Category Archives: Education

How to Learn a Language Fast

a cup of coffe and working sheet

Learning foreign languages is not only about having another thing to put on your resume – though it might boost your chances of getting hired so much. It’s also about getting more freedom to travel and discover the world, experience new customs and cultures, communicate, grow, and develop. Some people dedicate their lives to studying various languages, even the ones that are now not commonly used, and are successful at learning fast and without any tutors. If you would like to learn a new language, you will definitely enjoy our quick and easy tips.

Be Consistent

If you have a busy daily schedule and you need to squeeze some new classes in, you will inevitably face the need to prioritize. It all depends on whether you are about to learn a language with a teacher or on your own, online or offline, with a particular purpose and deadline or for your own development. Bur in order to learn a new language fast, you need at least half an hour each day to spend studying. Create a schedule and try to find the most appropriate time for your language lessons and rehearsal practices. It can even be a quick 15-minutes long new words rehearsal before bed. But if you are consistent and don’t put your studies away, you will see progress very soon.

Set Goals 

Setting goals is crucial when you are learning a new skill or a new language. It helps you stay motivated and understand why you are doing it. Remember to set not only long-time but also short-time goals, like finishing another module until the next Friday to keep up with your schedule and celebrate small victories.

Practice as Much as You Can

The more you dive into the learning process and implement constant practice into your daily life, the better results you get. Whenever you are learning new words like “apple,” “milk,” “bus,” etc. try to use them whenever you see the object at least by saying them to yourself. It helps you memorize words better and it’s as effective as sticky notes on your espejo – mirror. The earlier you start to speak, even if it feels awkward and weird, the more you get used to it and the better your pronunciation will be.

Don’t Multitask

When it comes to learning languages, sometimes you might be too excited about it and would love to learn a few at a time. However, it’s not that good for your brain. You need to focus on one language and avoid multitasking. It’s hard enough to learn one new language, moreover when you get mixed words from two languages or more in your memory. Be sure to have a separate time when you are practicing a foreign language and stick to your schedule.

Don’t Bite More Than You Can Chew

Another wise tactic is to go step-by-step without trying to consume large chunks of information at once. You need to start slowly and work your way through the alphabet and easy short dialogs to understand the basics. Once you feel confident about the basic phrases, you can work on your spelling and pronunciation with the help of audio lessons or tutors. 

If you still find it hard to remember the right word, try to implement more into your daily life, as well as rehearse information from the past lessons. Make sure you go through the material a few times the next day after you learn it, then again after three days, seven days, two weeks, and a month. This pattern will allow you to train your memory, refresh the material in your head, and avoid forgetting.

RWT

The basic rule that will allow you to really learn the language fast is the “RWT” rule which stands for “read-write-think” in a foreign language as much as you can.

It was said earlier that you should implement language into your daily life, for example, you can name the objects or count to learn and remember new words. Another step is to maximize the time you interact with a foreign language throughout the day. You should keep your goal in mind and stay motivated to do that.

Basically, you need to learn how to focus on the language while you are learning. Try to phrase your thoughts, at least partially, using the words you have learned. Read some short articles in foreign languages – even if your vocabulary is small, you will still get used to the sentence structure and the basic phrase chains that will be easy to memorize. Don’t skip writing exercises as they help you boost memorization too – the word that is read and written can be memorized better than the one which is only read.

Wrapping Up

If you have a goal and work to achieve it, you surely are capable of making learning fun and productive. Be sure to study consistently, implement language into your daily routine, and practice as much as you can. We hope you find out tips on how to learn a foreign language fast useful. We wish you great results and the best of luck!

Best Online Tools for College Students

a girl with a laptop

If you are one of those students who wish a day had more than 24 hours and if you would like to save your time while studying, this blog post is just for you. Here we have a list of the best online sources and apps that will make your studying easier as well as will help you plan your day more effectively. Let’s get started.

Evernote

Evernote is a product that is probably one of the most useful ones for any person, especially for a college student. This is a helper that allows you to store all of your notes organized and in one place. But not only that. You can also store your photos, voice messages, memos, projects, webpages, pdf files, etc. You can surely access you’re your files from various devices which is one of the greatest features that this software provides. You can always share the content with other people and even use digital assistance like Siri to access your files. If you still store all of your study materials in separate files on your computer, you should definitely check the Evernote browser extension and the website itself.

GradeSaver

Gradesaver is a tool with an incredible reputation that speaks for itself. Here you will find a guide to almost every literary piece that will save your time and make it easier to get through a large reading assignment. But that’s not all. It also offers editing and proofreading services as well as a stack of essay samples; it’s a whole collection on various subjects and topics – medicine, law, literature, business, history, biology, etc. These essays can be used as your guides to help you craft one of your own.

