3 University Tricks That Got Me To The Doctorate!

Hello and WELCOME to PsychAssist. As you may have heard, I have recently got onto a Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology. This means that many Psychology Students have started asking about tricks and tips for when they are studying and if there are any ways to ensure getting the top grades. Well, this made us think about all the things we have done to get good grades whilst at University. This week we’ll explore the 3 University tricks that got me to the doctorate.  

Just Graduated? Check out: 6 Jobs for A Psychology Graduate straight out of university?


Thinking of doing an MSc? Check out 5 Reasons why you should have a Masters in Psychology


Or Check this out: Why you DON’T Need an MSc in Psychology


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Befriending smarter people

Now this a tip that I don’t think you’ll hear many people saying but it’s something that is very crucial in your academic journey. I realised after my Undergraduate degree that sitting with and making friend with the people that didn’t do any work was not cool. You are the average of your 5 closest friends so why would you surround yourself with people that don’t want to achieve? This is why, during my MSc, I made it a priority to sit with those who I knew where passionate about psychology and wanted to succeed (which is why PsychAssist now has a team behind it). Once this happens, you’ll start to see that the quality of your work will go up as you’ll be around people who you can ask questions and aren’t scared to ask the lecturer a question in a busy hall. This one trick alone got me to where I am today.

PsychAssist Tip: Try to sit near the front of the lecture as that is where you’ll find the serious people. This will also put you in good view of the lecturer which means that they’ll remember your face. Don’t take this for granted because if lecturers see that you are serious and passionate they’ll be more likely to offer you an opportunity.  

“I was able to pick up on little pockets of information that put me ahead of my classmates”

    PsychAssist (2018)

Writing What The Lecturer Said Not The Slides

This is also something that I found very useful during my studies. I see on countless occasions people making notes on the lecture slides but don’t write anything when the lecturer is talking. This is so backward as many lecture slides are online and can be revisited at a later date. This is why I started writing down what the lecturer was saying rather than the lecture slides which meant that I was able to pick up on little pockets of information that put me ahead of my classmates. By doing this I was also able to pick up on very subtle hints from the lecturer about what was coming up in future exams/assignments.

PsychAssist Tip: Don’t be afraid to ask the lecturer if they could repeat what they have just said. Remember, they are there to help you and it also shows that you are paying attention. Trust me if you do this more than 5 times, you’ll get used to asking these types of questions and you’ll learn a whole lot more than just from the slides.  

“I would have almost certainly failed if I had gone straight into masters” 

  PsychAssist (2018)

Taking A Break

Now, this may sound very weird to you but it’s something that is absolutely crucial to succeeding academically. When I finished my 3rd year, the last thing I wanted to do was to go back into education. This is why I decided to take a 2-year break from education to gain some experience. This is something that I would recommend to any psychology graduate as if I would have almost certainly failed if I had gone straight into masters. It was in this break that I was able to consolidate all of the information that I learned in my 3 years of undergraduate coupled with all the new experiences I was being exposed to. Since I was putting theory into practice, things just started to make sense all of a sudden and I was able to carry on putting theory into practice throughout my MSc.

PsychAssist Tip: If this is how you are feeling then take a break! Even if you’re adamant that you have found the right MSc, we’d still recommended to take a break and to taste different avenues of psychology. You never know where the future will take you so it’s best to gain more experience than to regret it later on.



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