study habits is crucial for anyone who wants to enjoy their student life, create a healthy balance with their studies and their social life and for those who want to pass with flying colours. Read on for 5 ways you can improve your study habits.

Get help where you need it

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Don’t cram – be consistent instead

We’ve all done it…been sat with our eyes propped open with matchsticks the night before a test, or a deadline. With the mark usually reflecting the stress and the last minute desperation.

If this sounds like your approach to studying, then now is the time to change. Set up a schedule that allows you to study is smaller chunks throughout the day rather than one large session over several days.

You’ll have more energy, you’ll take on the knowledge better, won’t feel as much pressure and still have time to do other things. Don’t cram!

When you study have a goal in mind

Studying without a goal can make the whole thing seem endless and laborious to say the least. So, when you set up to study, consider a goal.

It might be to complete an entire module, to memorise a certain number of facts, or complete a particular number of activities within your session. Just make sure your goals are helpful and supportive of your overall studies.

Remove distractions 

As mentioned above, distractions are everywhere, especially when you’re trying to study. So, you need to take the steps needed to remove them.

Leave your phone in another room, shut your bedroom door, unplug the TV, wear noise cancelled headphones and let others know that you’re currently studying, they’ll probably be a bit more considerate of the noise and distractions that they are creating.

Study notes are your friends

You need to start taking good notes in your classes, that way when you sit down to study and then begin an assignment you’ll know exactly what is expected of you and how to complete the assignment correctly.

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College and Careers

Things to Consider When Moving to London For University

Starting university is always an important milestone. Heading to London is always going to be a bright opportunity.

There are many amazing places to do here and you will want to experience as many of them as possible. However, there are some important things to consider when you move to London. Here are some of the things you should think about.

Expense

London is an extremely expensive city. Throw in a student’s recipe for always being broke and you are going to be in trouble. Even with a student loan, you might find that your monthly budget does not stretch too far.

You might want to consider a part-time job to help support your living costs. There are many different things you could do depending on your skills.

If you have an existing job with a national retailer, see if you can get a transfer to one of their London stores.

You could also try something online like translation or copywriting as this is flexible and could fit around your studies and social life more conveniently than a typical part-time job. Give your CV a polish and see what is available to you now.

Summer Months

Not everyone wants to stay in London over the summer months when uni is not in session. The city can get hot and cramped incredibly quickly. You might prefer to go home, catch up with old school friends, and work a local summer job.

However, you might have more belongings than is convenient to travel with. In particular, you might not want to move cookware back and forth.

Your parents might also not be able to come to London to help you move properly, leaving you to sort out your own solutions.

One of the best things you can do is to find some reputable London storage facilities. These will allow you to store anything you don’t want to take home.

The rent on one of these is going to be much less than a London flat and you should be able to afford it with anything you make from your summer job.

The best storage facilities have 24/7 protection. You can leave your belongings there knowing that they are in a safe and secure place.

Distance

Your first year at university is likely to be fine as you will be in student accommodation which is not too far from your campus. After this, however, you are going to have to find your own place to stay.

This can be difficult as rents in London are very expensive. To be able to find somewhere affordable, you are probably going to have to go a little further afield. You might even end up on the other side of London.

This is not ideal for commuting or for seeing friends but it is sometimes necessary if you want to get a good deal on your rent.

Make sure you look into public transport and work out the ideal routes to get you around. It might be a shorter distance than you think to get from your new flat to the university.

Moving to London is a dream come true for many but you need to think carefully about some of the hurdles you might face. Living in London is a unique experience compared to most of the UK and you need to make sure that you are prepared for that.

With some careful thought and pre-planning, you should not have any issues trying to tackle anything that London might throw at you. Get ready to become a London student and enjoy your time at university.

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College and Careers

6 tips for proofreading and editing your dissertation or thesis

As you are probably aware, when you write something which is to be read by another person, it’s important that it is accurately written. Spelling mistakes look sloppy, grammar errors affect clarity and poor punctuation drops your grades. Yet all these problems can be rectified by making sure your thesis or dissertation is properly proofread before sending it off.

What is proofreading?

Proofreading is the act of checking the
technical aspects of the writing you do. It isn’t just reading through when you have finished, it’s a much more specific audit of your writing. What’s included in your proofreading can differ depending on the work you are doing. Here’s a list of some of the most important things you need to check for:

  • Spelling
  • Punctuation
  • Grammar
  • Factual accuracy
  • Consistency of style and tone
  • Coherence and structure

In addition, your thesis/dissertation also needs to be checked for
other purposes, for example:

  • Meeting the style required by your university
  • Agreement with a referencing style – e.g. Harvard
  • Appropriateness of vocabulary for audience
  • Ensuring the piece contains all the elements needed for its form (e.g. the different elements needed in the thesis/dissertation structure)

One of the difficulties with proofreading is that it’s easy to miss mistakes. Research has shown that the brain works at such a speed that it only needs to see a few letters to create the entire word in our minds. That means even if a mistake is there your brain might not notice it.

