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Studying Tips and Keeping a Good Mindset

Keeping a healthy mind can be hard when you’ve got university work to do. Take a quick break and have a read through some of our top tips on studying! 

Support Services at the University of Portsmouth

Academic Skills (ASK): “ASK is open to all students at the university and provides one-to-one tutorials in academic writing, note taking, time management, critical thinking, presentation skills, referencing, working in groups, revision, memory and exam techniques.”

T: 023 9284 3468


Location: Nuffield Centre

ASDAC: The Additional Support and Disability Advice Centre based in Nuffield building, offer support to students who disclose a disability or require additional support for their academic studies. 

T: 023 9284 3462


Personal tutor or Supervisor: You should be informed of who your personal tutor is at the start of each academic year. If you are not able to get this information, please head to your department admin office for further direction. Your Personal Tutor or Supervisor should be your first port of call if you have any issues with the University, the course, your wellbeing or health. It would be best to contact them via email in the first instance, which should be their first name "." and their last name "".

Library: The library offer drop-in referencing workshops throughout the year, silent study area on the top floor, reception available for helping find books and resources. 

T: 023 9284 3228


Google Scholar

If you are looking for journal articles, use google scholar! Usually, lecturers prefer students to use references no older than 10 years, unless, the research is groundbreaking and relevant (e.g. well-developed historical theories). You can play around with the date settings on Google Scholar to get articles that are recent and applicable. Use the articles’ (that you’re reading) references too. Most likely their references will be covering the same area of topic you’re researching.

A tip: use “ctrl + F (Windows) or cmd + F (Apple)” to search for keywords in a journal article. This will provide you with a list of all the places that keyword appears in the article, which in turn will save you from having to read absolutely everything. 

A tip: if you’re short on time, read the abstract, discussion and findings. This usually comprises most of the information you need to know/include in your assignment.

Public speaking

During your time at University, it is likely that you may have to do a presentation at some point. Some are able to do this without hesitation, however, us normal people (not that they’re not normal), can find this quite daunting. Check out this article, pages 40-42 where you are given top 5 tips on how to speak in front of people (not just one person, but, like a few or loads of people).  


Playing relaxing music in the background is a good way to relieve stress (MacDonald, 2013, p. 5) whilst you work hard for your degree. While it isn’t for everyone, listening to music while you study can help you focus and keep calm. In our resources section you can find a varied selection of chilled out songs that you can work to.


Finding it hard to get into the Library while you’re not in Portsmouth? Did you know that you can try your local university library? It can be a great, quiet place to get work done away from the distractions of friends and family at home.

If you need to look at some books and find a quiet place to get some work done, why not try the SCONUL scheme! It allows you to use other university libraries across the country. The online application process is quick and easy, but you should also contact the library you want to use to check if it has any additional registration requirements or restrictions (e.g. at busy times of year). 


MacDonald, R. A. R. (2013). Music, health, and well-being: A review, International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, 8(1), 1-13. 10.3402/ qhw.v8i0.20635

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  1. Sumaiya Khan

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