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Understanding study expectations


Starting university for the first time brings on a range of new experiences. Understanding the expectations of you from Deakin will make the transition easier and your academic performance much better.

Whether you join Deakin from secondary school or having studied outside of Australia, you will notice some differences from the previous way you studied. University students are expected to be independent learners and your academic performance rests firmly in your hands.

Other differences you can expect include:

  • You are expected to independently complete readings before each class.
  • For assignments, reading the assigned textbook is usually not enough. You are expected to search for further sources when completing assessments.
  • When sources are included in an assignment, you need to show you that you have critically analysed them.
  • There may be less opportunity for regular feedback on individual work from teaching staff.
  • You are expected to ask questions when you don’t understand something and seek help when needed – staff will not follow up with you independently of this.

What to do

At university, classes and seminars take up a smaller proportion of your week, giving you much more free time. However, you will be expected to devote a minimum of 10 hours per week of independent study per unit you take. For a full-time study load, that’s a minimum of 40 hours per week – that’s no different to working in a full-time job.

Time management is key to managing your study load. The most successful students carefully plan out their workload ahead of time to fit in all their study, work, and personal commitments in.

Getting support

Deakin provides a range of support services to students, including support to organise your study and counselling services.

Weekly and trimester planners are also available, as well as some tips to help you study smarter.

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