1. Develop a regular study schedule.
Set aside time every day for studying, whether it is an hour or two, and stick to it. Plan to use this time every day and treat it as an appointment that you can’t miss or reschedule. You may find that some days you can’t make the full time, but do the best you can to be consistent.
2. Set goals for yourself before you begin studying.
What are your goals? What do you want to accomplish by the end of the course? How much do you want to learn? These are all good questions to ask yourself as you set out on your study journey. As long as your goals are realistic and measurable, they will help keep you motivated along the way and give your study sessions direction and purpose.
3. Have a plan for what and how much material you will study each day, week, or month before you begin working on it.
This will help keep your work from becoming overwhelming and will help direct your efforts toward accomplishing specific goals in a given period of time (e.g., one chapter per week). Setting realistic goals is important in keeping up motivation during the course of your studies because it keeps up your confidence in yourself and your ability to learn.
4. Use different study methods to reinforce the material.
When studying, use more than one method, such as reading, listening, watching videos, or taking notes. Doing so will help you remember the material better because different methods stimulate different areas of your brain. For example, reading is a very effective way to learn new material and retain it in your memory because it uses both the visual and auditory systems of your brain (reading involves looking at words and comprehending their meaning).
5. Get to know your teacher and your classmates.
It is a good idea to ask questions and communicate with your teacher. Your teacher can be a great resource for help, encouragement, and motivation. In addition, getting to know your classmates can be a great way to find out what they are learning and how they are studying the material. Learning from other students is a great way to develop study skills that will be useful in other courses and in life in general.
6. Study with friends or classmates who are also taking the course or who have already taken it.
Studying with others is a good way to motivate yourself and others to work hard at learning the material because you want to do well on the exam together as a group. If you do not have friends or classmates who are taking the course with you, try finding them online by joining an online study group or forum (discussed below). You can also use social media such as Facebook or Twitter to find groups of people who are interested in learning about the subject matter that you are studying (see section on Using Social Media for eLearning below).
7. Make sure that you understand what you read before moving on to new material.
If necessary, go back over it again if you feel that you do not understand it. You will be able to absorb and retain more information if you read each piece of material carefully before moving on to the next one.
8. Do not just read over the material.
Make sure that you understand what you are reading and that you can explain it to someone else in your own words. In other words, learn the material well enough so that you can teach it to someone else (which is what teachers do!).
When studying, it is important to go beyond just reading over the material and memorizing facts; try understanding the “why” behind the facts. Understanding concepts will help them stay in your memory longer because they are more meaningful and interesting to you than just knowing a bunch of facts without any meaning or purpose.
9. Ask yourself questions about what you are reading or listening to (e.g., “Why is this important?”, “How does this apply to real life?”).
If possible, write down your answers for future reference. Asking yourself questions as you read will help keep your mind active and engaged with the material as well as help with comprehension and retention of information (as opposed to just passively reading through it).