How to study for business students

With a whole heap of majors to choose from, ranging from Accountancy to Economics, Human Resource Management, Marketing and beyond – you’re spoiled for choice really! Throughout this degree, no matter what your focus is on, there are points where you’ll be studying papers that have a broad enough scope that it might feel like you’re doing four completely unrelated things, but through the power of black magic they all have enough overlapping areas so that your paper choices make sense.

As a Bachelor of Business Studies (BBS) student the big thing that you’ll have to bear in mind is that your course-load can consist of massive amounts of number-crunching as well as essay and report writing, and sprinkles of presentations if you’re lucky. Remembering things such as the formula for the weighted average cost of capital as well as the principles of cross-functional cooperation can be a burden-and-a-half on the mind – this makes the process of studying much longer and exhaustive.

I tend to study differently depending on what the subject is, but rest assured that there are more approaches to studying than just listing out notes on a page.


Decorate the place!
One approach being, maybe you can put post-it notes strategically throughout your home with little inserts of key information you need to remember – focus on what you don’t know as opposed to things you have already covered. You can get really creative here too; maybe you could have a definition of ‘Marketing Information Systems’ on a post-it stuck on the peanut butter jar in the pantry?


Reward yourself with a treat
Another option for while you’re reading through a textbook is to use gummy bears or another kind of treat for whenever you read up to a certain point and understand the content. I found it helpful that there was a little reward waiting for me every so often, and when it came to reading large chapters in a textbook a little sugar-rush was much appreciated!


Make a pretty mind map
I’ll admit that the content on here is not something a BBS student will cover, but the principle remains – a classic option is to study is make a mind map. If writing notes isn’t your thing then one of these will be super helpful (I use them a lot, even though I can’t draw) since they visualize everything and put it into a perspective that you personally understand.

image010Do the old fashioned method
And then there’s always the good ol’ write out your notes and highlight the key parts. This is something that most students try to do but it’s not the most effective way – because if you’re not too flash on a topic and you’re meant to highlight the key parts to remember, you’re likely to end up highlighting everything. But then again, if it works for you then go for gold!

image012Do a sing song
My personal favourite method is using music – this is a controversial one since my flatmates may think weird of me, but the joke’s on them since I can remember my workload and show that I have superior tastes in music. Songs are probably the easiest things to remember – I can rattle off the Spice Girls song ‘Wannabe’ which I learned many years ago, but I can’t remember anything beyond mean, median and mode from my stats paper last year. The point is that songs stick with you, check out this link for an example: I promise, it’s cool. It’s learning about the black plague but replaces the lyrics from Gwen Stefani’s song ‘Hollaback Girl’. If you pick a song that’s catchy and memorable then it’ll make the process of much easier, and dare I say, enjoyable?

So the purpose of all of this is that different topics (which you’ll study in a BBS) often require different approaches to thinking – you can’t go into ethics and social issues with a narrow and focused financial mindset, oh no, this is how you get a C+ for that paper. My advice is to keep trying things so that you find the approach that works for you.

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About Cullum

Seasons greetings, friends! I'm Cullum, 2nd year BBS student based in the bustling urban metropolis of Palmerston North. My focus areas are Management and Marketing - but somehow I got a job as a food scientist! I enjoy travelling to exotic locations such as Rotorua, am currently part of a group working towards building a community centre - and I can play the bassoon. If I were a bag of lollies, you could best describe me as the party mix.

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