This, obviously, isn’t much good when you proofread, so you need to train your brain to read in a different way when looking for mistakes. Here are some tips to help.

1. Know your weaknesses

One of the best ways to proofread is to make a list of the most
likely mistakes you will make before you start to check. So, if apostrophes are not your strong point, make sure that you do one proofread completely focussed on spotting apostrophe errors. Repeat this for any other errors which you know
you often make. This way, when you come to a more general proofread, you’ll have already amended most of the mistakes.

2. Proofread several times

When you first read your work, you’ll be focused on the content. From the second read onwards, you’ll start to pay less attention to understanding the information and will be able to concentrate on the technical aspects of the writing. Each time you repeat the reading your focus on accuracy will intensify so that eventually
you’ll spot more and more mistakes.

3. Proofread the sentences in reverse order

Reading the sentences in reverse order is an odd way to proofread a
text but by using this approach you prevent yourself from concentrating on the meaning of the writing and free yourself to look at the technical accuracy.

Another benefit of choosing this method is that it is a great way to ensure each sentence makes complete sense on its own. If a sentence doesn’t make sense on its own then, technically, it isn’t a sentence – and this can often help you with your punctuation.

4. Save the proofreading for later

The worst time to proofread is straight after you have finished writing. If you’ve been working hard on the writing for a few hours, it’s quite likely that your concentration is not at its best and that you lack the patience good proofreading requires.

Leaving it until the next day means you will be able to look at it with a fresh pair of eyes and this often makes it much easier to spot the mistakes that your frazzled mind would have missed the
day before.

5. Get a second opinion

Different people read texts in different ways and often a friend or
colleague can spot a mistake that you have missed over and over again. The best person to ask for help is someone who the text is aimed at. So, if you have written a leaflet aimed at parents, get a friend who is a parent to help – this way you can also ensure that the style and vocabulary are suitable and that the piece works for your intended audience.

If the writing you are doing is for an extremely important purpose, as is the case for your dissertation or thesis, then using the services of a professional proofreader might be a preferable option in order to ensure that the work is completely free of errors. There are many dissertation/thesis editing services online.

6. Proofread the entire text

One of the common proofreading errors made by many writers is to unconsciously focus only on the body of the text. It’s an easy mistake to do. For this reason, make sure you do one specific
proofread that looks only at the following:

  • Title
  • Headings and subheadings
  • Bullet points
  • Footnotes
  • Bibliographies
  • Captions
  • Numbered Lists (including the number sequence)

Conclusion

From reading this article, you should now have a clearer understanding of how proofreading differs from rereading and you will know that proofreading is done to ensure that the writing is technically accurate. In addition, you will also be aware of the different technical aspects which need to be checked when editing your dissertation or thesis and the range of techniques you can use to improve the way you check your work.

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UCL Provost’s leaving party costs nearly £18k

Moustache-shaped cookies, an ABBA tribute band, and t-shirts with a ‘70s look-alike of the guest of honour printed on them – Professor Sir Malcolm Grant’s leaving do have it all, and cost a total of £17,898.

Just over £2,000 was spent on 880 bottles of sparkling wine for the party on 19th June, which celebrated Grant’s ten years as University College London’s President and Provost. Pictures suggest the bottles far outnumbered the guests.

Two hundred cookies in the shape of Grant’s famous facial hair were ordered for the event, costing UCL £260; the evening’s overall cookie budget totalled £563. £18.40 was spent on three buckets just to hold them all.

Björn Again, an ABBA tribute act, entertained the guests gathered in the University’s Main Quad for a fee of £8,225. A private donor, presumably a fan of Swedish pop, contributed £3,500 to this cost.

The band were not alone in providing the evening’s soundtrack. £950 was also spent on a DJ, two opera singers and an accompanying pianist.

In addition, twenty staff and student helpers at the party wore t-shirts printed with a moustached face resembling Grant in his younger days, at a cost of £240. £780 was spent to hire a so- called ‘Megabooth’ – a flower- power-themed Volkswagen Beetle adapted into a photo booth – where guests could pose for photos to remember the occasion.

Hannah Webb, External Affairs and Campaigns Officer of UCL’s student union, strongly criticised the amount spent on the event. She said: “That’s a ludicrous amount to spend on a party, especially when the cleaners are still not being paid a living wage.” She added: “Anyway, I hate ABBA.”

A UCL spokesperson claimed “several hundred people attended the event.” But UCL declined to comment on the cost of the party, and refused to give London Student any further information on the event.

