Get out your notebooks and pocket protectors everyone, because school is back in session! In honor of our favorite time of year, we’re sharing some helpful tips on how to get started and stay organized throughout your studies.
Pick Your Spot
Finding a dedicated space to participate in your coursework is crucial. This is where you will be spending hours of time learning new concepts and practicing new skills, so it needs to be a space where you can be comfortable taking notes, watching videos, and taking tests. Try to choose a spot that is relaxing, isolated from outside distractions, and equipped with everything you need to be successful.
Gather Your Supplies
You can go ahead and cross the glitter glue off of your supply list because you won’t be needing it this year. While it does make things more fun, we want to make sure you have everything you need and nothing you don’t.
As you’re setting up your space, make sure you’re stocking it with supplies you can use while you study. You’ll want plenty of pens, pencils, and notebook paper handy at a minimum. Some students might benefit from having a desk calendar or planner to help organize time and keep track of deadlines. Others might be more content with noise-cancelling headphones and a top-notch playlist.
Regardless of what you need for your dedicated learning space, make sure you have everything you need when you’re ready to begin so you can focus your attention on your studies.
Take Good Notes
Good notes not only help you retain more information as you learn it, but they serve as great resources to reference while preparing for an exam.
For those who prefer to take digital notes, make sure you have your Google Doc, OneNote or any other electronic note taking application open by the time you’re ready to get started. This will prevent you from having to scramble for what you need while trying to follow along with your instructor.
Those who prefer to take notes the old-fashioned way should keep their favorite pen, sharpest pencil, and blank sheets of paper nearby. If you want to get extra organized, you can even bring along the brightest highlighters and page markers you can find.
Despite how you may take your notes, one tip to keep in mind is to write down key facts instead of transcribing everything you read or hear. This will keep you from struggling to copy information word-for-word and instead gives you time to focus on what’s most important. Another helpful tip is to keep notes for specific subjects in one place so you can find everything easily when it comes time to review.
Save Time to Study
With your colorfully hand-written notes or carefully typed electronic notes nearby, it’s time to study! You’ve taken the time to watch the videos and learn the material, now all that’s left is to review it for your test or certification exam.
As you study, make sure you aren’t just reading over your notes. You need to be an active participant in your material review. This will increase your chances of retaining the information you need to know for your exam. Examples of active studying include trying to teach the material to someone, creating your own study guide or reworking technical problems.
An equally important study tip is to space out your study time. Give yourself a few days to go over your notes and course material instead of exhausting yourself cramming the day or night before a test. By spacing out your time, you’re allowing an opportunity to store more knowledge as opposed to forcing large amounts of information into a brain that is already full.
Join Groups or Conversations
When taking courses online, it can be very easy to feel alone in your studies. Unlike learning in person, asking questions, bouncing ideas off of classmates or forming study groups may seem more difficult. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available for you to get involved and get your questions answered!
While some students prefer to take their questions to Discord or share with their LinkedIn connections, others take to Twitter and even Twitch. Several INE students recently discussed the importance of online communities as a study resource as well as the benefits of getting involved.
The recent launch of INE Community also gives students a place to not only talk to other students, but INE instructors and team members who are available to answer questions, solve problems, and chat about the technology industry.
Whether you’re trying to prepare for your CCIE certification or are interested in learning more about penetration testing, it’s important to have all the tools you need for success. From finding your study space to gathering your supplies, all the way to taking your notes and nailing your exam, every piece of the process is important. By following these tips, you can better prepare yourself for an amazing year and take the next step in your technical training journey!
If you’re interested in exploring our comprehensive suite of IT training resources covering Networking, Cyber Security, Cloud, and Data Science, you can sign up for free today and see what we’re all about. If you’re already interested in diving into our platform, you can learn more about our plans and pricing.