Remote learning is new for many students across the globe. At the University of Massachusetts Amherst, that is no exception. During my time at UMass Amherst, I have only ever taken one online class. While I was still living on campus and taking other in-person courses, I had to adapt to this new online structure. Looking back, I am thankful that I took that remote course, as it greatly prepared me for this new shift to online learning.
The thing that scared me the most about remote learning was exams. I knew that being at home I would have little motivation or focus. How was I possibly ever going to ace my exams in such a foreign environment? Just last week I had my first online exam, and it was stressful, to say the least. I felt as though I had little guidance about how I was supposed to successfully navigate this sudden shift in learning. But I was determined to become successful, so I did some research.
When you are so accustomed to learning in person, how do you successfully navigate remote learning? Today, we will be looking into three tips for studying during this new way of learning.
Keep a Calendar: To Do by When
Good organizational and time management skills are one of the keys to being successful in distance learning courses. Record all of your due dates into your calendar, and even include set dates and times for studying. This way, you are held more accountable, and reminded often, to get this work done on time. My former bosses always stressed the importance of "to do by when." By giving yourself due dates, especially for studying and learning course material, you can ensure that you are on track to ace your exam. Trust me, you do not want to be cramming for an exam the night before, especially in this new foreign format.
Whether they are handwritten, printed, or even online, flashcards are a great way to prepare for an exam. Flashcards help test your knowledge of a given subject and let you know what areas may need additional studying. Even before remote learning, flashcards were my go-to for studying for exams. They were a great asset in helping me remember my exam material, no matter how clueless I felt on the topic. While it may seem rather simple, flashcards are a great way to successfully prepare for an exam, especially during a massive shift in learning such as this.
Take Handwritten Notes
Writing out my notes by hand has always helped me remember my course material and prepare come exam time. Writing notes by hand generally improves your understanding of the material and helps you remember it better, an asset to this method. Writing your notes down also involves deeper cognitive-processing of the material than typing it, giving you more of a reason to make the switch. While it may seem tedious to write out all your notes, think of this as additional exam prep! With how stressful things already are, why not take some of the pressure off yourself by getting a jump start into your studying by writing out your notes? Trust me, you will not regret it!
Taking exams remotely can be intimidating, but it does not have to be. By following these tips and taking your exams as seriously as you would if you took them in person, you are bound to succeed. It is also important to not beat yourself up over exam scores at a time like this. Exams are already stressful enough before this shift in learning; do not pressure yourself further by beating yourself up over grades. Remember to try your best and take a deep breath. We believe in you!