MyHomework

A great planner is what every student needs, so meet myHomework. The app is very simple to use and it allows you to set reminders, keep your notes and files organized, track your deadlines, and receive notifications – you will never forget about another assignment anymore. This is a platform that can be used on various devices and has both free and paid versions, so you can choose what is best for you. With such a powerful tool, you can plan your time and your study sessions more productively. You will have a few chapters, like Classes, Homework, Teachers, Priority to organize and separate all of your reminders and notes. This is a convenient way to improve your study routine.

Udemy

Every learning platform has its pros and cons. Udemy is the one that many students like for its prices, accessibility, and variety of courses. If you would like to learn or improve your skills, become more acknowledged on a particular topic, or just clarify some concepts that you need for your study program, Udemy is a great choice for you. It has a wide stack of subjects, experienced instructors, and multiple languages (more than 65) to choose from. You can learn something new about the field that you have already chosen to be your major or about completely different spheres, like sociology or music. This is your chance to develop yourself and gain lifetime access to the study materials for a relatively low price.

MarinaraTimer

Procrastination is something that we all struggle with from time to time. And if you have ever heard of a Pomodoro technique that allows you to boost your productivity and spend your time wisely, then you will definitely like this tool – MarinaraTimer. It helps you to avoid scrolling through your social accounts and focus on your studies. It’s simple and convenient – the system will set the programmed timer itself and will notify you when it’s time to have a break. You can also create your own patterns.

ToDoist

If you need to plan not only your studies but also your work and everyday tasks, it means that you need ToDoist. It is a planner that every busy student needs – it has all the features to help you balance your work, study, and social life. With this app, you can create separate to-do lists, manage your events and important dates, track your goal status, and prioritize your tasks. It’s a good choice for students because it allows you to share your lists with other users, for example with your learning project mates, and have common access to share each other’s progress. And if you like to break larger tasks into smaller steps, this app can also help you with that and create subtasks, associations, and connections between all of your plans.

Every student knows how hard it is sometimes to pick the right app – you need to spend your time looking for the best one that has all the features and functions that you need. Sometimes you might not even know that such great tools exist. That’s why we made this list for you to improve your study routine and ease your college life a little. We hope that you find our list of the best online tools for students interesting and useful. 

Ways to Improve Your GPA 

a professor and students in a class

College GPA is one of the things that cause the most stress among students. Many of them are tracking their GPA all the time, making sure they do their best, and get very sad when something goes not as it was planned. If your GPA is going down or if you would like to change the situation with your academic performance for the best, then you will definitely appreciate the following article.

Does GPA Matter?

There are a lot of points of view on whether people should really be that obsessed about their GPA. Many people think that GPA doesn’t really matter once you are out of college because of a few reasons. First of all, t’s not that common for an employer to make their decision based on a candidate’s GPA, nor that can be used in the real world to prove anything. So, if you are not going to continue your education, apply for graduate programs, or work in an academic and scientific field, there is no need in stressing that much about that 0.1 GPA drop.

However, you should still understand that doing nothing about your academic performance is not the best option for your overall personal growth. Do what you can and avoid being dramatic about your grades – this is the optimal strategy for a college student who knows their responsibilities and still knows how to find balance.

So, how can you improve your GPA in one or two years? Here are a few tips.

Don’t Miss Deadlines

Sometimes you can’t even understand why time flies so fast. One day you have plenty of time to finish your assignment, and then – boom! You have already missed the deadline. This is the most common reason why students get low grades or zero for their essays. It’s much easier to improve your GPA when you do your tasks on time without any delays that you later have to talk about with your professor.

In order to manage all of the deadlines, make sure to create a schedule that would compile all of the tasks and their due dates in a form that suits your needs. It might be a Google Calendar notes or a spreadsheet on your computer – it all depends on what you prefer. Make sure to add all the new assignments to your schedule right on the day they were announced and set the notifications on your phone or computer that would remind you to complete your papers.

And if you want to always meet your deadlines, our team is always here for you to help you with your assignments.

Join a Study Club or Group

Study groups might feel like something that you don’t really need or enjoy but the fact is – they do work. If you lack self-discipline and often find it hard to force yourself to sit down and study, a group like this is the perfect option for you.

It’s much easier to complete your homework when you have meetings with students like you, discuss various difficulties that you might face when working on a project, and get useful advice from much more experienced people.

You should definitely give it a try, especially now, when the majority of club meetings are held online. 

Take GPA Booster Classes

Easy classes are commonly called GPA boosters for a reason. They are great for students who don’t even know what classes to choose but also for the ones who would like to get those easy A’s. Such easy college classes don’t require much of your free time – some even don’t bother you with homework and might even introduce you to some unexpectedly interesting spheres of art, science, and life.

