Preparation for University

University Terminology

  • Semester - a university year is made up of 2 semesters (3 including summer school) which range from 10-13 weeks. Think of it as 2 school terms.

  • Paper - a university "paper" is the same as a "subject" at school. A degree is made up of many completed papers.

  • Lecture - a lecture is where most of your teaching will occur. They take place in lecture halls where a large number of students (up to 600 at UoA!) listen to a lecturer.

  • Tutorial - these are smaller lectures where you get a chance to engage, ask questions, and get help with assignments. These are a crucial part of your learning experience at university.

  • Stage - you will occasionally hear people talk about stage 1, 2, and 3 papers. This is simply classifying their difficulty similar to NCEA level 1, 2, and 3. Paper numbers have the Stage indicated in their code. eg 101 Bio = Stage 1 Bio

  • Lab -Laboratory sessions (Labs): involve experimental or practical work. They may be compulsory and attendance may contribute towards your final grade.

Tips and Biggest Learnings from Students

  • Time management. Treat Uni as a 9-5 job otherwise things will quickly get overwhelming. Be prompt to your class.

  • Motivation - be sure to take courses you're interested in so you can stay motivated throughout studies.

  • Referencing - this is a skill you will have to use a lot so learn it well.

  • Get used to reading - there will be a lot of reading at Uni, learn to embrace it and read effectively.

  • Get involved - join clubs, meet new people, and get stuck in. University can be a big but lonely place.

  • Take care of yourself - Uni is a big change from school. You have a lot more independence but also distractions. Enjoy university but remember why you're there and take care of yourself both mentally and physically.

  • Attend the preliminary lectures for your papers - these provide more detailed information on what the paper will cover, what assignments will be required and which textbooks are needed

  • It's important that you attend your classes (podcasts and/or notes are not a substitute for hearing it first hand)

  • Complete any preset tasks before the class

  • Get involved – ask questions and join in discussions

12 Tips for the Transition to Uni

  1. Figure out where you want to go and what you want to study. Attend Open days.

  2. Get your finances sorted

  3. Be proactive

  4. Ready, set, take notes

  5. Transport

  6. Schedule your life

  7. Be ready to get involved

  8. Get your textbooks and stationary sorted

  9. Campus and library tours

  10. Catch up summer school papers

  11. Get yourself into the right mindset

  12. It won't all be plain sailing, but that's ok

For more detail on each step visit: tips for transitioning into Uni

University Entrance (UE) Explained

University Entrance Slide presentation

NZ Qualification Framework explained here.

Year 13 Checklist - if going to University