With many students and professors transitioning to online learning during social distancing, we wanted to share some tips for building successful study habits when working on your own.
#1 Create a schedule and plan out important date and goals.
Use a planner to set a schedule for your study time. Plan to meet certain objectives, goals, and milestones during your study sessions. This can help you keep track of your progress and maintain a consistent pace. Make sure you stick to your plan as best you can. There are many apps available to help with this such as ToDo, Trello or Google Calendar.
#2 Take regular breaks to refresh your body and mind.
Taking effective breaks is important to maintaining a focus and concentration and avoid fatigue. Setting aside 10-15 minutes every hour to distract yourself can reinvigorate your study session. Be sure to plan a variety of activities that exercise both your body and mind during these breaks. We invite you to share your study break ideas with us using #ActexStudyBreak on Facebook and Twitter.
#3 Turn off devices and social media to create a distraction-free environment to focus.
There are many distractions available when studying from home, and you need to take steps to minimize them. Turn off your phone, sign out of social media and messaging apps, and let friends and family know when you are studying and not to be disturbed.
#4 Create a dedicated study environment.
In addition to limiting distractions, it can also help your focus to have a special place set aside just for the time when you are studying. Environment is important to the learning process. Context-dependent memory is the finding that information is easier to remember when you’re in the same environment where you first learned it. For more on this idea, I encourage you to read this article by Mike & Roy, authors of Actuarial Exam Tactics, over at rethinkstudying.com.
#5 Ask for help!
Even after researching all the best ways to optimize your study time, studying on your own can still be very difficult. It's important to take advantage of the interactive atmosphere many online learning tools create to promote interaction with professors and fellow students. Take advantage of every opportunity to discuss material and ask questions in class forums. Also look for courses that include instructor support. All ACTEX online courses include the benefit of one-on-one support from the instructor throughout the course.
What to read next: What is a study strategy? Its much more than just a study schedule.