Once upon a time the only way to get a good quality education was to spend thousands of dollars and go and sit in a classroom for several years. Even though the cost and the time commitment were often prohibitive, people found ways to do it because it was their only option.
Today, however, things have changed. Distance learning, once only for students of small vocational school is now there for everyone to take advantage of. A student can participate in a class that is offered on the other side of the globe, they can get degrees on just about any subject, and never have to leave their home. It is an exciting time to get an education.
Challenges You Face While Distance Studying
Distance studying usually requires a unique mindset and special skills and disciplines that are often lacking in the traditional setting. Though distance learning gives you the opportunity to study while working, there are still some issues you need to deal with.
- The job of time management and studying fall entirely on your shoulders.To be a successful distance learner you need to not only learn and develop these qualities to a higher degree but master them.
- Finding the balance between education, work and family is crucial. Most people who are in an online study program do so because they also have jobs, family, and other demands on their time. This means that it is not just about getting through each lesson but managing your life in a way that gives enough attention to your both your studies and your normal daily routine.
- You’ll be evaluated more strictly than students who attend educational affiliations. When students attend educational institutions, professors know them personally and tend to be more sympathetic to them. When you are studying distantly, it’s hard to build such a connection with teachers.
Tips on How to Prepare for Exams for Distant Learners
When exam time comes, tension tends to increase and the cycle escalates. Below are a few tips and suggestions that can help you to prepare for that all important exam without derailing your life.
Tip #1: Have a Schedule
It helps to organize your life and study together. This can be difficult if you have a family but you will have to learn how to prioritize and as you prepare for your exams accept the fact that some things will have to be put on the back burner until exams are over. Separate your schedule into the things that must be done and those you want to do. Remind yourself that this will only be a temporary adjustment and you’ll be free to do all those things again once exams are completed. It is important that you don’t keep your schedule to yourself. Let your family and friends know about it. That way, they are less likely to intrude upon your time and will be more supportive.
Tip #2: Don’t Procrastinate
Don’t put it off. In the absence of a tangible classroom environment, the responsibility for managing your time falls entirely on your shoulders. It can become very easy to put it off when Big Brother is not watching. If you’re having trouble getting yourself to focus on your studies then try setting up study intervals. Rather than cramming all night before the exam try studying for 30 minutes or an hour and then giving yourself a break in between. It can help you to get in the habit of studying. Before long, you’ll find that your 30 minute study sessions will naturally get longer as you get used to the routine.
Tip #3: Trust Your Instincts
Traditional school by nature, is about programming minds to conform. Everyone starts their study at the same time, break at the same time, and end at the same time. However, when you are distance learning, you learn to be more flexible. So, when scheduling your study time think about yourself and your instincts. What time of day are you the most productive. If you are a morning person, get up an hour early to do your research. If you’re more active during the evening hours, you might want to stay up longer than normal.
Tip #4: Get Your Resources Together
Before you start your study, make sure all your resources are in order. This will help to prevent you from getting distracted during study time. Your goal is to try to remain focused for as long as you can. If you have all your resources, reference materials, and anything else you need right at your fingertips it will be much easier to stay on point.
If you are struggling with a particular point in the study, it is also helpful to have phone numbers, email addresses, or other contact information available for contacting your professors, advisors, or experts close when you need to ask a question.
Tip #5: Join an Online Library
Getting the time to break away to a library for research can also be difficult. If you have an online library service you can join it can be extremely beneficial. It will give you access to excellent resource material right at your fingertips.
Tip #6: Take Practice Tests
Some students like to highlight information they read in their texts, others prefer re-reading or summarizing after they read. While these things have proven to be very beneficial for some students there are other ways to get the most out of their study time. In many cases, you can find practice tests online that will help you to prepare. Practice tests give you immediate feedback on areas you might be weak in so you can hone up your studies by focusing on those areas where you need the most help.
Tip #7: Organize Your Nutrition
To prevent even more stress, you should think of food preemptively. Many students tend to drink dozens cups of coffee or energetics, eat fast food or just refuse from eating. This will not serve you right. Instead of coffee, you can and perhaps should drink green tea and instead of fast food, cook healthy and quick-made dishes. There are many recipes on the web that you can use to prepare healthy food.
No matter what tricks you use to study, it is best to go about it in an organized and systematic way. Approaching study sporadically encourages a lack of focus and confusion, which could eventually take its toll on a student. When you factor in the heightened level of stress students experience when exam time approaches it just makes sense to have a good and solid system that will help to ease the anxiety.
Finally, study time is different for each student so when you develop a study program that suits your personality and disposition, you’ll find you remember a lot more of what you study.