Always prepare your studying environment 
It is pointless trying to study while all around you is in chaos. If you surrounding area is clean and tidy, you will be more inclined to concentrate and learn. 
Make sure there isn’t too much noise or ensure there is some sort of noise if that’s what works for you, some people like to work with music playing, for instance. You must be comfortable to work too, sometimes basing yourself on the sofa with a blanket and your laptop is exactly the right way to learn, but other times a more regimented approach of a desk and comfortable chair will work better – see what works for you. 
Use a dictionary 
This might seem an obvious one, or even an over-the-top suggestion. However, it is important to use the correct terminology when writing and learning. The use of spelling/thesaurus on a computer should come naturally once you have been studying for a while. 
Highlight important information 
If you are learning from a text book, it is a good idea to highlight important information. Or if you are taking notes, highlight the parts of your notes that are important. When I was younger, I was taught that I should never write in a book. However, while studying it is important and I always highlight text in books and sometimes write notes in the margins these days. It’s a great way to learn and find information you know is there somewhere! If it’s good enough for Severus Snape in his potions text book, then it’s good enough for me (Harry Potter fans will understand!). 
Learn from various sources 
Always use various sources to learn from. Use your local library or research online. Be careful not to assume everything you read online is correct though. Google doesn’t always know best! 
Follow up on the references 
If you read somewhere or are taught something that refers to another piece of work (referenced) then make sure you have a read of that text yourself, it will help you to expand your knowledge even further. 
Talk to experts 
Remember that whatever you choose to study there will be experts in that field, all around you. If for instance you want to learn about the finances of a business, ask the finance department of your own workplace. Or if you want to understand law and order better, ask a policeman to explain. There is a wealth of knowledge that surrounds us all. You may find that there is knowledge closer to home, in amongst your family too. 
Study little and often 
This is probably one of the most important things I have learnt over the years of study I have completed. Rather than cramming everything into one small window of time, study every day, study 
small amounts, but study every day. You’ll be grateful that when it comes to handing in work or revising. 
Make learning part of your lifestyle 
Try to find a time within your day which you set aside for studying. Perhaps you prefer studying in the morning, set your alarm for 30 minutes earlier and use that time to study. Or perhaps you prefer studying in the evening, turn the tv off at a certain time and allocate that time to study. Or perhaps after a family meal is the time which best suits you – whatever works for you. 
Take online courses 
Find courses online to help you achieve different qualifications. Take a look at providers like Course Detective and decide on the right course for you. 
Review things you read 
If you take time to write a review of what you read, you are more likely to remember what you read, reviewing means it becomes more personal to you and therefore easier to remember. 
Set yourself goals 
Even if it is purely the point above about setting yourself time every day to study. If you’re feeling brave set yourself the goal of completing an evening class, a GCSE that you failed on first attempt or even a degree. Goal setting is important to enable you to push yourself further than you thought possible. 
Say YES to new experiences 
Everyday is a learning experience for all of us. So, say yes to new experiences to ensure you learn something special as often as possible. Go skydiving, wing-walking or if you’re less daring, sign up to the park run, walk along the coastal path nearest to you – anything, just ensure you take on those new experiences and enjoy every moment of doing so! 
By Tammy Cooney 
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