10 Study Tips for nontraditional students

You have your book open. 
You also have the TV on. Can you study or not?

Some people say yes, that they CAN study with the television on. I personally CAN study with the TV on, but writing papers is another thing altogether. I must concentrate on the paper and not have ANY distractions in order to do a good job on that.

10 Study Tips 

There are some great Rules of the Road for studying that have really helped me as a nontraditional student. Here they are:

1. Make studying easy. This can mean getting to a quiet place, like a spare room, a library, the computer desk, or your favorite comfy chair. Have a good light for reading and writing if you need it. Make sure that you have plenty of healthy food and drink so you don’t have distractions. (maybe?) Turn off the T.V. if it is distracting. Spread out your study time so that you get used to a daily schedule of studying for each class you are taking.

2. Stop distractions. If you can turn off your cell phone, do it. Soft background music might help put you in a good mood for studying. OR it could take your mind off your work. You know yourself best. Make sure you are NOT distracted by people, your kids, (if possible), pets, noise, or interruptions. If you have to, tell your family or significant other that this is your study time, and you need to concentrate and not be interrupted. Then mean it, and stand your ground.

3. Make sure your study space is organized, and that you have all the materials you need. Have a pen and pencil handy, plenty of notepaper and your notebook, your books, and anything else you need to study with organized and ready. Why waste time looking for what you need? Having everything you need at your fingertips will also reduce stress, along with saving time.

4. Have a list of great web links handy to help you with whatever you need when you study. If you are studying during library hours, have the library number handy if you need information. Many libraries will help you research for free. Bookmark this article or blog too just in case, because there are some VERY helpful websites listed at the end of it.

5. Get a lot of rest, and take breaks. If you are studying for a test, make sure you STOP studying and get the rest you need for the next day. You will find that you will do a lot better on the test than if you stinted on sleep. Take a break when you need it during studying too. You can go for a short walk, or even do some exercises during your break. You will be refreshed and able to study even more when you are finished and your break is over.

6. Be organized. Write down every assignment, and even use a tape recorder if you want, to record your teacher’s lesson for the day. Review your notes and due dates you have in a calendar that you always have with you. Forget your room number? Don’t be late. Just look it up in your notebook or calendar. Then look at your calendar AND your notebook every day at the same time, so you never miss an assignment or any homework.

7. Redo your notes. Type them if you have handwritten them, underline, and use highlighter to emphasize the important parts of your notes. Studying for quizzes or tests will be a LOT easier then, because all you will need to do is glance at your notes, not read them all over completely. Also, put a small column at the left of all your notes so you can point at important things later.

8. Stay in touch with your classmates. If you are or are not in a study group, you still need to have at least three phone numbers and email for people in your class, hopefully the smartest ones in the class. If you can’t find where you wrote down an assignment, or just need an answer for the next day, you will be able to get in touch and find out just what you need.

9. Find out your learning style and use it to your advantage. Are you a verbal learner, a kinesthetic learner, or maybe an audio learner? It can make a difference to you, and you can personalize your studying so it works for YOU personally. One good site to find out your learning style at  the Diablo College site: http://www.metamath.com/multiple/multiple_choice_questions.html.

10. Break your studying into chunks of time. For example, if a large assignment is due in three weeks, you can break this assignment into parts. Get the first part done by____(and write this date on your calendar), the second part done by ____ (and also write this date down) and finish it AHEAD of time to allow yourself to do some last-minute fine tuning. You’ll cut way down on the stress your fellow students may be feeling the last week of assignments.

Got another favorite study tip? List it here as a comment, and thanks ahead of time!

Study tips websites:

Study Skills Links from the Nontrads site

Study Guides and Strategies from the Joe Landsberger Site

Study Strategies from the University of Minnesota at Duluth

Bucks County Concepts of Learning

Study Tips from the StudyTips.org site:

Some of my links!

The Nontrad site and blog
The Betsyanne page and blog
My Squidoo Pages and referral