Study Techniques While Maintaining a Full Time Job

Airman sitting and studying.

Are you a veteran or military member who is furthering your education? Then you're probably wishing there were more hours in a day. While you can't slow down time, there are things you can do to sharpen your study skills, such as increase reading comprehension, reading speed, and computer knowledge. By strengthening these skills, you will get more out of your study time.

Taking Notes

Class notes are important. Yet many students don't know how to take them properly. Avoid writing down every word, because you will get too far behind and miss out on key points. Having your own way of abbreviating words will help you keep up with the instructor.

Also, write your notes in outline form, because it keeps them organized and easier to review later on. In addition, remember that reviewing your notes after class gives you the chance to clarify them while everything is still fresh in your mind.

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Reading Skills

Many of us have complained that either we don't know where to begin or the material is so boring, we can't stay awake. To help with these problems, make a prioritized list of what you have to do and work from it. Also, remember that a good reader is an active reader. Get involved by summarizing or quizzing yourself at the end of every section.

Writing chapter outlines or highlighting as you go along can help you remember things when you feel there is simply too much to remember, and it also makes reviewing easier.

To get the most out of your reading, try to remember these steps: Survey, Question, Read, Recite, and Review. These five steps will help you concentrate on your material and recall it later on.

Speed Reading

There are simple ways to increase your reading speed. Many people, without knowing it, move their lips or read out loud. This slows you down since you can't speak as quickly as you read.

Another way to increase speed is to know what information you want before you start. This way you can skim for what you need, instead of reading everything. Students also often reread lines unnecessarily. Slower readers usually must go back and reread because their minds wander instead of concentrating on the material.

Computer Skills for Distance Learning

If you are interested in online courses, familiarity with using email, operating word processing programs, and navigating the Web are needed. You can brush up on your computer knowledge by taking a class at a nearby community college. There are internet resources that offer tips on study skills specifically for the distance learner.

Where you choose to study is just as important as how you study. Turn off the television and radio, and try to study at the same time every day. Make sure that everything you need is there when you sit down, so you don't have to stop to find a pencil.

While it is not possible to add hours to a day, with the right study habits and reading skills, it is possible to successfully pursue an education while serving your country.

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