10 Tips for Success

Listed below are 10 tips to help you succeed in your studies. They are meant to give you ideas for studying better; however, they are simply suggestions and are not hard rules. Each student is different, and each student will have personal preferences regarding when, where, and how to study.


Take notes as the instructor presents.

Note important principles and mark areas you want to review later. Review your notes before proceeding to the next topic as well as before tests. Reviewing topics from previous weeks will help to keep the information fresh.


Focus on the material being presented.

Listen carefully to the material being presented. Do your best to block out distractions, such as television or chatting people. Listening to training wearing headphones can help block out distractions.


Ask questions.

In the online classroom, on the blogs or via the messaging service, do not be afraid to ask the instructor to clarify concepts you do not understand. In the distance learning environment, contact your instructor (if possible) or use the Internet to find Web sites that help explain difficult concepts. Search out local organizations or newsgroups related to the material you are studying for valuable outside discussion.


Take breaks.

Studying continuously for long periods of time can create burnout and boredom. We suggest taking a 5- to 10-minute break for every 30 minutes of study. Use your break to clear your mind: listen to your favorite music, play with a pet, read your mail, take a short walk, or perform simple breathing and stretching exercises. If you are watching training on a computer, rest your eyes every 10 to 15 minutes by focusing your eyes away from the computer screen.


Do not try to study at times when you will not be focused.

If you are hungry, tired, or emotionally drained, take a break. You will not retain information as well as you would if you were awake and feeling good. Do your best to eliminate the stressors that hamper your focus so you are not constantly losing precious study time.


Budget your time

Keep yourself informed of new technology and methods in your chosen field.


Complete assignments completely and on time.

Completing assignments well and putting your maximum effort into them will help new information become concrete.


Use variety in your studies.

Break up the monotony of study by making flash cards, reading aloud, creating mnemonic devices to aid memory, joining online discussions related to your subject, searching the Internet for additional learning resources, and trying to teach basic concepts to your friends or family. Look for ways to practice the concepts you're learning, and imitate your instructor's demonstrations if you have the right hardware or software. It’s also a great idea to share your resources on the website with other student via the course blog or your own blog.


Maintain a positive attitude and enjoy yourself.

If you get to a point where you feel like you're studying all the time and you have no time for other activities, don't let yourself feel sour about it. Take a break if you need one. And remember the importance of achieving your study goals. The amount of time you put in will be worth it in the end as you gain skills and understanding and as you pass certification exams. And there certainly is, as many have discovered, great pleasure in finding things out.


Reward yourself.

This is perhaps the most important tip of all. Treat yourself when you have reached certain milestones in your study and especially when you have achieved your main goal. Take in a sporting event, go shopping, watch a movie, eat at a favorite restaurant. Whatever you do, celebrate meeting important commitments to yourself—and don't forget to invite others to celebrate with you.