Such classes can be:

  • Acting introduction, performance
  • Physical education
  • Intro class of any social science
  • Media, cinema, cyber security, online art
  • Art & Music appreciation
  • Numerical methods, logic

Almost any intro courses are easy to handle, but make sure to check testimonials from students who have already taken those classes with the same professor. For example, you can visit the website ratemyprofessors.com and check if the course is really worth it.

Make the Most out of the Office Hours

Professors and tutors commonly have office hours when they are available for students. You should definitely use this opportunity to: 

  • Ask questions about the assignments. For example, you can ask about some details that seem to be not very clear or ask if the topic that you picked is suitable for this paper.
  • Ask for additional assignments that you can complete.
  • Ask for additional materials and sources that you can check to make sure you clearly understand the lectures.

Such meetings with your professors can not only give you an opportunity to get a good grade for your paper but also to build a relationship and give an impression of a student who really cares about their academic career.

That’s all of the tips that we have for you. We hope you will find them useful and they will help you improve your GPA without struggling. 

5 Effective Study Techniques to Try

a girl is sitting in front of her computer screen

You might think that there is nothing more to add to your study routine. How can studying be different from what you are used to? However, this is not really true. There are multiple study techniques that you should definitely try to achieve maximum effectiveness when spending less time. Let’s find out more about the coolest study techniques.

Studying Before Sleep

A simple technique that you might be using all the time without even knowing is studying right before you go to sleep. The trick is simple, just study for a few hours in the evening and then review your notes when you wake up. While you are asleep, your brain analyzes the information you received during the day and organizes it to make it easier for you to use later when you need it. Sleep also helps to structure the information and understand it better.

So, that’s why it’s much better for your memory and routine to avoid pulling all-nighters. Get the rest that you need at night and save your time by studying in the evening. 

The PQ4R Technique

This study technique’s name is an abbreviation to “Preview – Question – Read – Reflect – Recite – Review.” Let’s find out what that means.

The first step is to preview the material. What you do is skimming the information, how long the text is and what it is about. At this step, you read only headers and introduction without getting into details of the text; look through the footers and illustration if there are any.

The next step is to question yourself if you understand what this topic is about and if there is anything that you already know regarding the subject. After that, you read information for the first time without rushing through it. Reflect on what you have just read – think of what you have learned and take some notes to structure the main points. After that, you should be able to recite the information – summarize it using your own words. And, finally, review the material and your notes one more time.

When using this method, students usually are much more likely to understand the material and remember it.

Spaced Practice

The trick with the spaced practice method is all about our memory and the time needed to remember information for a long time or even forever. It basically provides you with a scheme of study sessions that you need to take in order to remember information.

The scheme according to the spaced practice method is the following:

  • Step 1: You learn new material in class;
  • Step 2: You review your notes and reread material on the next day;
  • Step 3: You repeat step 2 on the third day, after one week, and after two weeks.

This scheme allows you to avoid cramming before an important test or exam. Instead, you spend around an hour through the larger period of time revisiting your notes and material. This gives you a better understanding of information and better memorizing. 

Try this method when you start your new semester, and you will find that it works great – you spend way less time studying and feel much more confident about your memory. Though this method requires you to plan your studies ahead and work on your study schedule more, it’s one of the best ways to get ready for the test.

The Feynman Method

If you find it hard to comprehend the material that you need to memorize because of the complexity of the concept or terminology, the Feynman method is just for you. What you can try when learning new material is to try to summarize it with your own words.

Basically, this technique is all about trying to explain complex material in your own words. You might also find it useful to try to find some examples that will help understand theory in practical cases. For example, it’s way easier to understand various economic definitions by breaking them down into smaller pieces and finding some simpler words or everyday examples to project the material onto.

If you find it hard to use this method, try to imagine that you need to explain the material to someone who is not that much acknowledged with the topic or subject as you are. So, you will have to start with basic knowledge of the topic and less specific terminology. This is what the Feynman technique is about. 

Later, you will be able to use this technique more frequently, and it will be no problem for you to break complex concepts into smaller parts, explaining them with your own words.

This method works great for everyone, though it requires you to understand that sometimes during tests or exams, you will have to face the need to use not your own explanation but the official terms, which might cause some difficulties.

Studying After Exercising

Noy only studying before sleep makes you retain information better. You can also increase your productivity if you study right after you exercise. Exercising can boost your creativity and brain activity by increasing your energy and hormone serotonin levels, improving your mood and well-being.

So, basically, you feel happier and more productive right after your workout. This is the perfect timing for studying and gives you a lot of various benefits such as:

  • Better focus
  • Less stress
  • Good memory
  • Faster thinking process

Make sure you spend an hour or two after each workout on your homework, and you will see that your studying routine has significantly improved. And if you need some extra help, you should definitely turn to our team of writers. Don’t let homework knock you down!

