Studying Effectively

Preparing for lab classes

Many of the preparation skills useful for attending laboratory or practical classes will be similar to those for attending your first lectures and seminars/tutorials. However, there some issues that are specific to labs.

  • Check with your course information to see if you are expected to do any preparatory work before the first class (e.g. look over your lecture notes on topic x)
  • Check the guidance that your school / course provides about the safety equipment (such as lab coats or safety spectacles) or equipment that you are expected to buy and bring to your first class (such as a dissecting kit or drawing pencils) 
  • Health and Safety procedures in laboratory and practical environments are strictly adhered to and you will not be allowed to participate in the class if you are not correctly dressed or prepared. For example, if you have long hair you will be expected to tie it back.
  • Turn up for your laboratory class in good time and be ready to work with a colleague or be assigned to a working group (this is common in laboratory classes)
  • Listen and take notes from any initial briefing given at the start of the class. The demonstrator or teacher for the session may well try to steer you away from common difficulties or give you advice on how best to tackle the experiment.
  • Plan ahead - read the schedule or protocol through before you start (ideally before you go to class) so you know what is required next and can be ready with equipment or materials when they are needed.

Further reading


Being organised

Studying at university

Reading and interpreting sources and data

Practical strategies

  • Preparation and planning including 'How to Mind Map'
  • Presentations and posters
  • Writing

People who can help

Talk to someone in your school or a specialist support service


Studying Effectively

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Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5151
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 3666
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