10 Study Skills for Nontraditional Students

Quick Reference for When You Need Help Studying Right Now

When studying competes with everything else in your life, practice one of our 10 study skills and make it easier to balance school, work, and life.

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Create a Study Space


Create a study space that helps you make the most of the time you have to study. Do you have enough light? A power source for your computer? Peace and quiet?

Then vary that space. We tell you why.

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Ask Questions

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Asking and answering questions is one of the most effective ways of learning, whether you're studying alone or with a group, and nothing beats full participation in class for quick learning. Ask questions during class, without making a pest of yourself, of course, and answer your share of the questions posed by others.

Tony Wagner has a lot to say about why asking questions is more important than knowing the right answers. 

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Take it Step by Step


Few things are more inspiring than watching a toddler fall down time after time and get up again.

When studying gets frustrating, take a break and be inspired by a toddler learning to walk. When you sit back down, break your task into baby steps. Step by step, everything is easier.

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Take Notes on a Laptop

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Is it a good idea, or bad? There are pros and cons to taking your laptop into the classroom, but I can't think of a faster, more efficient way to take notes.

There are lots of other products available that are smaller. Check out the list of reviews at About Portables and choose the tablet that works best for you.

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Listen Actively

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It's easy to take listening for granted, but many of us really don't have very good listening skills. Do you? Find out by taking our Listening Test.

If your score is low, review our tips and try again.

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Know Your Options for Researching Papers

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Paper research is easier than ever. In addition to trusty old sources like books, the Internet has opened many new doors, but be careful to use all of your resources, not just the Internet. Know your choices when you set out to research a paper.

Need research paper ideas? We put all of our writing ideas in one place for you: Writing Ideas

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Teach What You Learn

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Teaching what you've learned can be one of the very best ways of making sure you understand the material. Teach your spouse, your child, your neighbor, your best friend, anyone who will listen, and you'll find the chinks in your understanding. Teach your cat if he's the only one around.

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Write Practice Tests

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Writing your own practice tests is one of the best ways to get higher grades. The extra time investment will pay off. It's easier than you think, and you do it while you're studying. Try it. You'll like it.

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Avoid Stress

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Are you choosing stress? Did you know you have a choice? Most of us never think about it. The late Dr. Al Siebert taught people how to avoid stress, and the difference between stressing and straining. Avoid stressing and watch your grades improve. Dr. Al shows you how.

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Meditation is one of the great secrets in life. If you're not already someone who meditates, give yourself a gift and learn how. You'll relieve stress, study better, and wonder how you ever got along without it.