And welcome to Study Survival, a blog to give advice on effective and efficient studying, as well as various information on student life, based in Bristol, England.
I’m just enrolling on a fulltime undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Bristol.
My nationality is Japanese and I have attended local schools (not including university) in four different countries – Japan, England, Switzerland and finally Germany. Every time I arrived in a new location, I started off with below average grades and had to get used to a completely new school system, new subjects, different ways of studying and often, a new language.
This meant that I had to study a lot more efficiently than other children, in order to catch up and get top marks again. I am writing this blog out of my own experience but also what I picked up from various people around me, like teachers or tutors.
I finished my A-levels in Germany (so it was an “Abitur”), where I moved to one year before A-levels started. There, the academic level in each subject is no different from England, but students are required to take five final exams and attend classes in four or more additional subjects, which all affect your final Abitur grade.
In other words, if you are doing anything else except schoolwork, may it be music, sports or whatever, you are fighting with time. In my final years, I started seriously thinking about how to efficiently improve my grades. My hard work resulted positively. I got a 1.1 overall.
(For your information, an Abitur of 1.0 is equivalent to A*A*A* and a 1.3 is equivalent to A*A*A. The German national average is around 2.5, my school was around 2.0.)
My tips are mainly targeted at junior high to high school students but some of it will surely be useful to university students or parents too. I have (or will be) categorising the content on
- general study tips
- subject specific methods
- tips for class
- tips for exams
- student life
Of course, many posts will be included in more than one category. I hope that this will aid you in improving your own ways of studying and be of practical use in improving your grades.
And if you have any questions, just drop me an email at:
I’d be very happy to answer you and good luck studying!