Organise Your Study

How to manage your Time

Good time management can help you in many ways during your studies. It can lead to better grades on tests and term papers and make you feel more at ease at university. Speaking with an academic advisor at your university can also be helpful.

The academic advising department at your university is there to answer any questions you have about managing your time wisely, improving your study methods and increasing your motivation. During the advising session, an expert examines your personal situation, your skills and needs. Together, you develop plans and structures that will help you learn more efficiently, for example, or develop individually tailored learning strategies.


At the University of Applied Sciences in Hannover is one such project. Regardless of whether you're having trouble organizing your time, need to get better grades on exams or want to improve your revising skills - it always pays to speak with an academic advisor. Especially if you're new at the university, you shouldn't stumble to appeal the academic advising service with your questions. You can talk about your problems with them or quickly find a working group that meets your need. This semester they're offering a programme on academic writing in Engineering.


It's completely normal if you feel shy about participating in a learning seminar or advising session at the beginning of your studies. The advice from the experts can help you tremendously, so seize the chance! You can find the student advising services on your university's website or posted on message boards around campus and at the library. Either make an appointment or visit them during office hours, which are usually offered once a week like in Regensburg and Hannover.

Working In a library-Be Productive

Libraries are ideal for researching, reading and studying. Because working in a library is an important part of your studies in Germany, there are a few rules you should be aware of. A library preparatory course can help you gain orientation.

To begin with, it's a good idea to take support of the extensive information available at the library or on the Web. Normally, there are a large number of training and introductory courses to choose from. It's always worthwhile to join an introductory library tour, during which the library staff explains the most important procedures and answers your questions. For example, what system is used to categorize books? How do you search for books using the computer monitors? Why are some books only available for use at the library? How do you take out books that aren't publicly accessible? During these tours, you'll also receive information about due dates, copying and special fees.

Universities maintain numerous scientific databases to help people find the books they're looking for - which you'd have to pay for if you weren't a student. Libraries and university departments regularly offer courses in using subject-specific databases. This is where you can find out everything there is to know about the databases in your subject of study, learn how to get the most out of your search queries and how to access digital texts.

If all else fails, the library staff is always happy to assist you. "We help wherever we can. If someone has a problem with the search function on the computer, I show him how to use it. Or if they can't find a book, I accompany them into the stacks and help locate it," says Sabine Voigt at the library info desk in Dresden. If you're having problems, it's always best to speak with the staff, because most library users don't like to be bothered.

Rules in library

People go to libraries because it offers them a quiet place to read, study and work. Loud conversations and phone calls are not allowed. Signs with cross-out mobiles and a finger over the lips remind users to keep the noise down. At reading stalls, tapping away at your laptop can also disturb other users. In many libraries, it's not allowed to take your backpack or bag into the working rooms. You can stow away your personal belongings in coin-operated lockers, which are often located near the main entrance. It's generally not a problem to take a bottle of water or a muesli bar to your workspace. But if you want to eat a big meal, the reading room is not the place for a picnic. Some libraries have an in-house cafe where you can take a break and recharge your batteries.

A better place for Learning

If you can't focus on your studies at home, simply take your work to the library. There you'll find a variety of workplaces for learners of every kind. Be it standing desks, comfy armchairs or spacious reading rooms, you can always find a quiet place to study. Around final exam time, however, it's best to secure your favorite place early in the day, because that's when libraries get full very quickly.

Many libraries have group rooms where students can study together. You and your classmates can form a study group and arrange to meet in one of these group rooms at a particular time. The advantage is that you have access to all the reference books and can immediately fill any gaps in your knowledge.

Libraries also provide services to users with special needs, for example, the visually and physically impaired. At the Hamburg State Library, there are six computers with special keyboards, text enlargement software and onscreen help. The Dresden SLUB has a colorfully decorated room with toys and work tables for young parents who need a place to keep their child busy while they work.

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