Whether you're new to studying or returning to study, brushing up on your study skills is a great way to prepare before starting a new course, module or qualification. A free OpenLearn course can help you get an idea of what it's like to study with The Open University, or can help you improve your literacy, numeracy or digital skills at your own pace.
Our badged open courses even give you a way to get recognition for your learning achievements with a statement of participation and digital badge for your online profile.
Your first steps to success with study
Taking your first steps into higher education Free Course Image courtesy of chanpipat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
What is university study like? Is it for me? If you are asking yourself these questions, this free course is for you... Try: Taking your first steps into higher education now
Succeed with learning is a free, introductory course for people who want to feel more confident about their learning... Try: Succeed with learning now
If you feel that maths is a mystery that you want to unravel then this free course is for you. It will guide you... Try: Succeed with maths – Part 1 now
This free course, Succeed with maths Part 2, is a sequel to Part 1, in which you will continue to develop your... Try: Succeed with maths – Part 2 now
English: skills for learning, is a free course for anybody who is thinking of studying for a university degree and... Try: English: skills for learning now
Are you ready to study in English? Check your language skills...
Even if you are confident in using English as a second language, studying in English at higher education level can present extra challenges - try this course first to reflect on and assess your skills and identify any language areas you might want to improve.
Even if you feel confident using English in everyday situations, studying in English at higher education level might... Try: Am I ready to study in English? now
Reading and finding information
Reading and note taking are two essential study skills. How do you read? This free course, Reading and note taking ... Try: Reading and note taking – preparation for study now
What does a picture or an image tell you? This free course, Reading visual images, is an introduction to analysing... Try: Reading visual images now
If you're already an OU student, don't forget to look at the resources, study support and help available from the Open University Library Services.
Writing and essays
In this free course, Paraphrasing text, you will focus on the process of turning what you are reading into 'your own... Try: Paraphrasing text now
Diagrams, mind-maps, tables, graphs, time lines, flow charts, sequence diagrams, decision trees: all can be used to... Try: Extending and developing your thinking skills now
Writing reports and assignments can be a daunting prospect. Learn how to interpret questions and how to plan,... Try: Essay and report writing skills now
If you're already an OU student, the Study Support resources on StudentHome contains pointers to lots of helpful information about referencing, assignments and exams.
Maths and data
When you come across information represented in charts, graphs and tables youll need to know how to interpret this... Try: Working with charts, graphs and tables now
When you encounter maths or technical content youll need to know how to interpret this information, and possibly to... Try: More working with charts, graphs and tables now
Working with diagrams is essential for students of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This free course... Try: Working with diagrams now
Tables and charts are a great way to present numerical information in a clear and concise form. This free course,... Try: Presenting information now
Observation, measurement and the recording of data are central activities in science. Speculation and the development... Try: Maths for Science now
Digital and online skills
The internet is a fantastic source of information for any student, but how do you evaluate the information each site... Try: Using a computer for study now
Learning online is one of the great advantages of information technology. This free course, Living with the internet:... Try: Living with the internet: learning online now
We constantly need to find and use information, not only in the academic world but also in the course of our everyday... Try: Safari - skills accessing, finding and reviewing information now
If you're already an OU student, the Open University Library hosts Being Digital - a resource with activities to develop your skills for online life - whether for study, work or home.
You can also find information on computing skills for studying online with the OU available from StudentHome.
Already registered as an OU student?
Don't forget there's a wealth of support accessible from StudentHome, including OU Skills for Study where you can do a skills check and then do activities, Being Digital which focuses on digital literacy and handling information online, and the resources available from the Open University Library Services.
Try these free courses on Reading and taking notes, Preparing assignments and Developing effective study strategies, from OpenLearn Cymru.
Mae darllen, gwrando a meddwl fel rhan o'ch astudiaeth yn aml yn mynd law yn llaw â gwneud nodiadau o ryw fath. Fe... Try: Darllen a gwneud nodiadau (Reading and taking notes) now
Efallai y byddwch yn teimlo ar goll pan gewch eich aseiniad cyntaf ond peidiwch â phoeni, nid oes disgwyl i chi wneud... Try: Paratoi aseiniadau (Preparing assignments) now
Datblygu strategaethau astudio effeithiol (Develop effective study strategies) Free Course Used with permission
Gall dod i wybod sut rydych yn dysgu eich helpu i ddatblygu technegau astudio sy'n gweddu i'ch anghenion a'r dasg dan... Try: Datblygu strategaethau astudio effeithiol (Develop effective study strategies) now
More study resources
Thinking of studying but don't know where to begin? Follow our Open Advice. Watch now: OU on the BBC: Open Advice
Find out how to assess your own skillset in this range of free courses. Read more: Key skills assessment
Do you get stressed at the thought of an examination? Does the idea of revision fill you with dread? This free course... Try: Revision and examinations now
Become a student
Thinking of studying with The Open University? You’re not alone. Thousands of visitors to the OpenLearn website have... Read more: Study: Become a student