I recently had a fellow student reach out to me for some studying advice for a class that was proving particularly challenging. Not to toot my own horn, but after writing my response, I realized that it seemed like solid advice in general, and so I present it here.
- Reach out to the course mentors ASAP. At the beginning of every course, I email the course mentors and ask questions like the following (and the answers are usually really helpful):
- What are some of the challenges that most students face while in this course?
- What are the top reasons that students have their papers returned for revision (or “have to retake the objective assessment”)?
- How long does the average student take to complete this course?
- What are some of the consistent characteristics of students who do exceptionally well in this course?
- What are the top questions that students ask while in this course?
- What questions should I be asking (and what are the answers)?
- Read through the book, taking notes and making flashcards as you go (I use and recommend the Anki app for flashcards, but use whatever method works best for you)
- When you take the end of section/chapter assessments, turn any question you get wrong into a flashcard
- Download the Cohort videos, or if there aren’t any Cohort videos, or if they are not helpful, then do this: make a list of the specific topics covered in the class (even if it’s just chapter titles) and then do a YouTube search for it, and watch the video(s) that you think are relevant
- Try to find videos produced by academic institutions or authoritative institutions (ex. if the class if Project Management, you could look for videos produced by the Project Management Institute)
- Make sure that the videos are going at least as deep into the topic as the book is
- If you want to download the videos for offline viewing or listening check out my blog post on Converting Youtube Videos to MP3s with VLC
- I’m a bit of a “planning” nerd, so I also recommend that you set up a detailed plan as to how you’re going to tackle the various topics. I go into more detail and provide a template for the spreadsheet that I use in my Planning and Scheduling post (download link is at the bottom). However, if this isn’t your thing, then skip it
- My most important piece of advice is that if any of my advice isn’t working stop doing it. The worst thing you can do is to waste time on a technique that’s not working for you
I know that’s a lot of information. I hope some of it is helpful though. If you have any questions or comments please let me know in the comments below!