Don’t know how to study when it comes to online school? Feeling a lack of motivation? Need some online school tips? Trust me, I get it. Online school is tedious, to say the least. With the zoom sessions and technical difficulties. It’s a wonder how we are all making it through.
In this post, we will be discussing 6 major and a few minor study tips that will help you get through the year. Cause let’s be honest, we may be doing this online for a while, so it’s best to be proactive.
So here are my top online school tips for ace-ing classes!
1. Before the Semester starts get Organized
The first step to any well-executed plan is organization. What classes are you taking? When are the exams? When are office hours? What’s your weekly schedule look like? When do you have free time?
Taking time at the beginning of the semester and figuring out the answers to the above questions will alleviate a lot of headaches that you must have further down the line.
Personally I like to have a master calendar online, one that is synced with my phone so that I know all my dates. If you are wondering how to digitally organize then please read my conveniently titled post, “How to get into digital organization for the new semester.” It covers exactly how I get organized for the new semester.
And although I love digital organization, there’s just something about having a paper planner that I just can’t give up. So I have a paper planner where I plan my weekly life in depth.
Make sure to make time for studying, free time, self-care, and any hobbies you have. All are essential!
Personally I always schedule my Wednesdays and Sundays for self-care and blogging productivity.
2. Read the textbook before class
Before you step foot into your classroom, you will want to have some sort of idea of what is happening in that class. So I highly suggest, that you read the chapter associated with what you are learning before you enter the class. This rule goes across the board from literature to science classes.
When reading your textbook. Go to the end of the chapter first and read the key points. This helps you to focus on what’s important. Then once you have a good grasp of what the chapter is about, go back and read over the titles and subtitles. This helps your brain get into study mode. Finally, go back and read the chapter.
Highlight what you feel aligns with the key points mentioned at the end of the chapter. Don’t write anything down just yet and don’t over highlight.
You want to wait to write your notes until after you finish your lecture so all your notes are together. Which brings me to my next point.
3. Practice Active listening During class
What your professor says in a lecture is usually 90% more important than what’s in the textbook. I know there are exceptions but for the most part, I’ve found this to be true. So make sure you record the lecture or that the lecture is being recorded. At my school, the teacher will record the lesson on Zoom and email it out later.
Be engaged during the lessons. I usually zone out a lot so a way to combat this is by actively listening for the purpose of asking questions.
I challenge myself to ask at least 3 questions per class. Or at least say something relevant at least 3 times during the lecture. This shows the professor I’m engaged and it helps me to stay active in class.
I typically don’t take notes during lectures. I take notes while re-watching the lecture. So in the live class, I just listen.
Online school tips: If taking notes helps you to pay attention I suggest you do so. An easy to do this is to have the PowerPoint open during the lecture and just adding things into the notes section of the PowerPoint or directly into the PowerPoint. Personally, I prefer writing in the notes section because I don’t want to possibly put false information or misinterpreted information into the PowerPoint.
4. Write your lecture Notes Out After Class
This may sound very basic, but writing lecture notes after class can literally change your academic life.
Writing your notes after class will help put the things you learned in class into your permanent memory bank. Don’t wait more than 48 hours to write out your notes. Because by then you may have already started losing some of the information.
Once I have my hands on the recording I will re-watch it and write my notes. I have a post titled, “How I Write Effective and Pretty Typed Notes” that’s super helpful if you’re looking to type out your notes. Or just looking to see how I personally format my notes.
This probably takes up the majority of my time when it comes to studying. I have the recording open, my textbook open, and the PowerPoint. And I’m writing notes from all three resources. Piecing together information and forming connections.
Remember all those things we highlighted in our textbook? Now is the time to write it down. Make sure you are focusing on things that your professor actually spoke about during the lecture. We don’t want to just re-write the textbook book. You don’t need random notes.
When I’m writing my lecture notes, I don’t try to memorize anything. I just try to make sure that I understand everything. Once I understand the material it makes it a lot easier to memorize the information.
And for the things that I don’t understand, I usually email my teacher to make an appointment for office hours over zoom.
Online School tips: Make your presence is known to your professor. If your professor knows you and sees that you are a good student. There is a high possibility that they may turn your B+ into an A at the end of the semester, if they know and like you. So be respectful and be yourself.
5. Use Quizlet
Personally, I like to memorize using Quizlet. And by the time I have to use Quizlet, I usually have a pretty good grasp of the material already so the memorization part comes easy.
I just input the information on Quizlet.com. It can be time-consuming but it’s a great review. I try to focus my flashcards on what the Professor pointed during the lecture as important.
For some of my science courses, I add pictures to the flashcards so that I can visualize everything better.
The great thing about Quizlet is that I can take it with me anywhere. I can study at work or in the car without fear of dropping a card or missing cards.
Also, the learn option on Quizlet is truly a blessing. It helps you to memorize the information more in-depth.
Online school tips: When I study flashcards I talk out loud. This helps me to recall the information. I read what’s on the back and repeat it to myself. Then close my eyes and try to recall the answer out loud. I tend to pace my room, reading the questions out loud and answering out loud.
Have a Study Partner/Groups
I’ll be the first to admit that I am competitive and I get inspired to study by other people doing well. So when I have someone to study with, I do better.
At the beginning of the semester, either before class or right before class ends I will ask in the class chat “Does anyone want to make a group chat,” and naturally everyone does. I collect their numbers and make a Whatsapp group chat. So that I can now get to know others and get a study partner or a group.
Trust me, this helps tremendously when it comes to reviewing information. We sometimes do Zoom or Facetime study sessions. Where we will go through our Quizlet decks and see how much information we know.
And nothing lights a fire under me more than looking stupid on Facetime because I don’t know the information, and my study partner can effortlessly regurgitate the information.
So this is basically my study routine, and how I do so well in class. I hope I was able to inspire you to do well in your classes. And I hope you are able to apply some of these tips to your own studies. Comment down below any study tips you may have for students in online school.
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