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!
2 thoughts on “WGU Studying Advice”
I am starting WGU in January and i want to thank you for the advise. i am most worried about the writing side of this journey. Its been 35 years since i graduated college the first time and i sucked at term papers than.
Congrats on getting started! WGU has a “Writing Center” where you can schedule 20-min appointments (up to 3 a week, I believe) with a writing tutor. If you’re nervous about writing, I would recommend reaching out to them as soon as you get your first writing assignment and see how they can help you.
Let me know if there’s any other questions you have!