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Part of Western Governors University

September 26, 2013

Online University Experience

10 tips to study more effectively.

Studying for an online degree at WGU Texas is much like studying for any degree – you have to get in the right frame of mind to focus on the materials. Whether you’re in our Teachers College, College of Business, College of Information Technology, or College of Health Professions, below are a few tips on how to study more effectively for any course.

Online student sitting at desk
  1. Claim a study space. Create a space with a table or a desk so you can set up your computer and lay out all the materials you need. Make this a study-only area and do not use it for other purposes. This way, when you sit down to study, your brain and body recognize a pattern of studying. How important is it to have a dedicated study space? Read 11 ways your study environment affects your productivity on WGU’s The Night Owl blog.
  2. Schedule your study time. Make this a set time every week so you’re more likely to keep it. Think of it as a set appointment that can’t be missed.
  3. Eliminate all your distractions. Kids, pets, significant others – make sure everyone knows to respect your study time. If you aren’t in a separate room, ask if family members can stay out of the space during the scheduled study time and put pets in another area.
  4. Organize and supply. Take 10 minutes prior to studying to organize your space and make sure you have all the necessary materials at hand.
  5. Define your study goals for the session. Work with your mentor to make a list of everything you want to accomplish for that week’s study sessions.  It will keep you on task and focused – and crossing things off a list feels good.
  6. Turn off your phone – or better yet, put it in another room.
  7. Have plenty of water available. Water helps keep you energized without a crash that coffee or soda can cause.
  8. Take a break. Allow yourself a 5-10 minute break for every 50 minutes you study – you deserve it.
  9. Stretch it out. During your breaks do some light stretches and take a few deep breaths. This helps get oxygen to your brain and releases any tension.
  10. Reward yourself. After a successful study session treat yourself to something relaxing – whether it’s watching your favorite TV show, a walk in the park, or catching up with friends, make sure you give yourself something to look forward to at the end of a productive study session.
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