It doesn’t matter what your background is or how old you are – college students today come from all walks of life. There are a number of factors behind the steady rise in the number of students of all ages enrolling at university campuses and online colleges. The emergence of distance learning and online studying has definitely made education more accessible for many – which is undeniably a great thing for the world.
The rise of more affordable and accessible education has been a real boon for certain groups of people who have traditionally been denied opportunities around education. For example, women who have chosen to have a family at a relatively young age would generally have to either put their studies on hold until later in life – or date Superman!
No matter where you choose to study, or what subject you decide to study, there are certain essential tips that every student needs to know in order to give them the best chance of success. So much of the work required to earn a university degree is done outside the campus. If you study an online degree, then it will be even more important that you are able to work effectively on your own steam.
Keep Good Notes
The notes that you keep will be among your most powerful revision weapons when the time comes to prepare yourself for exams and other important work. Sure, over time you will hopefully find that the most important information makes its way into your consciousness and memory. However, you cannot expect to remember everything – certainly not initially.
Once you enter the professional world, you will soon find that the key knowledge you need for your job ends up lodged firmly in your brain. However, until you are at the point where you are doing the work and using the skills and knowledge every day, your notes will be your guide.
The most important piece of advice that anyone can give you about note keeping is that you should strive to find the method that works best for you. There is no right or wrong way to take notes, nor to organize them (more on that shortly) – the only thing that really matters is whether they help you to remember what you learn.
Keep Yourself Organized
As time goes on, you will find that you accumulate a good collection of notes. In fact, as a student, looking back on your notes is an easy way of visualizing just how far you have come since you began studying. Looking back over a growing library of notes should give your confidence a boost and should also help to reinforce to you how much progress you are making.
However, all those notes are going to go to waste if you aren’t able to keep them organized. As with the note taking methods, you should experiment with how you organize your notes and you should stick to whatever method works best for you individually.
Some people will never be able to move away from old-school analog note-taking methods, and others can’t work out how their parents managed without digital educational tools. Personally, we would recommend that you give both a go. The best revision strategies will incorporate digital and analog information as each one is better suited to different situations.
It doesn’t matter whether you study business at Harvard or an online Christian psychology degree, keeping good notes will be essential for your success. If you are finding it hard to take on board and retain the lessons you learn, review your current notes and revision practices.
Find a Study Buddy
Having a study buddy to help you revise is useful for a number of different reasons. But the key advantage to having a study buddy is that they will be able to provide you with a perspective that isn’t your own. Having access to a brain that is not restrained by your own limits will enable both of you to use one another for your mutual benefit.
You might also want to try studying with a group, although some people find that this is too much. However, if you can find the right group of people to study with, then not only will you learn more, you might walk away with some new friends.
Don’t Run Before You Can Walk
When you are studying a subject that you are truly passionate about, it can be very tempting to try and dive in at the deep end and take on the specific topics that particularly appeal to you. If you try to take on more than you are capable of too quickly, you will end up demotivating yourself and will actually slow down, rather than speed up, the learning process.
Instead, don’t be afraid to take it slow and to work at a steady and consistent pace. It is better to slowly and constantly move forward than it is to sprint along and trip yourself up. If you steamroll ahead before you are ready, you will find yourself becoming needlessly lost and confused.
Try Different Study Routines
There are a million different ways that you can study in today’s world. As well as the usual common study methods like picking up a textbook and reading back over your notes, there is now a plethora of smartphone apps that will enhance your revision and enable you to commit the most important facts to your memory for the long term.
Once you have found a studying routine that works for you, don’t be afraid to experiment with it and try different things. You might find that making just a few small changes can dramatically improve your recall abilities. Ask other people on your course what works for them if you can.
Armed with a solid studying routine, any student can take on even the most difficult of subjects with relative ease. If you have been struggling or slipping in your studies, it might be time to try a new approach.
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