Strategies for success

Planning your study load

Planning your study load carefully at the beginning of a study period can be an important part of successful study. Studying with a disability, mental health or medical condition may mean that you think about studying part-time instead of full time especially in the first study period. It can also be useful to meet with your Program Director and or an Access and Inclusion Adviser early on to discuss your study load.

You may need to change your study load during a study period and it is important to be aware of dates for changing your enrolment without being penalised. Refer to the Academic Calendar for key teaching, enrolment, payment, withdrawal and exam dates for each study period. It is a good idea to check with yourself before the Census date about how you are managing with your studies. Is your study and health under control?

Time management

There are some simple things you can do to help you manage your time. These include:

Reading strategies

Students with print disability such as a vision impairment or learning disability need to develop excellent reading strategies to manage the demands of university study. If reading takes longer because of your disability or you need alternative format reading materials it will be important to be organised early and start planning your study before classes commence. This can include:

  • Contacting Course Coordinators to confirm reading lists and request a refined reading list where necessary.
  • Sourcing alternative materials to support learning such as video and audio resources.
  • Getting started with preparatory reading before classes start.

You will also find it helpful to use reading resources and develop strategies which allow you to get the most out of your reading through effective note taking, speed reading and memory techniques.

Writing strategies

Many students with disability have to develop strategies to manage the impact of their disability on writing tasks. Students who experience pain or fatigue when writing, schedule frequent rest breaks, and may work in a variety of positions, such as lying down with a laptop, standing at a lectern and sitting at a desk. It is important to ensure that your working environment is ergonomically designed and that you are aware of good working postures, especially when working at a computer for long periods.

Many students find simple strategies can minimise pain and fatigue associated with long writing stints. These include:

  • Frequent rest breaks.
  • Ergonomic work station.
  • Get started early. Having short days writing is better than a few days of cramming.
  • Learn to use keyboard shortcuts.
  • Be mindful of your body. Stop and rest if you are experiencing additional pain or fatigue.
  • Work at times of the day that suit you. No point starting at 7.00am if you can't think.
  • Make sure your keyboard and mouse suit your needs.
  • Use writing resources to improve your academic writing skills.

If you need help to manage the impact of your disability on writing speak with an Access and Inclusion Adviser.

 'Studying with' resources:

Useful links