IELTS General Reading 4 - Passage 2
However difficult you find it to arrange your time, it will pay off in the long run if you set aside a certain part of the day for studying - and stick to it. It is best to make a weekly allocation of your time, making sure that you have enough left for recreational activities or simply to be 'with' yourself: reading a novel or watching a television programme.
As part of your weekly schedule, it is also advisable to consider exactly what you have to do in that week, and make sure that you tackle the most significant tasks first, leaving the easier or less urgent areas of your work until later.
On a physical level, make sure that you have an area or space for studying. Don't do it just anywhere. If you always study in the same place, preferably a room of your own, you will find it easier to adjust mentally to the activity when you enter that area. You should have everything that you might need at hand.
Make sure that all the physical equipment that you use, such as a desk, chair etc. is at a good height for you. If you use a personal computer, there are plenty of guidelines available from the government on posture, angles, lighting and the like. Consult these and avoid the typical student aches and pains.
If you are doing a long essay or research paper which involves the use of library books or other articles, it helps to keep details of the titles and authors on small cards in a card box. It is also a good idea to log these alphabetically so that you can find them easily - rather like keeping telephone numbers. It's all too easy to read something and then forget where it came from.
Make use of equipment that is available to you. If you find a useful article in the library, it is best to make a copy of the relevant pages before you leave. Then, when you get back to your study, you can mark the article and make any comments that you have in the margin.
If you are working on a topic your teacher has set, but finding it hard to concentrate, it may be that you actually need to take your mind right off it for a period of time. 'Airing the mind' can work wonders sometimes. After a period away from the task, having not thought about it at all, you may return to it refreshed and full of ideas.
Similarly, it may help to discuss a topic with other people, especially if you feel that you have insufficient ideas, or too many disorganised ideas. Bring your topic up in conversations at meal times or with other students and see what they have to say. You don't want to copy their ideas but listening to what they think about something may well help you develop or refine your own thoughts.
STUDY CENTRE COURSES
From Paragraph to Essay
Of particular relevance to students who wish to improve their organisational skills and who feel that their final product is never clear enough.
Communicate by Mail
Owing to the popularity of last term's course, this is a repeat. Requests for information, notification of personal details and enclosures will be looked at. Please note that this is not a business course.
How do you gather information for a project or paper? A practical course which looks at sources of information and how to use cataloguing systems.
An advanced course suitable for students who are about to step into organisations where they may have to voice their opinions in various forums.
Open to all students, this course focuses on the many ways we can profit linguistically from the radio and television. Use of video essential. Group projects form part of course.
The Short Story
A venture into the world of popular writers. One story is selected for adaptation into a short play and group performance. Pre-arranged groups welcome.
Caught for Speeding
Open to all students. Simple eye exercises to help you skim and scan. How to be selective on the page. Using headings, topic sentences and paragraphs for easy access.
Quote Me if You Must
The do's and don'ts of using source material. How to incorporate it into your own work in an acceptable way. How not to plagiarise other people's articles, books etc.
The Job for Me
Finding it, applying for it and getting it. Where can it all go wrong? Written and oral course with simulation exercises using authentic newspaper advertisements.
Can I Help You?
Practical course for students who wish to improve their telephone skills. Breaks the ice for newcomers. No written skills required.
The Customer is Always Right
An interesting angle - how do you reply to letters from customers? What tone is best and when? How do you achieve results?
Tense about Tenses
For those who worry about their individual words - a look at tenses and other aspects of the language through poetry and song. Good voice helps but not essential!