Tips on Attending Your Zoom Classes

Attending your zoom classes might seem to be the same as attending your live ones, but it is, in fact, completely different. Have you ever noticed that it’s harder for you to focus on the topic when the class is online? It is the first difficulty that most of the students face now with the changes in a learning format. Keep reading this article to learn more about how you can make the most out of your zoom classes and improve your productivity as an online student.

Learn More about Zoom Etiquette

Yes, there are some basic rules for attending online classes that are quite similar to the rules of attending your live classes. You probably are familiar with all or at least with the majority of them. Here are a few:

  • Be polite, and don’t speak without reason. Imagine everybody speaking during the call. That would be impossible to hear your professor talking. That’s why you should speak only when you are asked or when you need to ask a question.
  • Mute your microphone. Muting your microphone is necessary so that you don’t disturb other conference members with random noises like your phone ringing or a car driving next to your window. Everyone should have an opportunity to focus on what your professor is saying.
  • Stick to the instructions provided by your professor. It might be required for you to join a zoom call with your camera on or don’t speak throughout the conference and use the specific button to “raise your hand.” Always follow these instructions and make sure you check your syllabus before the class starts.
  • Don’t make fun of your professors and group mates. It’s an obvious rule but the one which is often omitted. Students pull various pranks on their teachers and each other, and it’s definitely a no-no.

The rules above are just the basic instruction on how you should behave during your classes. In any case, be free to ask your professor about specific requirements regarding your online classes.

Find a Perfect Spot 

The place where you study is one of the key factors that affect your concentration and productivity. There are a lot of things that you should pay attention to when organizing your study space, such as:

  • Enough lighting. Good lighting is highly important when you are studying or working. Make sure you study next to a window to get the most out of the daylight and pay attention when picking light bulbs for your lamps or ceiling lights as they differ depending on the color temperature. Make sure you pay attention to the marking on them: 3,500 to 4,500 K means that the bulb will produce natural light, which is the best solution to avoid eye strain. Bulbs with warm light (1,500 to 3,000 K) allow you to relax and rest, which is good for your bedroom but not for your studying. On the other hand, bulbs with cooler light (around 6,000 K) are great for workspaces and help you focus but might not be appropriate for a bedroom. 
  • No distracting noises. It’s crucial to create a place free from outer noises for you to focus on the class and show respect to other members of a group call. Close the door when your class starts and asks your family or roommates to avoid walking into your room while you are studying. You should also mute your phone and turn off your TV.
  • Comfortable seat. The chair that you are sitting on while on your zoom classes should be comfortable and appropriate for work on your computer. It’s not the best choice to sit on your bed during zoom calls, as it might negatively affect your focus and also will be spotted by other members if your camera is on.

Sometimes it’s hard to find a perfect place for studying that would satisfy all of the criteria above. It would be excellent if everyone would have a separate room for classes at home, but it’s not that easy to make it real. So, just try to pick as a quiet and comfortable place as possible.

Use All the Features

When talking about computer software, we always should understand that we all don’t use popular programs the same way. Why? Because there are more experienced users who know how they can ease their lives with hotkeys, settings, etc.

Here are a few pro tips that you will definitely find useful when using Zoom:

  1. Record your classes. It’s great when you have an opportunity to go back to the class that you had last week and freshen up the material in your mind or edit your notes if you have missed something. Recoding your classes is also useful when you just can’t focus during the class itself and would like to rewatch it later. Zoom allows you to record your conference calls with just one button hit.
  2. Change default settings. If you are afraid that someone might see or hear more than you would like them to by accident, be sure to make your camera and microphone turned off as a default setting. This way, you will have more control over these instruments when joining a call.
  3. Use hotkeys: spacebar – push to talk; Command + Shift + F to enter or exit full-screen mode; Options + Y to raise a hand. This is way faster and easier than clicking Zoom buttons.
  4. Take advantage of the “share the screen” button whenever you need to ask something that is easier to show on your screen.
  5. Change your background so no one can see how messy your room is.

These were the best tips from us on how you can improve your online studying with Zoom. We hope that you will find our tips useful. Good luck with your studies!

Awesome Presentation Tips for Students

The majority of students all over the world face the need to create a presentation at least a few times throughout their academic careers. Not only do you need to create a presentation in PowerPoint or a similar program, but you also need to write a speech and stand in front of the whole class giving it. Pretty stressful, isn’t it? We have found some pretty cool and creative ideas for your presentation and some tips on how to feel more comfortable as a presenter. Let’s get started.

Be Creative but Wise

Each presentation is like a piece of art and can tell a lot about the personality of yours. Don’t be afraid to let it out. There are multiple various things that you can add to your presentation to make it stand out – pictures, animations, and a pitch of humor.

