Starting a new course of study seems daunting in the beginning. You may have months—or years—ahead of you to finish your curriculum. How are you going to get all this done?
Effective studying is more than showing up for class and opening a book now and then. Most successful students become successful by developing and using smart, effective study habits. These study habits are helpful while you’re learning, and will also benefit you when you begin your new SAP career.
So what kind of study habits do you need? The ones that help you study smarter, not harder. Regular study habits that help you not only read, but retain, the information presented are the ones that will take you through learning with the most amount of retention are the most powerful. Here are some to get you started.
The best study time is when you’re alert and awake. If that’s the morning for you, and you consider yourself a “morning person,” that may be the best study time for you. If you’re more of an “evening person,” that’s your best study time.
A daily routine for studying blocks out the time in your day to study effectively and helps you keep up the habit. Procrastinating may be easy for just one day, but that too can become a habit. Sticking to your studying schedule will help you learn the subject matter and become more successful with it.
Reading assigned material before you attend class will help you understand it better, and help you take more effective notes. You can also ask questions if you’re unclear on some of the information.
It’s important to listen well during a lecture, and ask questions when allowed. But one of our biggest interruptions can impede you from learning. I’m talking about your phone.
Texting, checking email and otherwise not paying attention isn’t conducive to actually listening. While an instructor may not tell you to get rid of your phone, putting the phone away eliminates distractions that will keep you from hearing what’s being said. You may miss an important point, and you may not understand something because of it. Listening closely helps you both understand the subject and take effective notes.
When you’re hearing what’s being said and really listening, you can take better notes. Your goal is not to get every single word like you’re taking dictation. You want to make notes of important points, particularly those that the instructor emphasizes, and any specific instructions for assignments. You’ll review these notes during your study time, along with any reading materials.
If you’re new at note-taking, College InfoGeek offers these tips to learning to take effective notes, as well as some other important studying information. You can also do a search to find additional tips on taking notes during classes, or anytime.
Hint: learning to take notes now is definitely a skill you’ll use later in your SAP career. You’ll need listening and good note-taking for meetings, too.
“Cramming” isn’t an effective study technique. Studying regularly is a much better way to not only study a large amount of information, but absorb it and know it as well. Having a regular study routine creates a commitment to study that will also help you in your career.
Review your notes and information within 24 hours of learning it. You could forget as much as 80% of the information you heard if you don’t.
Consistency is the key to not only getting started, but staying on track as your learning—and your career progress. Repeated exposure to the study topics helps to store it in long-term memory, with repetition being a key factor in recalling.
Choose a time where you can fully concentrate on studying, whether it’s after dinner, first thing in the morning, or some other time where you’re able to block out time specifically for studying to avoid training overload. Consider the rest of your time, and what commitments you have to balance out.
Of course, there are times when life overtakes your study schedule. If something gets in the way, get back to your regular study times as soon as you can.
Working with other students is a great way to discuss your study topics and get help when you need it. Getting together with like-minded students is a great way to learn more by working with others who are interested in the same thing, such as learning the basics of SAP. By discussing the information and making connections with others, you’ll gain a better understanding and increase your knowledge of the subject matter. You may also make friends.
Facebook and other social media have made study groups easier to find like-minded people to study with. Some e-learning centers set up their own private study groups for their students; others are student-led. You can also work with other students using Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts and other video chat services that let you meet online if in-person meetings don’t work.
This simple productivity method is great for students as well.
Pomodoro is the Italian word for “tomato.” Developed by Francesco Cirillo while a college student, and the name comes from the tomato-shaped kitchen timer he used. The technique is simple:
The “Pomodoro” part is the time you spend working. Of course, you can use any timer you have, including one in your smartphone. Just stick with the time limit, work on just one task and block out everything else that can distract you. Keep your breaks short and get back to work when they’re completed. Facebook, phone calls, and other distractions can wait until your longer break, or until you’ve finished studying for the day.
The best methods of study are the ones that you use consistently, and work well for you. Over time, you may develop your own methods of studying that suit your schedule, such as a little study time on your lunch hour, if you’re already working.
It’s also important not to give up, and continue the course until you’re finished. It’s difficult at first, but once you get started, you’ll be able to study more effectively, retain more, and learn better. That translates into better test scores, better grades, and ultimately, a better career.
If you’re considering SAP as a career, look no further than Michael Management. We’ve helped more than 300,000 people find their way to a new career through learning SAP. You could be next. Interested? Contact us today to find out how you can learn SAP and be on your way to your new career in IT.