5 ways to nail a compressed course

As the study period for many students draws to a close and the semester break on the horizon, you might be considering a compressed course between semesters.

Maybe you want to fast-track your degree, try a different study experience, or make up for a not-so-stellar class performance. Indeed, whether your results have been joyous tidings or an ill omen, there’s no reason you can’t rock a compressed course with the right toolset (and mindset). We asked Uni of Newcastle students with a compressed course under their belt for their best tips on success.

1. Be Prepared

While it might seem obvious that preparation is involved in study, it’s important to keep in mind that ‘compressed’ does not mean ‘less’. A short course lets you work through a semester’s worth of content in as little as three weeks, but this also brings your academic responsibilities closer together.

This means that getting on top of your course requirements and assessment specifications early puts you in good stead to perform at an intensive level. Bachelor of Laws student, Sam Cooper says, “Dedicate some time to complete the requisite individual preparation material prior to classes.”

The content of compressed courses is readily available before classes start, giving you the opportunity to get familiar ahead of time. Checking your reader as a memory aid the night before class will be a lot less stressful than frantically learning for the first time.

2. Get Invested

Compressed or not, you’re going to be spending a decent amount of raw hours with any course you enrol in so it’s worth doing your research. Check the courses available for short term study on the uni website which count towards your degree, and if you have the grace of choice via electives or directed course options take some time to think about what gets you the most excited or lends most strongly to your prospects.

Sam completed an Internship in Cambodia, which differed in kind from the rest of his degree in a way that kept him motivated. “Overall, it was a deeply emotive experience,” Sam said.

3. Consistency is Key

Compressed courses offer a routine and flow that you should take advantage of to keep your mind on the task in front of you. Bachelor of Secondary Teaching (Honours) and Diploma in Languages student, Nina Evangeline, says that frequent and attentive presence, both physically and mentally was important to building her knowledge and skills in a short space of time. “In the compressed Screen course, I was able to attend daily workshops over the period of a week,” Nina said.

“They were thoughtful sessions and because of fewer students, we were able to get individual assistance.”

The consistency of classmates and study materials also means that you can build academic relationships much more quickly. “Group work was considerably easier to coordinate as it wasn’t necessary to organise around hectic timetables” said Elle Lingard, Bachelor of Arts and Laws student.

4. Embrace Immersion

Multiple classes a week that run longer than traditional courses might seem pretty intense, but spending so much time with the same people and study materials can help you consolidate knowledge at a lighting-pace.

Nina undertook Winter University at the University of Stuttgart, Germany, where she found the intensity of the course to benefit her study.

“By learning daily, in a short period of time, I got to constantly practice new grammatical structures and vocabulary and retain the information,” Nina said.

Elle corroborates the benefits being able to dive into a single subject. “Doing a compressed course allowed me to focus on the content far easier than a regular course,” Elle said. “I was therefore more invested in the subject and achieved my highest mark to date.”

5. Stress Less

Just because the course is intense doesn’t mean your emotional state has to be. A compressed course makes taking time to de-compress all the more important. On top of that, it’s a case of making sure you do really get a break in the semester break, so plan out some time either before or after your course so you can recuperate.

With these thoughts in mind, now you’re ready to learn at ludicrous speed! Hop on over to the University website to find out more.

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