Whatever age you are undertaking your studies, managing the time you dedicate to them is crucial. In this article we provide some useful techniques to help you gain your qualification.
Start With The End In Mind
This is the excellent piece of advice given by Stephen Cover, author of 7 Habits of highly effective people. The end goal is obviously to achieve the qualification. The questions you need to ask yourself are; ‘How will I allocate my time?’, ‘Which element carries the largest proportion of the marks?’, ‘Have I planned to dedicate the correct amount of time and effort?’
It pays to have a plan that you can use to structure your studies with built in milestones and achievements. Remember to be realistic about your time and the energy you can put into it. If in doubt allow even more time. Taking short cuts now thinking you will save time are more likely to cause you problems later in the course when you have less time available.
Get Into The Mind Of The Examiner
There will be plenty of help and support available that will give an indication of what the examiner or tutor requires you to evidence your knowledge of the subject. Getting this right the first time will save time correcting it later.
Depending upon the qualification you are studying, some examining boards provide past exam papers with suggestions of what they were looking for. You might even find other sample answers available on the internet which can be used for research purposes only.
Stick To Your Plan
Once you have established your plan, stick to it as much as possible. Create new habits for yourself in terms of studying. Work out the times that you tend to work best. Some people are ‘night owls’ who work late into the evening and others are ‘early birds’ who prefer to get up at the crack of dawn.
Remember to ‘book’ some time off into your schedule and to rest your brain. Doing something completely different during this time is often best and can be quite therapeutic. You will be more motivated to maintain your studies if you feel you are able to reward yourself with a break or different activity.
Take Advantage Of The Resources Available
As well as past papers and guides from your tutors there is likely to be other resources such as libraries and student intranets full of additional resources. Study groups within the class or virtually are also worth considering and again might save time trying to understand assignments and other study tasks.
Developing relationships with other students in the same course will also be very useful when you are struggling to understand a topic or question. This will also save wasted time when you are stuck.
Make Life Easy For Yourself
As well as creating new study habits think about organising your research and study files. Much time can be wasted just trying to find information that you already have. Again create systems that you find easy to keep up. Some people use separate coloured files. Others use mind maps as a way of recalling information and organising their work.
Studying involves time and effort. To make the most of both use these tips and give yourself the best possible chance of getting through your studies stress free.