Looking to the Future…
One of the most challenging things you will do in your life is to study. Think about it. It’s not easy. There are so many different things you could be doing – more enjoyable things. But on the other hand, the return your efforts may earn you, will no doubt be invaluable. With only two or three years of study, you could gain a better career and a better life; this is an important point to always bear in mind.
However, like most other things in life, there are good and bad ways to study. That’s why we’ve put together a list of 10 study tips to help you develop a learning strategy that will extend beyond your formal in-class lessons, and make sure you succeed in whatever HND course you choose to study.
HND Study Tip 1. Set Study Goals
Setting achievable goals is an essential part of your private study strategy. Never forget why you are studying for your HND qualification and what you hope to achieve from it. Don’t underestimate the power of motivation and self-discipline. Identify the goals you want to achieve, and set about how you plan to achieve them. Just make sure to ask yourself some key questions:
Am I setting myself realistic goals?
Am I prepared to stretch myself to achieve them?
Am I prepared to make personal sacrifices to achieve my ambitions?
If the answer is yes to each of these questions, it’s time to start planning your study period.
HND Study Tip 2. Make a Study Plan
First, you have to make a decision. How many hours can you devote to private study per day? Sit down and work this out. Do not decide on a length of time that will make your studies too heavy a burden; on the other hand, see that you devote an adequate amount of time to your studies. Next, be realistic, and be sure to allow time for relaxation and social activities.
When you have made your decision, keep to it. If you decide that you will study for two hours per day, then make sure you study for two hours per day. You may find that friends and social engagements try to interrupt your plans – but you must not let them; one interruption will inevitably lead to another. To be a successful student, you must be somewhat selfish – your time becomes an expensive commodity while studying. Furthermore, don’t put off making the necessary changes; the English Proverb ‘One of these days is none of these days’ reminds us that until a date is set, ‘one of these days’ remains a vague promise.
HND Study Tip 3. Take Regular Study Breaks
You cannot be expected to ‘hit the books’ during all of your time. If, for example, you study on four or five evenings per week, on Friday (or Saturday) put away your study notes until Monday. The break will refresh your mind, and when you resume study on Monday, you will be keen and alert. Of course, you should keep your annual vacations and public holidays free from study too; this will allow you to ‘recharge the batteries’. When it gets nearer to the examination or assignment time, it may be necessary to put in a few extra hours at the weekend in preparation, but for normal study conditions, you should plan to study with a complete break at regular intervals.
If taking a break feels like procrastination, then rest assured that it is not. Taking regular short breaks not only help to improve your focus, but they can also boost your productivity.
Try to form the habit of regularly studying at times which suit you best. Once you have developed this habit, progress in your studies should become steady and rewarding.
HND Study Tip 4. Divide up Your Time
As an example, let’s say that you have enrolled on a UKCBC course for Higher National Diploma in Business at the Certificate level. Your exam modules are (i) Organisation Behaviour, (ii) Aspects of Contract, and (iii) Marketing Intelligence.
Let us also say that you are prepared to devote ten hours per week to private study. How are you going to divide these precious hours between the three modules?
To work out your plan, start by examining the subject syllabus and link it to your study material, noting the number of chapters and the number of lectures on your UKCBC course. Having decided upon your study plan, outline a weekly and daily scheme of study over the period of your course on a Work Chart.
Remember to allow time for holidays and revision. Aim to complete your studies about a month or so before the examination date; this will leave adequate time for final revision.
Once you have planned your Work Chart, stick to it.
HND Study Tip 5. Build Variety into your Studies
While studying, it’s worth noting that alternating between subjects can help keep the mind fresh; this can help you continue studying instead of stopping altogether.
Let’s take an example. You’re studying Organisation Behaviour, and you decide to dedicate two-hour slots to this topic. After the two hours, you stop and put aside the study material for a break for another two hours. Four hours have been taken up by a study session that took just half of that time. Instead, introduce new subjects to your study routine, divide your time into smaller segments and make the most of your minutes.
Studying two or three subjects together can also help you to appreciate the relationship between them. Topics often overlap, and the study of one issue can throw light on your knowledge of others. You may find an interesting connection between points and use this in future assessments.
When deciding which subjects to study in the same evening remember that different subjects call for the exercise of different facilities. For instance, Law subjects make a heavy call on your memory, Management requires the exercise of reasoning powers, and Finance needs a great deal of practical work and calculations. A combination of contrasting subjects provides a good variety for a single evening’s study.
Similarly, if you have some prior knowledge of one or more of your subjects, while others are new to you, it is a good idea to alternate between them. You’ll be actively engaging different learning skills and, in turn, giving specific neurons and synapses as thoroughly deserved rest.
HND Study Tip 6. Develop the Habit of Study
Good habits are formed just as easily as bad ones, and any student who works to cultivate a study pattern over a relatively short period can develop the habit of study.
The first week or so is, of course, the most difficult. During this time, while you are getting into the habit of study, it’s important to remind yourself that each day will become easier; this is invariably the experience of all students and is bound to be yours.
HND Study Tip 7. Establish a Study Routine
Your study plan is comprised of more than deciding what to learn and when. One of the main concerns in building a study habit is to decide where you will study.
Find a place to study that is quiet and has few distractions – away from the TV for example. Always try to study at that same place. Once again it will become habitual. Your mind will psychologically register that this is a place of study and you will settle into a study routine quickly each time you sit down; this will help ensure that you establish a method for maximum learning effectiveness.
(Read more on our other blog titles which might help: Places to Chill and Study in London)
HND Study Tip 8. Test Yourself
The best way to succeed in your exams is to recall, rethink, test and refresh your knowledge. You need to be continuously looking back over your work, and rethinking and reworking topics from as many different angles as possible.
Working through self-set quizzes or questions act as a stimulus for your learning process. They give you the chance to practice by answering questions and also show you how well you are doing.
HND Study Tip 9. Embrace New Technologies
Studying no longer means jotting things down with a pen on a scrap piece of paper. The traditional paper and pen method still has its place, of course, it’s just that there are now more options to extend the scope of study than ever before. Whether it’s through online tools (thank you Google!!), social media, blogs, YouTube videos or mobile apps, learning has become much more fluid, mobile, and user-friendly.
HND Study Tip 10. Find a Study Buddy
Group study activity is very constructive. Think about the options you would have if you decided to ‘get fit’ by jogging through the streets early each morning. If you decided to do it alone, would you get up when the alarm clock rang? Would you keep going even when you reached your ‘pain threshold’? Would you run the full distance? If you planned to exercise with a group of friends, the answer to each question would probably be yes.
Studying with classmates that you’re familiar with and who are motivated to achieve good results will improve your knowledge. Not only will your study habits become more of a social activity, but you will be able to collaborate with and possibly learn from your study buddies.
Conclusion about Studying
Studying effectively is essential to achieving success. But remember, your attitude to studying is often the most significant contributor to your final grade.
For more information about any of the HND Courses available in London and Essex from UKCBC, simply get in touch with our team on 020 8518 4994. We will be glad to answer any questions you may have about obtaining an HND qualification.
Other Relevant Study Blog Posts
For other relevant topics to help with your HND studies, why not try these other UKCBC blog posts: