Going back to school (which is what studying of any kind can feel like, particularly if it’s been some time since you did any) can be a challenge for some people. But don’t let it put you off.
Even if you didn’t do particularly well in full-time education, or you’ve been “out of it” for a long time, you will find it a lot easier than you think.
Although a lot of people reminisce fondly about their school days, many more found school boring, a chore, or deeply unsatisfying. For various reasons.
However, returning to study when you actually want to (as opposed to being forced to), can be both stimulating and rewarding. Most of our students enjoy the experience.
Here are 8 simple steps you can take to make sure you get the most out of your study time. They’ve all been tried and tested by thousands of students before you. They work:
1. Find and allocate a quiet space. Keep your study materials and the tools you need (paper, pen, laptop, adequate lighting, comfortable chair etc.) here. It doesn’t need to be a furnished office; it can be a corner of your bedroom or spare room, or even a large empty cupboard.
2. Allocate regular blocks of time. Your study materials will tell you approximately how much time you need each week, and you can manipulate this to complete your course more quickly if you wish. The key here is to draw up a plan and stick to it. Discipline.
3. Eliminate distractions before you start. Turn off your phone, turn off the TV or radio, and let people know you’re busy for the next hour or two.
4. Take a few minutes to get yourself settled. Check you’ve got everything you need, including refreshment. Prime yourself so that you won’t need to break off to get something, with the risk you may be distracted by family members, TV in other rooms and so on.
5. Meditate or breathe deeply for a few minutes to clear your mind. This makes you more receptive when you actually get down to the task at hand. If you’re still thinking about what’s happened that day at work, or you’re still stressed from your commute it’ll take you longer to get down to your studying. Deep breathing or meditation really does help. The key is to clear your mind.
6. Read through the materials for this study session. Don’t take notes at this stage; think about what it is you need to learn, and run through your understanding in your mind.
7. Now is the time to pick up your highlighter and go back through the text or materials. Mark up key points, and make notes of any areas that need further research or analysis. This is where the real learning takes place.
8. Complete your assignment. Make sure you read the questions carefully and answer each point as fully as you can. If you need to, revisit the relevant sections of your study materials to gain clarity.
There you go. It wasn’t that difficult was it? We’ve produced an e-book that elaborates on each of the points a bit further. If you would like a copy, just ask your tutor or send us an email.