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Skip to 0 minutes and 4 seconds You need a variety of skills at university to survive. You need life skills, in the first place, because you are in a new setting away from the family, and the friends, and your society, your culture. And of course, in the first place, you need to study skills to survive at university. You need social skills, interaction skills to mix and integrate with the wider community on campus. At university, most of your assessment is based on writing. So you have to have proper writing skills. You have to have a good store of academic vocabulary, good grammatical structures to make yourself understood and for the marker and the reader not to struggle to understand what you’re trying to say.

Skip to 0 minutes and 49 seconds Another skill is actually essay writing skill. Maybe at school - as students are used to write very simple essays where they describe a trip they went to or city they visited - at university, you have to show evaluation in what you write. You have to show that you’ve read the literature and know the background of what you’re writing about. You need to be critical in what you write and have a stance, objectively, in your essay. You need skills like reading skills. You don’t need to read a letter, or a word-by-word. You have to train yourself to read quickly. And there are many, many techniques that you can learn and develop through the study life at university. You need note-taking skills.

Skip to 1 minute and 43 seconds At the University, you’ll be inundated with a lot of reading tasks, reading lists at the end of every lecture. You listen to many lectures. So you have to be good at note-taking. You need something to keep your long-term memory. And the best thing to do is just to be a good notetaker. Some students try to write shortcuts, words, stuff like that. Some students try to get the laptops because they’re faster at typing. Some students prefer to have a recorder. Or in most universities, now there are listen again facilities in the classroom itself. And they prefer to listen in the lecture and then go back home and take notes in their free time.

Skip to 2 minutes and 28 seconds You also need exam study skills, skills that help you manage your stress before the exams and organise your time there. And related to this, they need time management skills. You are alone as a student in the UK, perhaps, for most of the time. So you’re sorting out your life. You’re managing your daily routine. And on top of that, you’ve got your huge study tasks. So you have to get your calendar, have your diary, perhaps, on your mobile phone. Make sure that you register everything on your calendar so that you don’t have double bookings every day. You need to make sure that you prioritise your tasks. And make sure that you submit before deadlines.

Skip to 3 minutes and 21 seconds One word at university that summarises study in the UK is deadlines. You have to be aware of deadlines and be able to meet these on time.

What kind of skills do you need at university?

At university you are expected to learn independently. This means taking responsibility for your own studying. Many of the academic skills you are expected to use will be new to you.

How many study skills does Zak talk about? Which skills are the ones you think you need to develop most?

Study group task: In your study group write 5 tips for each of the skills using either what Zak says or your own experiences. Then share your tips with the wider group.

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Aim Higher: Access to Higher Education for Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Cambridge Assessment English