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Smart Study Secrets for Online University Students

11/03/2010 11:24 am

Earning an online degree takes self-discipline and determination. For those balancing work, family and school, making the most of your study time makes all the difference. Study smart, not hard. Use the time you have to effectively and efficiently work toward your online degree. Below are a few ways to maximize your learning progress:

Do some pre-work.  Before beginning a new assignment, take some time to scan the book or chapter you’ll be using. Read the section headings and highlight the main points. If there are study questions at the end of the chapter, make note of them before jumping into the assignment. Beginning this way will allow you to put your studies into context and help you recognize important information more easily.

Take notes. It sounds simple enough, but many students forget this important step. Research has shown that taking notes is an effective way to retain information. Not only can you summarize what you learn, you can add your insights into the study material as well. This habit also allows you to save time: as a student earning an online degree, it is much easier to refer to your notes rather than backtrack through an entire lesson.

Write down questions as you go. Instructors or mentors working for an online university are typically diligent and responsive to their remote students. Take advantage of their willingness to help you by asking questions about your studies. In addition to taking notes, write down questions pertaining to information you do not understand. Email them to your instructor before completing your assignment to ensure that you’re getting the most out of what you learn.

Make flashcards. While note-taking may be enough for some students, flashcards are a great way to quiz yourself and track your progress. Make a set of cards for each chapter of your book, making sure to include the main points and possible testing information. Go through them a couple times each week to brush up on the information and to prepare for your test. The repetition will help you remember the information and illustrate how well you understand terms and concepts. By the end of the class, you will have a stack of useful questions and answers to review as whole.

Time is an important component of earning an online degree, but you don’t have to sacrifice the other parts of your life to achieve your goals. By implementing effective methods into your study time, not only will you learn class-related information, you will learn how to retain it.

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