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7 Tips to Help You Study for Your Online Classes

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Online courses are convenient and can make it easier for you to earn your degree. They are a little different than in-person classes, and if this is your first time taking online classes then you may find some unique challenges for learning online. Use these 7 tips to help you study online.

Take Notes by Hand

You’re likely viewing lectures through video or video chat, and one way to retain information better is taking your notes by hand. Studies show that you’ll remember more this way, plus you won’t be as tempted to scroll through social media while you’re holding a pencil. Writing the words makes you go through a different mental process than typing does, where you have to know what the professor is saying to condense them down to what you can write. Your brain is forced to summarize and remember key details which you don’t have to do while you’re typing. In short, handwriting your notes keeps you engaged with the material. Keep your notes organized with Five Star Interactive Notebooks and FIve Star Binders and Binder Accessories.

Schedule Your Study Time

Block off a period of time each day for you to study. If you’re a full-time student, schedule several study times a day. If you know your mental processes work better in the morning, set your “study time” from 9am-11am. If you are a night owl, maybe study from 6-8pm each night. Without the structure of in-person classes, you have to provide the structure yourself. This will help you focus and dedicate your time to studying. Planner Pads Co. offers a unique system that helps you organize, prioritize and schedule what matters most to you

Use All Your Resources

Most classes offer online resources to help you with your class. Use the online library for extra information and material for assignments. Some colleges offer online writing centers or even virtual tutors. Professors may have an email their students can send questions to or may have office hours where students can contact them. Remember you have access to help even if you aren’t in a classroom.

Take Frequent Breaks

Your brain needs rest in between all the studying! Even though you may carve out study sessions for two or more hours at a time, don’t expect to focus for more than one hour at a time. Your ability to focus goes down after 50-90 minutes of studying and trying to focus for longer than that can be unproductive. Don’t stress yourself out by working beyond your mental capacity. Schedule something fun during your downtime.  Consider playing Breakout Games or listening to an audiobook from AudiobooksNow

Switch Focus Frequently

It is better to study multiple subjects a day as opposed to focusing on one subject per day. It may seem like you’re better off fully immersing yourself in a singular subject, but studies show that you may get information confused more easily if you don’t have subject variety. Studying multiple topics can also help you avoid feeling burnt out from trying to memorize information on one topic. Learning small bits at a time eases the cognitive load or the effort your brain makes to learn new material. Learn smaller bits at a time for multiple subjects to help you retain information better. Keeping your notes organized in individual with Five Star Interactive Notebooks and FIve Star Binders and Binder Accessories can help you switch before subjects. 


Adjust Your Plans As Needed

If you ever feel that your study schedule isn’t working as well as it could, change it. Many factors go into your daily schedule including changing work shifts, class times, family functions, and other obligations. You can always change your study times to fit your schedule, so feel free to adjust your schedule to your needs. But school is very important and should be your top priority, so don’t let your studying fall behind because of other things in your life. Family, friends, and work should understand that studying is your first concern.

Join a Study Group

Everyone benefits from a study group. Students get together, help each other understand ideas from the class, and build their teaching skills. Even though you’re probably not getting together in person, you can still form study sessions over video chat with other students. Teaching someone else helps you understand the material better, and you will get extra help with information you don’t understand. Meeting with a study group regularly will get you the best results. 

You may not have originally signed up to take online classes, but learning to navigate a new way of studying will help you get your degree faster. Learning to retain information from online classes will help you maintain control of your life and your learning in uncertain times.

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