Alice: 3 ways to get prepared for prac

USQ Res College blogger: Alice Galea
Alice completed a Bachelor of Education (Secondary) degree, majoring in biology and minoring in mathematics, in 2017. She is originally from Bundaberg, loves all things vintage and has a passion for baking, crafts and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries!

Practical experiences are a very necessary and exciting part of many university degrees. Unfortunately, they often occur right at the busiest time of the semester. For many of us, while on prac our uni subjects continue, content continues to be distributed and assignment due dates loom closer.

Having now completed a few pracs of my own, these are my top three tips for successfully juggling your studies with prac:

1. Prepare your assessment in advance

Prac is an absolutely wonderful experience that you should be able to embrace without having to worry about that assignment that’s due tomorrow, as well as the three lessons you have to plan for too! To avoid this, be prepared to complete as much of your assessment as possible prior to starting your prac. It is much easier to edit drafted assignments than trying to research, draft and edit an assignment while on prac. Remember, you’ll likely be exhausted from spending so much time at work and just want to relax when you get home, so get as much work done as possible in the days and weeks before you prac placement starts.

2. Prepare a study plan for anything you don’t get done

As I found after my first practical experience, completely disregarding all uni work during prac will only come back to bite you later. To avoid this, prior to starting prac, prepare a study schedule and stick to it! You probably won’t have time to get everything done while you’re also working all day, so prioritise your work. Every little bit you do during prac is something you don’t have to worry about later. Everyone has different study patterns and you need to find what works for you.

3. Prepare to communicate

Practical experiences are your first glimpse into the big wide world of work that you will be entering into in a few short years. Ensure you contact your practical site as soon as you know where you have been placed to clear up any queries you may have and find out their expectations of you. Once you arrive, be honest and open to your supervisors. They know you are a university student and also have study to complete while on prac. In saying that though, they are not mind readers and hence need to be told if you are struggling or have assessment due. They too went to university at some point and will know what you are going through! They are there to help you through your practical experience … help them to help you!


Your practical experience is a very busy, very exciting time. With sufficient preparation, you will be able to both stay on top of your university studies and enjoy your precious taste of the workforce. Plus, now that you’ve got your study schedule sorted you’ll have more time to plan your ultimate prac wardrobe.

Check out professional stylist Alex Paterson’s tips for a fashion forward but workplace friendly wardrobe!  If you have tips to help students prepare for the prac components of their degrees, we'd love to hear them! Share in the comments section below.


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