Keeping it real: study tips that you should know

It’s been a long time since ‘education’ only meant ‘sitting in a classroom or lecture theatre in front of a teacher’. Thanks to technology, you can be thousands of kilometres away from your teacher or trainer. In our case, students are often a long way away from their teachers, but that doesn’t mean they are alone.

Melissa Nettle, Manager of the Funded Accounting Programs and one of our trainers here at Monarch Institute often shares her study tips to students through our closed Facebook group for Accounting and Bookkeeping courses. The closed group is our virtual classroom, and students love the interaction and community they can access when they join the group.  Melissa’s tips help students stay connected, on track, and give them a real community in which to engage and learn from.

Melissa started and completed her accounting degree, online, whilst on maternity leave, so can absolutely relate to the challenges involved with studying full time and being a Mum.

Here’s a few of Melissa’s tips for studying accounting and bookkeeping online:

Study tip no. 1: Study every day.

If you study a little bit every day you’ll be continually reviewing things in your mind. This helps you understand things and helps you avoid the stress of last-minute cramming.

Early in the year an hour or two a night might be enough to stay on top of things, but as you move through your course, you might need to study more each day.

Think of it like a song; when you listen to the same song every day, you unconsciously find yourself memorising and knowing the lyrics by heart.

Study tip no. 2: Plan your time.

It helps to have some plans in motion so you can make the most of your study time.

Set alarms – Alarms remind you about your study plans. A regular reminder keeps you honest and your plans on track.

Use a wall planner – Stick a calendar or wall planner up so you can see it whenever you’re studying. Mark it up with important dates, like assignment due dates. Use it to block out your regular study timetable too.

Make to-do lists – Break down your tasks into manageable chunks. At the start of the week, make a list of the things that you need to have done by the end of the week so that you’re clear about what you need to be doing with your time.

Set time limits – Before you start your study session, have a look at your to-do list and give yourself a set time to spend on each task. If you don’t get something done in the set time, consider whether it’s the best use of your time to keep going with it, or to start working on something else.

Study tip no. 3: Review and revise.

At least once a week, go back over the things you’ve studied. Thinking things over can help you understand the concepts and help you remember when you need them the most.

Get your family to help! Repetition is key here – get a family member to quiz you on key concepts. Quizzes are great ways to get confident about what you know and find out what you still need to learn.

Make your own study materials – Think up some practice exam questions or create your own flash cards to help you study (I know, old school right! But they work!). This way you learn it all twice: once when you make the study materials and once when you use them to revise.

Study Tip No. 4: Take breaks

Working too long on a task can actually decrease your performance. It’s so important to take breaks while you’re studying, especially if you’re feeling tired or frustrated.

When you take a break, make sure you get away from your desk or study space. A bit of physical – even just a walk around the block – can sometimes help you to look at a problem in a different way and could even help you to solve it.

Study tip no. 5: Look after yourself.

It’s a no-brainer, but the first thing that goes in moments of stress? Your health!

You’ll study better if you take care of yourself. Make sure you eat well and get enough sleep and physical exercise. Don’t reward yourself with too many sugary or fatty snacks or push yourself to study late into the night. It’s also a good idea to make sure you drink lots of water when you’re studying.

When you’re studying and working (like many Monarch Institute students) you need to keep this one in mind. It’s a juggle, but it doesn’t need to cost your health!

Study tip no. 6:  Choose your best time of day

Benefits of studying during the day:

– After a good night’s sleep, you’ll likely have more energy and a higher ability to concentrate the next day.

– Society is structured around being active during the day and sleeping at night, so by sticking to this norm there are undeniable benefits such as being able to go to the library or bookshop.

– Most people are contactable during the day so it’s easier to communicate with your friends or trainers during the day if you have any questions.

– Natural light is better for your eyes. Artificial light hurts our eyes and can affect our natural sleep rhythm.

Benefits of Studying at Night:

– People are more active, louder and intense during the day. At night it’s only you and the night owls so you can study in peace and quiet.

– If you’re lucky enough to live near a library that’s open late, you will notice that the library is near deserted when you want to study late.

– At night there are fewer distractions than during the day. Most of your friends are asleep and your social networks will be less active.

– It is true that things look different by night. The night can increase your creative efficacy and help you see concepts differently.

Find out more about studying online by calling one of our friendly Course Consultants on 1300 738 955 or click here to read about studying accounting and bookkeeping with Monarch Institute.