What’s the best way to study in lockdown to help you pass your exams? Traditional learning techniques still apply, but homeworking brings with it some new considerations. So what can you do to make sure your personal learning is effective and fits in with your change in lifestyle? Here are our top five tips.
1. Create an overall study plan with built-in flexibility
Set a target date for completing your studies and then work back to determine what you need to achieve by when.
You don't have to follow the order of topics in your textbook. Consider which topics might link together nicely, and which you’re particularly interested in. That way, you can include these in your study plan at key points to help motivate you and keep you on track.
There may also be topics you need to revisit before your exam, so make time for this in your plan.
2. Plan your daily learning, thoughtfully
Are you a morning person? Or a night owl? We’re all different, so it’s important to ask yourself what time of day you are most able to take in new information. And do you need a quiet space to concentrate? If so, what’s the best room or time of day?
You also need to consider how to fit in any other responsibilities – such as family and work. Do you have to make time for home-schooling for example? If so, perhaps there are moments in the day when you can read up on a topic or watch a tuition video?
And how long you can absorb information for. This too is an individual preference, though for many of us will be not much longer than 20 to 30 minutes.
If you’re studying for longer periods, make sure you:
- build in proper breaks
- keep hydrated, and
- exercise regularly – even if it is just a five-minute walk around the house.
3. Understand how you learn
Do you like to read lots of theory and understand detailed information? Or would you rather listen to a podcast or watch a revision video?
Think about what helps you retain information, for example:
- making your own notes
- using highlighter pens or post-it notes
- creating something like a mind map
- talking to yourself or another person help you increase your understanding.
Remember, these are preferences, and we all learn in different ways. You may find that combining some of the above produces the best results for you.
4. Consider how you might practically apply what you’re learning
You will understand and retain what you’re learning much better if you can put it into context. So make the most of online forums to talk to other learners and tutors about the topics – as well as colleagues in the workplace.
If you’re studying with LIBF, you’ll find we use a lot of case studies in our qualifications and training. These are invaluable for demonstrating how theories apply to real-life scenarios. If your training provider doesn’t offer case studies, then you may need to carry out further research online.
It’s always worth bearing in mind the reason why you’re studying – your career goal or personal aspiration. This will focus your mind on where you might apply what you’re learning. It will also keep you motivated.
5. Test yourself regularly
Regular testing will both consolidate your learning and improve your confidence. If you use specimen papers, you’ll improve your exam technique at the same time.
Don’t beat yourself up if you fail or get questions wrong. Use this as an opportunity to identify sections where you need to spend more time.
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