What motivates you to study?
You are responsible for creating your own strategy for getting the best out of your course for your own needs. It is useful to reconsider your motives for doing your course:
Am I doing it to learn all I can about this subject: If so, what most helps me to do this?
Am I doing it to get a qualification? If so, what will I do to ensure I end the course with this?
Am I aiming for a specific grade in order to get a particular job?
Am I doing it to pass the time because it was the easiest next thing to do? Is this paying off for me?
Motivation is usually mixed: Some is to do with gaining qualifications, a job,recognition, and rewards; Some is to do with the inherent pleasure, interest and delight of learning. It is useful to identify your reasons for studying, so that you are more aware of what is rewarding to you: eg Do you get most satisfaction when you imagine yourself having gained the qualification, or when you imagine yourself knowing what you do not know yet?
Supervisors who assume all students are there for the love of learning may offer different rewards and incentives from those who assume they are there just to get a piece of paper at the end. If your supervisor’s expectations of you differ from your own, you may find what is intended to be encouragement grates on you. What is most important is that you find ways to keep your own motivation up.
Pause for thought: Are you now clearer about your own motivation to study?
Self confidence QUIZ
NB Almost everyone is confident about something that they do, though not all of us are able to say so to others . Relatively few people are confident about everything, especially when they first do it. This quiz is designed to get you thinking about your sources of self confidence.
Begin by making notes to identify :
A)whether each of these factors affects your self confidence about being assessed, and to see which element is a source of confidence for you, and which are areas where your self confidence is less well established.
B) Whether the requirements of your course are a good match with your established strengths as identified by your notes.
C)Consider whether you have greatest confidence in your own your flexibility or capacity to plan ahead and stick to a plan . ( Which of these elements are strongest in your notes?)
D)What do you need to develop further in order to help you do yourself more justice in your next assessment.
1 Self esteem: Can you tell a friend or relative when you have done something well? ( This doesn’t mean to Olympic standard, just better than usual!)
If you were asked to make a list of what you have achieved in your life, would you feel stuck about what to put on it?
Would you let yourself make a list with lots of different sorts of items on it?
eg Achievements whether artistic, sporting ,intellectual, or moral
Caring for dependent others, whether they are relatives or not
A practical accomplishment: Building or repairing something
Look at your list. Ask a good friend what they think you do well.
Do you agree with them?
If you do not agree, how would you check whether your own standards for yourself are unrealistic or harsh? ( very many people are tougher on themselves than they are on others. Does this apply to you? If it does you may be undermining your own confidence by ignoring what you can achieve. )
2 Knowledge: Do you feel optimistic that you can grasp and recall facts?
Are you good at seeing the wood for the trees?
Can you remember what you need to, and when you need to?
How do you remember detailed information
Is your method for remembering detailed information different from the way you recall key ideas?
3 Communication: Do you usually understand what others are saying to you? Do you often feel lost but unable to ask for an explanation? Can you ask supervisors to define a word or explain an idea which is new to you?
Do others usually understand you? Are you often asked to repeat yourself or explain your meaning?
Are you aware whether you are most confident and effective when you are talking or writing? e.g. Which do you choose to use when you have something complicated to explain?
4 Accepting support and help: It is not easy to complete a course without some encouragement and support. Can you ask others to put themselves out for you such as working with you, or hearing you explain something to ensure you’ve understood it?
5 Acceptance: It is important to know how to set yourself realistic and achievable goals.
Can you settle for what you can do, even when it is not all you might, or would ideally want to?
Are you tolerant and accepting of your own limits when you make a mistake?