In his weekly Provost’s Diary, Grant said the send-off, which was “all a complete surprise,” had left him “with a bit of a lump in the throat”.

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Welcome to ‘The Kriss Akabusi Pleasure Lounge’

The Second Floor bar at UCL Union is set to be renamed The Kriss Akabusi Pleasure Lounge.

Kriss Akabusi is a former World, European and Commonwealth Championships sprinter.

UCL Students have been voting on a new name for the bar on the Union website with other entries including The 2econd Floor Bar and The UC Sports Bar.

Yet London Student understands that going into the home straight, The Kriss Akabusi Pleasure Lounge looks set to take first place on the podium.

Students are delighted that the union looks set to honour the sprinter, one telling London Student: “He was fast, very fast, this is certainly deserved.”

Akabusi was unaware of this potential honour from UCL until contacted by London Student, and did not give his famous seal of approval “AWOOGA!” to the proposal, instead of appearing indifferent to the outcome of the vote.

And students hoping to catch a glimpse of their childhood idol will be disappointed to hear that he would not be able to attend the opening of the bar, citing “too much work with two charities and a motivational speaking company”.

London Student understands Akabusi will not object to the bar being named in his honour.

While Akabusi first made his name on the running track, following his retirement from the sport he presented TV programmes Record Breakers and The Big Breakfast, his enthusiasm making co-presenters Cheryl Baker and Kelly Brook look like televisual also-rans.

Despite disappearing from the public eye, Akabusi continues to hand out inspiration left, right and centre through his Motivational Speakers Company.

One awestruck BUPA executive told London Student of the effects of one of his talks: “Kriss was superb. The amount of energy and motivation he left them with was worth every penny. Some of the sales team wanted to get straight onto the phones as they felt so inspired.”

In 1992 Akabusi was awarded the MBE and received an honorary degree from Southampton University.

The competition was organised and run by UCL Communications and Services Officer Charlie Clinton, who told London Student that he, “does not regret running the vote” and that the result will be respected.

Voting closed on November 14th, with the result expected, after votes have been verified, on December 5th.

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College and Careers News

Tanaka Business School No More

Imperial College has rebranded its business school just eight years after it was first named.

The Tanaka Business School took its name from Dr Gary Tanaka, who completed his PhD at the College, following his £27m donation towards its new building in 2000. Last month it became the Imperial College Business School.

Sir Roy Anderson, Imperial’s Rector said: “Imperial College is known globally for carrying out research that improves quality of life worldwide. The Business School’s activities play a central role in this mission. By putting the College’s name into the Business School’s title we are making clear its position as an integral part of the College.”

A college spokesman stated that the rebrand, involved “no significant cost associations other than standard marketing costs”.

The reversal has sparked speculation that Imperial may be trying to disassociate itself from Dr Tanaka, who was charged with fraud in 2005.

Tanaka and his business partner Alberto Vilar were arrested in June 2005 under several allegations of fraud concerning their company Amerindo Investment Advisors Inc. Although Tanaka was accused of having spent investors’ money on racehorses, there was no suggestion that donations to Imperial were misappropriated. Charges were dropped in 2007.

A spokesman for Imperial said there was no link between the charges and the decision.

Dr Tanaka said, ‘the growth and development of the Business School under the helm of Professor David Begg and former Rector Sir Richard Sykes have been a source of great pride since my association with it began. This latest move is a step towards enabling it to reach its maximum world-wide potential.”

Academics have met the decision with enthusiasm. Dr David McCarthy, Senior Lecturer in Finance, said, “it’s a great idea. It’s going to be great for the school. I think it’s a great thing”.

The building, designed by Foster and Partners, will continue to be known as The Tanaka Building.

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College and Careers News Politics

LSE students occupy lecture theatre for Gaza

A group of about forty LSE students are occupying the university’s Old Lecture Theatre, demanding action from the school over the conflict in Gaza.

They are demanding that LSE should release a statement condemning the Israeli attack on Gaza and demanding a ceasefire and that the college get rid of its investments in BAE Systems, which anti-arms trade campaigners say provides weapons to the Israeli military.

They also want five fully paid scholarships to be created for Palestinian students and a fundraising day in aid of charity Medical Aid for Palestinians.

Their final demands are that any computers or books due to be got rid of at the end of Lent and Summer terms should be donated to the University and to schools that have been bombed in Gaza, and that the student activists themselves should not suffer any reprisals for taking part.

The action follows a motion passed 219-154 at a Union General Meeting this afternoon condemning Israel’s military campaign in Gaza.

An LSE spokesperson said: “A small group of students are currently staging a limited occupation of the Old Theatre at the London School of Economics and Political Science today (Thursday 15th January). The students have presented six demands to the School, all of which relate to the conflict in Gaza. The School is considering the demands. Lectures are continuing as normal.”