Starting university is exciting, but it's easy to overlook how uni is different to high school study.

We know there's a lot to get your head around, so we've outlined some basic differences to help get you started:

Lectures and tutorials

The academic year at UQ has two main semesters – Semester 1 and Semester 2 – and one optional Summer Semester.

Most courses are delivered via a mix of lectures and tutorials, and assessment usually takes the form of exams or assignments.

There's a great deal of variety from course to course, and you'll learn about what each course involves in your first week of classes.

But there's more to university than how and when courses are delivered. Studying at university is about taking responsibility for yourself, without anyone to hold your hand.

Balancing your new found freedom

In high school, teachers provide a lot of guidance and help you find the information you need. At university, you’re expected to do this yourself.

Lecturers won’t be chasing you to do your homework like they did in high school. They will share their knowledge and then it's up to you – you're responsible for everything from keeping up-to-date with readings, to knowing when assessment is due.

Thinking differently

You’ll be given reading lists with the names of textbooks you’re expected to borrow or buy. You’re also expected to do wider reading, seeking out material that will help you develop a wider understanding of your topic.

You’re expected to go much further in the way you learn and develop your understanding of a topic. A major part of your university learning experience is developing your own opinions, rather than just repeating what you’ve read.

Don’t worry too much though. During each of your courses, your lecturer will outline the knowledge framework to develop your own informed point of view. We're here to help wherever possible – and not throw you into the deep end.

Study tips

Before your first semester begins, it’s a good idea to take some time to take proactive steps to maximise your success.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Attend Orientation Week sessions
  • Take a library tour
  • Take a campus tour
  • Make use of UQ’s student support services
  • Talk to your lecturers, tutors or faculty academic advisor if you are having trouble understanding course content or academic expectations
  • Plan your study schedule at the start of semester
  • Balance study, leisure and work time
  • Eat a balanced diet and get enough sleep.

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Learn to see the potential of the world. Gain the knowledge to make it better.

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