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Managing your time

Studying covers a wide variety of activities. Some activities are about getting to know the academic field, others are related to creating the appropriate framework for your studies.

Starting at a new university can require a considerable amount of planning. This section provides good advice for effective structuring of your time as a student. You may find it helpful to plan your semester and the individual weeks in advance.

How, when and where

An important aspect of beginning a new programme of study is to find out how, when and where you study most effectively. One relevant consideration is whether you get more work done in the university library or at home. Many students benefit from having their own place to study at the library. Read about the study facilities at the Royal Danish Library and ask your own department about the possibility of getting a personal workplaces when writing your thesis.


Getting ready to study

As a new student at Aarhus University, you may find things a little confusing at first. However, there are things you can do in order to benefit as much as possible from your time here at the university.

It is a good idea to consider to:

  • Find a study group – your fellow students and your teachers can help you.

  • Work on your reading technique – learn how to separate important from unimportant information.

  • Remember that it often is difficult to see the big picture right away.

  • Find out what motivates you – studying is hard work, think about what interests you.

  • Think about your physical surroundings – home may not be the best place to study.

  • Remember that you always have some prior knowledge to build on when you acquire new information.

  • Be aware of your study techniques – think about your ways of learning.

Also, be prepared for a relationship between students and teachers that may differ from what you are used to. Read more about the danish learning environment.

Plan your semester

Starting at a new university can require a considerable amount of planning.

Create an appropriate framework for your semester:

  • Find your education’s academic regulations and get informed about requirements to every course of your study.
  • Plan the upcoming semester – think about how you want to divide your time between classes and other activities.
  • Find information on deadlines and important dates for bachelors or Master's students at Aarhus University and stay informed about the Danish academic year.

Plan your week

Making a timetable helps you to organise your time far more effectively.

Lectures, group work, a part-time job and leisure activities can all be scheduled into your timetable. This gives you greater control over your time and gives structure to your reading and preparation for classes.

You can make a timetable for the whole semester, or separate timetables for periods where you are revising for exams. 

Download timetable (without time display) template here 

Download timetable (with time display) template here 

Another way to get into a good study routine is to make sure that you are part of an efficient study group and knows how to read and take notes effectively.

Reading and notetaking

Useful links:

Websites about academic skills:

  • Purdue University Online Writing Lab. Find information on how to research and write with correct grammar and style. Includes detailed style guides for different referencing systems.

  • How-To-Study An American site for lower level students from elementary school to college with easy to understand tips in both English and Spanish.

  • Study Guides and Strategies. Besides information about reading, writing, researching, studying and managing projects, this American site has tips for memorizing and concentrating.

Literature about academic skills:

The list appearing on this page is based on “10 gode råd til studiestartere” by Thomas Harboe, Pædagogisk Center Samfundsvidenskab, University of Copenhagen. The videos was produced by Anni Pedersen.