In the case of PowerPoint, there are multiple templates to choose from that are already carefully designed. However, you need to make sure that people can easily read what’s written on your slides, so it’s wise to avoid fancy fonts or too many colors. Use a pallet of 3-4 contrasting colors to make your slides vibrant and readable.

Keep Your Slides Simple

While the previous tip is great, don’t overuse various elements while designing your slides. Keep them simple and plan focus points that each of your slides will be dedicated to.

When working with text, it’s easy to overload your presentation with boring and long text paragraphs. What you should do instead is to break your text into short bullet points with keywords that you can talk about in detail when giving your speech.

Mind the Number of Your Slides

It seems a bit frustrating when there are too many slides that are hard to follow as a viewer. Make sure you understand how long your presentation will take and how many slides you should create in order to avoid rushing through them. Of course, it all depends on the topic of your presentation and its content, but in general, 15-20 slides are the perfect number.

Highlight Your Keywords

Contrasting colors can be used to highlight the main keywords or terms that your audience should pay attention to while you are talking. You can also try to put them in a column beside the text – this will make them easy to remember.

Use Visuals

When there are lots of information that your audience needs to remember, there is nothing better than visuals. Use images, tables, diagrams, and charts to illustrate your speech. It is much better than putting just plain text with nothing to focus your attention on.

You can illustrate your presentation with images from stocks or create an illustration of your own – just make sure the picture you are using is large enough to put on a slide and is relative to your speech’s content.

Use Effects

Special effects can make even the most boring presentation ten times better and more interesting. There are a lot of effects in the gallery that you can choose from, including effects that are used for slide change or for the elements on a slide itself. However, as was said earlier, don’t overuse them. Use a few effects throughout the whole presentation, or otherwise, it will look full of some random things going on.

Don’t Rush

It’s known that people in stressful situations tend to speak faster. That’s why sometimes it’s hard for us to understand the speech that we are listening too. Murmuring and rushing though your text and slides might seem like a good way to end it all faster; however, this way, you will only make your presentation look dull.

Practice Beforehand

Read your presentation out loud at home a few times before giving it to the class. You can even film yourself speaking in order to understand if everything goes smoothly and you are talking in the right tempo. Also, mind the volume of your voice. You should speak loud and clear enough, so even people sitting at the back of the class will hear you speaking.

Don’t Read From Slides

Have you ever seen a person that is giving a presentation while turned back to the audience? That is exactly how you will look if you try to read from your slides. Never do that and respect people who are sitting in front of you.

Prepare your note cards or printed speech to look at when giving your presentation. Try not to read it – memorize the major part of your speech instead. You might also find the format of an outline with bullet points comfortable to follow as you speak.

Tips on Handling Group Projects

a group of students work together

If working on a study project in a group isn’t your cup of coffee, it’s totally fine. The majority of students prefer working by themselves as they are afraid of getting a low grade because of someone’s irresponsibility and mistakes. However, working in a group is a great way to boost your communication and delegation skills as well as teach you teamwork and organization. That’s why schools over the world implement group projects into their study programs and always will.

So, are there any ways you can make this project really work? We believe there are. And this article will provide you with the most effective tips on how to handle your group projects. By the way, these tips will definitely come in handy in the future, as you will likely face group projects throughout your career. So, let’s get started.

Establish Great Communication

Nothing can work in a group if there is not enough communication between its members. When you work on a project together, it’s essential to communicate at every step, give your feedback, and cooperate.

For example, before you even start, you should clarify and discuss the goals of your group, the part that each one of you will take and the requirements or rules that you will follow throughout the project. Every person in the group should know what is expected from them and when. Some people are less responsible and are easily distracted, so discussing the deadlines is one of the most important things, so that you can avoid missing the project deadline because of one of the members of your group.

If you feel that there is a need to make one of you a team leader who will control the process, you should definitely do so. Not many students like that approach, but when it comes to teamwork, a leader can make a difference in the process of organization and communication. This person might be responsible for the revision of the work, assistance in the research or writing process, keeping the group organized, and delegating the duties.

Share Everything You Find

When discussing the rules that you are going to stick to in the process with your teammates, talk about the rule of sharing. That means that everything that you find, e.g., sources, materials, useful links, diagrams, and data, should be shared with everyone in the group.

If you work in some kind of a team chat, or a shared file or folder, you can just put everything that you find in there, so everyone can use the same sources and save their time and effort. This way, your work will be much more effective. This will also help you avoid misunderstanding or conflicts in the group as every person will have access to the same materials as everyone else.

Set the Timeline

As mentioned earlier, discussing your deadlines is essential. But when you work on a longer project, it’s much more effective to break the project into smaller steps and tasks and set the deadlines for each of them.

