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Monday, 8 December 2014

Tips for studying at home!

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I’m currently studying for a CILEx Legal Secretary Level 3 Diploma – it’s a home study course. I’ve not done anything like this before and the last time I did any studying, revision or coursework was when I was at college, and that’s going back a few years!

I decided that I wanted to go further in my career and decided that this course would be a good first step! I’m already a legal secretary but I wanted the qualification too, so I got off my butt and did something about it! 7 months later here we are and I’m right in the middle of my course. I’ve just handed in a beast of an assignment and now have one more assignment and one exam to go!

The great thing about this course is that you can go at your own pace and you can request when you want to start your assignment or when you want to take an exam, you have total control! – You just have to make sure that you finish the course within 15 months.

Studying at home can be difficult, especially if you have a full time job and any other commitments at home. There are some days where I’ve had a really long and stressful day at work and the last thing I want to do when I come home is studying, revising or working on that assignment! So… here are my tips for studying at home:

01. Stay organized! // I like to keep all my course work, books and any other course materials, together with all my stationary, in one place. I like to make sure that I have any note books that I need, pens or pencils and of course those yellow sticky post-it notes – I can’t get enough of those (loser alert!). I also keep all my paperwork for each assignment in folders that are organised with coloured tabs and things like that letting me know where everything is.

02. The Work Space // Find a space in your home that is quiet and somewhere where you feel comfortable to work. Also make sure there are no distractions – turn that TV off and put your phone away! I also like to make sure that I’m working in a clean and tidy environment so if my room (or wherever you choose to study) is a bit messy, I tidy it before I start revising – it makes me feel more comfortable and relaxed.

03. Time // Give yourself enough time; this is the most important thing. If I’m revising for a test I like to make sure that I get in at least an hours’ worth of revision a night – sometimes I spend a few moments of my lunch break just going over things. If you’re doing an assignment (I should be starting my second one in January) don’t leave it till the last minute to start it like I did, I’ve learned from my mistakes and will now get it over and done with and out the way and start it as soon as I get it! Again, I like to work on it a little bit each day and if there’s a day where I feel like I just can’t face it or I don’t have time because I have something else in my diary, I make sure I make up for that time another day, so I’ll spend a little longer on it.

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04. Sustenance // When I’m studying at home I like to cook my dinner first and get that out of the way, I don’t want to have to rush though my studying because it’s getting late and I have to cook dinner. I also like to have a big bottle of water with me, mainly so it saves me getting up all the time to get more water! And I like to have a little snack there too, usually a little tub of nuts or seeds or something, just to keep me going! Also, if I’m studying at weekends I try and lay off the sugary snacks and stick with fruit until I’m done, I don’t want to be having a sugar rush and not be able to concentrate! I save the good stuff until after I’ve finished studying.

05. Prepare! // The most important thing, read through your course materials, and get to grips with your course and what you have to do, don’t just jump in unprepared! When I got my course materials I read through them and made sure that I knew what I was doing for each unit, how and when I could apply to take my exams and assignment, and timeframes I needed to be aware of and familiarised myself with the contact numbers I needed to know! I also found out the marking and grading criteria that I needed for each unit I was taking. Don’t be that annoying person that hasn’t read what they needed to so askes the other person in your firm who’s also doing the same course for the information – If there is anything you need to know, find out first hand for yourself!

06. Just relax! // Studying at home can be hard – especially because you really do have to be self-sufficient and self-motivated. If you are stuck on a particular question with your assignment or are unsure on anything, call the body/university you are studying with. There will always be someone at the end of the phone who will be able help you, more likely than not you won’t be the only one with that particular question! With CILEx I’m lucky enough to have a student forum where I can post questions and other students or tutors are able to comment and help.

Hope this helps! & for all you lovelies out there studying like me, good luck! xo

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