The spread of the novel virus COVID-19 has upended many of our routines, habits and plans. As the pandemic continues to change the way we live our daily lives, many students are discovering what it means to learn remotely. While some prefer classroom learning, others are reveling in the chance to curl up on the couch with their textbooks. Adapting and learning how to study at home can take time, but with a few simple tips and tricks, you'll be prepared for whatever challenges the next semester brings.
You might not realize it, but structure is crucial for academic success. Class schedules and assignment deadlines naturally reinforce this idea, but during quarantine, strict routines often go out the window. Depending on your work and school requirements, you may find yourself struggling to manage your time wisely. With no alarms to set or bedtimes to abide by, it can be difficult to know how to study efficiently.
It's not always easy to kickstart, but a routine can help make remote learning more manageable. By eliminating distractions and minimizing the time you spend on social media, you'll find more hours in the day to dedicate to studying. One strategy is to mimic your typical course schedule. For instance, if you typically spent every Tuesday and Thursday from 11:00 to 12:00 in Spanish class, reserve those same dates and times to studying that coursework. Even if your lectures are asynchronous, it can be helpful to set a date with yourself to watch those lessons at the same time as normal.
Consider what your study space looks like. Do you lie around as you read? Do you splay your textbooks across your floor? Blast loud music? Chat with friends as you watch your weekly lectures? It's easy to develop bad habits when learning remotely. Rather than detail what not to do when studying, we prefer to focus on tangible ways to make remote learning more appealing.
One way to do just that is to make your study space functional. Whether you have a dedicated office space in your home or are making do with a kitchen table, it's important to carve out a place that makes learning more feasible. Take time to declutter by removing anything not directly related to your studies. Learning how to study at home takes time â€“ by prioritizing your coursework, you'll quickly discover which creature comforts of home add to the experience and which ones detract from your efforts.
Get your household on board with your plans to streamline your study efforts during quarantine. Productive studying can only truly be accomplished when your roommates, family and friends understand what you need for success. Should you make plans to dedicate each Tuesday and Thursday morning to your Spanish class, for instance, let others in your household know of your intentions. Just opening up about your plans can help minimize distractions and reduce the number of interruptions during your studies.
If your roommates are also students, it may be helpful to study together. Chat with them about their academic goals for quarantine and any boundaries they'd like to enforce around their own study efforts. By swapping distance learning study tips with one another, you can get your entire household on the track to success.
Humans like to believe they are excellent multitaskers. In reality, multitasking takes a serious toll on our productivity. Time and time again, studies show that the mental juggling we do when multitasking actually decreases our efficiency. While you might think you're capable of chatting online with friends while taking notes and watching this week's Spanish class on Zoom, you're probably not absorbing as much as you might if you were solely focused on a single task. Minimizing distractions is one of the best things to help you study.
Without a goal in mind, it can be hard to tell if you're making significant progress when learning how to study at home. As you design your ideal study plan, make sure to set goals that are SMART â€“ specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Practice tests are a great resource for such goals. If you've got a certification exam coming up, consider jumpstarting your test prep effort with such tools. A practice test at the beginning of your exam prep efforts can help you understand your current abilities and skills while also outlining the specific content areas and concepts worthy of further study.
Practice tests should be used to monitor your progress incrementally. Gauge the effectiveness of your study plan by the results of such tests. Take one to begin your test prep efforts, one at the midpoint of your course or semester, and one right before your big exam date. Of all the best tips to study well, this is one that is actionable right now!
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