Seven, Easy Study-From-Home Tips

These tips will help you ace your classes and finish the term strong
Seven, Easy Study-From-Home Tips

Oct 05, 2020

The following study tips come from tutors Nephele Jackson and Trent Whiteside, who both work at CNM's Assistance Centers for Education (ACE).

Prioritize: Consider what’s due soonest, what’ll need the most backend work—like research or collecting materials—and what will take you the most time overall. Make a plan for how much time you need for each project and do your best to stick to it! Life happens, of course, but it’s surprising how much easier it is to get things done if you’re proactive.

Clear Up and Get Comfy: If you’re always working in a dimly-lit, barebones, cluttered and stuffy corner of your house, and sitting in a rickety, stiff office chair that hurts your back, you’re not likely to get much done. You’ll be too preoccupied with how uncomfortable your space is to focus on anything. Try to find a space with good natural light and minimal clutter—this might mean devoting a little time to clearing things away. You’ll quickly see that it makes a huge difference when your work space is inviting! Fun fact: chairs with a forward-tilting seat are better for your back. We also know that the design of office furniture is sometimes out of our hands (or price range), but you can always pad up a chair to make it more supportive. Cushions, blankets, or even extra towels can help.

Keep the Prompt on Hand: One of the easiest ways to lose points on an assignment is by missing what the assignment asks for. It’s often useful to have the instructions for the assignment nearby so you can occasionally check-in to see if you’re still on track. Assignment directions often include a few sentences that describe the concept before zeroing in on the tasks you need to complete, so don’t be afraid to annotate. Even something as simple as highlighting, circling, underlining, or marking the specific goals of the prompt can help you get a clearer idea of what’s needed.

Take Breaks! We hear this all the time, but it’s important. Most people struggle to focus on anything for more than 30-45 minutes at a time. Obviously, the exact number varies by individual, but give yourself permission to take periodic breaks. Sometimes, we get in the zone and two hours zoom by, but once that fire dies down, the brain definitely needs a rest.

Don’t Turn Break Time into More Work: This is important. You won’t feel refreshed if you’re still thinking about the next thing on your list while taking a break. Detach from what you’re doing and enjoy a moment to yourself. Maybe you can send a quick text or give someone a call if social interaction helps you unwind. If at all possible, try to get a little fresh air, or at least walk around your living space a bit. Movement can help ease the mind. If you’re dying for new scenery, try looking at Vimeo’s Window Swap—it’s a cool way to see the view from somewhere else in the world.

Review Your Notes After Class: It's always a good idea to review your class notes within 24 hours after taking them. This will help cement in your mind what was discussed in class and help you discover questions that you may have for your instructor.

Get in Touch With a CNM Tutor if Needed! If you've given your homework a good try and there are problems or assignments where you still need help, visit ACE's website or call 505-224-4306 to get in touch with a tutor. Many students avoid calling a tutor because they think it may be an admission of academic inadequacy. But the truth is that most things that people study at the college level are very complex, and it often takes more than just the student and a single instructor to learn all of the course objectives.