Making the most of your textbook

Most OHS courses have a textbook associated with them, often specific to the examination that you will be sitting.  Ordering this textbook is one of the first things you will do after you have unpacked your course folders. Do make sure you order the correct one:  the ISBN number is the best way to check; it is surprisingly easy to get the wrong one.

Each lesson has reading associated with it. The page references are printed at the start and end of the lesson. You may like to read these pages of the textbook before starting the lesson, or leave it until the end. Some students read it in small chunks when they fancy a change from the lesson’s activities. It doesn’t matter how you do it, but make sure you do the reading for each lesson before attempting a TMA or starting the next lesson.

Most students will get stuck from time to time.  Your textbook is such a useful resource because it explains what you are studying in a slightly different way to your course folder and can help you understand something tricky in a different way. I would always recommend having your textbook open while you are working through a lesson so you can refer to it as soon as you start to feel uncertain.  Of course your tutor is on hand to help with this too.

In some subjects where diagrams are important, the ones in the textbooks are superb.  Often in colour, clearly drawn and fully labelled, they can help illustrate a complicated idea in much simpler terms. If you find you are struggling to understand how something works, chances are that the textbook will come to your rescue with a diagram to help you fit everything together.

Your tutor also has a copy of the textbook that you use. They may well ask you to refer to a particular part during a telephone conversation. Do have your textbook at the ready when calling your tutor or when taking a call. If you find that you do not understand part of the textbook then make a note and ask your tutor about it. In order to understand a topic thoroughly, you should feel comfortable with all the information in your folder AND your textbook.


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