This is how you establish a timeline, where you can see the progress of the project as a whole and each of the members in particular. Your team leader can track the tasks that are already finished so that they can be revised and polished if needed. You can also easily track if some of the members of your group miss their deadlines and put the team down. It’s better to know about while the work is still in the process than just right before the due date.

Brainstorm Ideas in a Team

What is the main advantage of working in a group compared to working on a project by yourself? The opportunity to produce more ideas and solutions. Brainstorming ideas in a team is much more effective, and there is a higher possibility that someone will come up with just a great idea on how to approach a problem. In this case, you will be able to take the right approach and get a higher grade.

Additional Tips

Here are a few other quick tips that you might find useful:

  1. Schedule regular meetups. Even if you can’t meet in person to discuss all the details, you can regularly meet in a group chat, have conference calls, etc. This way, you can make sure that everything goes according to schedule, and everyone knows what they need to do and how they should do it. By the way, check out our tips on how to handle your online classes better.
  2. Respect the opinions of each of the team members. Every member should feel free to voice their ideas and problems.
  3. Stay firm when it comes to deadlines but avoid starting conflicts. When the work needs to be done on time, there should be a maximum effort in a team and minimum excuses. However, starting an argument isn’t the way to make it work. If you need some help with your group project or any of your assignments, you can turn to our team at any time.

These were the best tips from us on how to organize group study projects, and how to make them work. We hope that you found these tips useful. Good luck with your studies and your teamwork!

6 Great Tips for Succeeding in Online Classes

a guy is sitting in front of his laptop

More people than ever are enrolling in distance learning and online classes. The number of students who are taking classes at home – either as a supplement to academic work they are doing or as their primary means of obtaining a degree – has been increasing significantly over the past several years.

If you’re currently enrolled in online classes, here are six great tips to help you succeed and make the most of your opportunity.

1. Get Tech Savvy

Before you begin your online education, you need to ensure you have all of the techs you need in place, and that you know how to use it. Find out what the hardware requirements are for your online courses; once you do, you should also verify that your computer and all of your mobile devices are compatible with it. If you don’t have high-speed internet at your home, find somewhere that does. You should also find out if you need any specific software for the course, then purchase and install it. Finally, once everything is in place, you should do a “test run” on your online curriculum platform, so you are comfortable with all of your software tools.

2. Be Disciplined

Maintaining focus and motivation is absolutely critical for success in online education. Unlike traditional classes, you won’t have the benefit of working alongside fellow students, or physical access to teachers or professors to assist you. You will have to develop and maintain an academic structure on your own to ensure you have what you need to succeed. One of the best ways to do this is to live your life like you actually are attending classes. Wake up on schedule and get dressed as if you are going to a physical classroom with a professor and other students. Try to go to a venue such as a library to do your homework. Maintain a work and life schedule like a student who is attending school would do (see more below). Little actions like these can help you maintain your personal discipline and give you the structure you need to succeed in your online curriculum.

3. Stay Organized

When it comes to online classes,  staying organized is even more important than in traditional study programs. Most online students do the bulk of their virtual attendance and homework at home. So, make sure you have a tidy, organized workspace in your office or room to help you stay organized while studying; don’t just sprawl out on the dining room table with your laptop and all your papers, or you might lose important information. Have a good system for keeping all of your class materials, whether they’re papers or files, organized in your home and on your computer. If you travel to a different location for classwork, such as a library, make sure you have a briefcase or backpack loaded with everything you need to accomplish your classwork, too.

4. Have a Study Plan

Since online coursework is often more self-directed than standard classes, having a good study plan is critical. You’ll need to ensure that you attend any online seminars according to a set schedule, and will also have to program time to study and do homework. Many students use written planners or calendar books to track when their online classes are and to program time to do work outside of class. Additionally, there are many great apps and programs, such as Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook, that you can use to develop and track your study plan. It doesn’t matter how you do it – managing your time will be critical to your success in online classes.

5. Avoid distractions

In order to maintain discipline in your online classes, you will have to be adept at avoiding distractions. If you are attending class virtually, nearly everything around you can distract you from learning, and make it difficult to succeed in class. Your smartphone, social media, and other people in your home or apartment can become major impediments to maintaining the appropriate level of focus on your online coursework.

If you find the outside world intruding on your studies, there are several things you can do to regain your focus:

  • There are apps that block your phone for a period of time set by the timer. You won’t be able to use your social media or text until the timer goes off. Apps like Flipd, Stay on Task, Offtime,  are great choices for this, although you can find many others that do the same thing.
  • Switching your phone or mobile devices to airplane mode will keep those distracting messages from popping up while you are trying to study.
  • Moving mobile devices to another room or turning mobile them off altogether while studying can keep you focused.
  • Retreating to a quiet room in your home, or another location altogether can help prevent interruptions from your family, roommates, or friends.
  • Never attend online classes or do your reading and homework with a TV on.

