Graduate school is very different from undergraduate school – whether that’s online or in a traditional on-campus setting. In order to succeed, you’ll need to adjust your study habits, especially if you’ll be juggling it with other responsibilities such as a full-time job and raising a family.
While it may be difficult, succeeding in an online postgraduate course is not impossible!
Here’s how to effectively study for online classes.
- Manage Your Time Wisely
Online postgraduate courses give you the flexibility to plan your day. But because many professionals may have to juggle their postgraduate classes along with their job, family life, and other responsibilities, it can be somewhat overwhelming. To succeed, you’ll need to have good time management skills. Create a non-negotiable schedule to follow every day. Fit your schoolwork into your daily routine and make it a habit to do it at the same time each and every day.
- Take Ownership of Your Assignments
In graduate school, assignments aren’t given to merely test your knowledge and to see if you’ve understood the topic – they are part of the research you’ll be conducting for your thesis or paper. Take this to heart and treat every assignment seriously. Each group work, homework, and task given to you is a stepping stone you will be using that will ultimately help you in your graduate thesis (should you have one) or will lead you in the right direction in post-graduate school.
- Digest Everything You Read
When you enter postgraduate school, prepare to do a lot of reading. To help you remember what you read, you’ll need to take down notes. Many think that highlighting can get them through, but students tend to highlight more than is necessary. Same goes for taking down notes. Think of note taking as summarizing the information you’ve just read. Do this at the end of every section or chapter. Try to highlight the main points, important details, dates, theories, and terms. Then, put them into your own words. This will make it easier for you to re-read at a later date. Another reason to take down notes: writing information down also helps you remember things better!
- Remember What You Hear
Apart from reading a ton of journals, you’ll also be listening to hours-worth of lectures. As we’ve previously mentioned, writing things down by hand (versus typing them on your computer) helps you retain information better. Refrain from taking down every word your lecturer says – instead, focus on keywords and ideas. At the end of every lecture, review your notes to ensure they make sense to you. The best part about studying in an online postgraduate school is that you can replay any part of the lecture. So, if there are parts of your notes that are unclear, you can simply rewind the clip to fix it up.
If you find that there are certain topics that are still unclear to you or you have any questions on your mind, email your instructor right away while the information is still fresh.