Taking online courses is an excellent way to further your education. Since you do not have to physically show up in a classroom, however, you are often on your own when it comes to organizing your time and studying for your exams. Fortunately, there are some tips you can use that can help make the studying process simpler.

  1. Draw up a schedule when you first start your online class. Highlight when assignments and tests are due. Determine how many pages you will need to read each week and break assignments down into small steps to make studying easier.
  2. Change the location where you study. Staring at the same wall every time you study can cause you to lose focus. Try taking your laptop to a coffee shop or library for a change of scenery. Studying in a different location can revive your interest in the material and enhance your ability to retain more of what you have read. If leaving the house is not an option, changing rooms can also be just as effective.
  3. Begin your assignments as soon as you receive them. Waiting until the last minute to work on your assignments can not only cause a sense of panic, but the quality of your work will suffer as well. Instead, work at a steady pace so you do not feel rushed to complete tasks when your assignments are due.
  4. Take good notes as you attend online classes. Attending online courses often involve watching a series of videos instead of actually sitting through lectures in a classroom. Taking your own notes while watching the videos can help you remember the material later on. You may also find it helpful to write a summary of what you watched as soon as you are done viewing it. This will not only keep the material fresh in your mind, but you will have better study notes around exam time.
  5. Set a regular study schedule. Tell your family when you plan to study and ask that they respect your time. Keep in mind, however, that what you're studying won't be as important to them as it is to you. You may find it works best to study in another room away from family distractions.
  6. Work on different tasks during your study time instead of only one thing. As an example, you might work on a report during the first half of your study time and then switch to reading a textbook for the second half. According to an article in the New York Times, this method leaves a deeper impression on the brain than repeating a repetitive action over and over again.
  7. Ask a friend to quiz you about the material you are studying. It is usually easier to remember something long-term when you have to initially recall it from memory the first time. Using this method you will find that you can then remember the conversation you had about the material when you see it again on a test.

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