6. Ask Questions

When you’re attending online classes, don’t forget that you are still actually in class; if you don’t understand a concept or other course material, don’t be afraid to raise your hand (virtually)! Find out what the professor’s or teacher’s protocol is for asking questions when the online class begins, and then use it whenever you don’t understand something. In some cases, the online course software may have a built-in function for “raising your hand,” indicating you have a question; in other cases, you may have to send a chat message to get the instructor’s attention. If all else fails, ensure you follow up with your instructor via email. Don’t let the online class system keep you from learning what you need to know.

Parting Thoughts: You Can Succeed in Online Classes!

Participating in online classes is a great way to get an education or critical skills needed in the world today. However, online education is quite different than traditional learning institutions and can present many unique challenges to students. So, take the tips offered here into consideration and apply them as you begin your online curriculum.  And if you struggle a lot with your assignments, you can turn to our team. Doing so will help you put your best foot forward as you set off to accomplish important academic goals. Best of luck as you begin your online studies!

5 Best Memory Techniques for Your Study Sessions

a guy looking at his notes

Many students face difficulties with their studies due to a lack of good memory. It’s still an open question if the education system itself is perfect in terms of judging every student equally, based on their knowledge and, thus, often good memorization skills. As all we know, intellect can’t always help during your test if you just can’t remember what that paragraph you were reading yesterday was about. Of course, it’s not an excuse, but it’s still a pretty bad situation to be in.

You might spend a lot of time reading your notes and textbooks like a real hard-working student but end up sitting on the exam with no good thought in your head. Does it sound familiar? Are you tired of rereading the notes after the exam and thinking, “I’ve read this, why couldn’t I remember it?” over and over again? That is a pretty common problem, actually. There are, of course, some students who have kind of photographic memory, but if you are reading this post, chances are you are not one of them.

Though our professional team can help you manage your assignments, studying for the finals is still on you. So, if you want to improve your memory and try out some hacks on how to memorize the material better, keep reading this article.

Read Aloud

Reading aloud is the first thing that comes to mind when talking about memory techniques. It might seem banal, but it is, in fact, pretty useful. Try to read a paragraph or two aloud. It will definitely take more time than usual, but it is worth it. Be sure to focus on the content of the text. You will see that it is much easier to understand and memorize. Take your time while reading – give your brain some time to perceive, understand, and organize information rather than racing through your text.

Repeat

It’s easier to learn when you have an opportunity to repeat the material either by reading or listening to it more than once. Read the material multiple times or, if you don’t have much time, reread the key points. By the way, we have some awesome tips for you on how to spend less time on homework.

Read Again in the Morning

The majority of students have their study sessions in the evening, many even pulling all-nighters. If you study in the evening (especially late in the evening) too, go to bed when you’re finished but look through the material one more time in the morning.

Make Notes or Doodle

It’s scientifically proved that writing down the key points or quick summaries of what you have just read makes it much easier and effective for your brain to understand and remember information. So, take this as a rule – write a little summary after reading a chapter or two.

Doodling is also very effective when it comes to remembering information. Once you need to remember something, draw a little doodle in your notebook. Associate the drawing with the material, maybe draw a little illustration of the phenomena or the fact that you need to remember. Reading or listening to the information isn’t enough, especially for the visual learners, so try these techniques the next time during your study session or even during your class.

Build Your Palace

A memory palace is a concept that implies organizing your memories using visualization and imagination. It is a pretty cool and useful technique that, if mastered, can provide you with amazing results. So, how do you do it?

Close your eyes and think about the place that you visited and remember vividly. It might be your room or your favorite café. The important thing is to be able to visualize the interior in detail. This is your mind palace. Then give the information that you need to remember a visual form. It might be anything that you would like, from a piece of paper with written information to a big apple that you associate with the info. Place this item in your palace – put it in the drawer or on the table, or even hang it on the wall.

Now, you will be able to come back to your palace when you need it and find the information that you are seeking.

Use Mnemonics

Mnemonics are used when a person needs to remember some core concepts, lists, or sequences. You have probably learned a few in the elementary school, like “Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November…” or “ROY G. BIV.” Now, you can create your mnemonics whenever you need to remember, for example, a list of bacterial endocarditis signs:

FROM JANE: Fever – Roth’s spots – Osler’s nodes – Murmur – Janeway lesions – Anemia – Nail hemorrhages – Emboli

You can use mnemonics for almost anything that you need to remember. Create ones that will stick on your mind for a long time – something funny will do the best. Also, check out our article on how to make your writing fun.

Use the Power of Your Senses

When it comes to remembering something, your five senses are there to help you. You might have already been in a situation when a smell brings some old memories back, and they become very real and vivid. You can use this for your studies as well.

For example, many articles and studies confirm that if chewing the gum during your study sessions and then chewing it during the exam, it will make remembering the information much easier.

You might also try it with different scents – for example, the smell of your favorite perfume or some kind of specific smell – some particular flower you smell while studying, fruit, or even such scents as a brand-new paper or an eraser.

Wrapping Up

It’s always frustrating when you can’t remember the particular chemical formula or a historical date when writing an exam. Develop your skills, keep your mind sharp, and use the techniques from our article to get prepared for your next exam. Good luck!

A Full Guide to Qualitative Research

two women talking

Every student faces two types of research through their study years. If you haven’t checked our guide to quantitative research yet, you definitely should as we cover a lot of important points there. Now, let’s find out what qualitative research is, how it differs from quantitative research, and how to implement one to use the results for your academic work.

Definition

Qualitative research is the process of collection descriptive data through conversing, questioning, and observing. While quantitative research aims to get numerical data, qualitative research focuses on the data that characterizes particular phenomena, behavior, objects, and events. It can’t be measured but can provide useful insights and a foundation for quantitative research.

Qualitative research is often used in various sociology and psychology studies as it can help understand the behavior and preferences of particular groups of people. It’s also commonly used in marketing management to determine what marketing strategies a business should implement to draw the attention of their target audience.

Characteristics

Qualitative research has particular specifics that one should consider when deciding on what type of research to use for their study:

  1. Qualitative research requires gathering lots of data from various sources in order to get the most reliable results. That’s why it might be time-consuming. However, if you need to conduct research for your paper, you can surely turn to a professional team that will nail it.
  2. The data needed for research should often be collected at sight. For example, if researchers want to learn more about the nature of nightmares, they should work with people who are experiencing them at the moment and not used to in the past. That means that sometimes searching for the right group of participants might be challenging.
  3. The complex problems that a researcher wants to solve should be broken into smaller segments in order to make it possible to explore the problem, its cause, and its effects.

Data Gathering Methods

There are a few types of qualitative research methods that one can use for their studies.

Interviews

Interviews (often one-on-one type) are one of the most common methods of qualitative research that are used for various studies. Interviews are usually held in order to get an opinion from a group of participants but without their communication with each other. Such interviews are preferred in psychology studies as they allow to avoid biases and gather precise data that is not affected by the answers of other participants.

Interviews can be conducted not only face-to-face but also by phone or video calls. This method has a particular advantage: a researcher can control the process and choose the questions to ask according to the previous answer. This is what differs this method from written questionnaires or surveys with a specific set of questions where a personalized approach can’t be applied.

Observation

If the researchers want to collect information from the participants without changing their natural setting, the method of observation is applied. It is a process of collecting data by observing and through involvement in the activities led by the participants themselves. In other words, when observing, researchers can make conclusions about the setting and behavior of the participants without intruding in their lives.

Observations are important as they allow gathering the data that wouldn’t be that reliable if asked in an interview. Many people might not give the answer to a particular question, but their behavior in their natural setting will provide such an answer to the researchers.

Focus groups

The group of participants that is used to explore and study a phenomenon is called a focus group. Research that uses such a method aims to collect information from a particular group of people that might (or might not) share some common qualities.

Often, focus groups are gathered to have group discussions and therefore determine similarities and correlations. It’s important to create the right environment for such discussions in order to gather truthful and reliable data.

Criticism

Though qualitative research methods are frequently used in various studies and researches, there are particular characteristics that should be paid attention to.

Reliability

As qualitative data is commonly collected from the information that participants give themselves, it’s hard to call it totally reliable. Such research should always consider possible biases and deviations as it’s hard to sort and test this information.

Some participants might not give honest answers or try to give the answers that are expected or requested. Other participants might be not aware of their biases due to various circumstances and even the presence of researchers themselves. So, it’s one of the main issues that one might face when conducting qualitative research.

Analysis

Another difficulty that many researchers face is the step after the collection of the data – the data analysis. Unlike the quantitative research that deals with raw numbers, the qualitative data is much more diverse, thus it is hard to analyze it and interpret it appropriately and stay unbiased.

The same data can be interpreted differently depending on the aims of the research, experience of the researcher, instruments used, etc. That’s why it’s so important to combine various methods of research in order to collect as much data as possible and use different methods of analysis.

Wrapping Up

So, this was our guide to qualitative research. We hope you find it useful for your studies. Remember that the combination of various research types and methods usually get the most reliable results. It requires time and effort, but if done right, such researches can give very useful insights and even provide a fresh look at the problem.