Having to go ‘back to school’… the dreaded words. From the apprehension of whether you can actually do the work, to the concern as to whether study time can be fitted in between other commitments, studying for another qualification can certainly be a daunting experience.
There’s no doubt that taking on a qualification like a BTEC or a distance learning program can be an intimidating prospect and your life needs to be adjusted slightly to accommodate it. But it’s also important that any changes made are not so extensive that they will become a burden – it’s amazing, with a little bit of organisation, just how much you can really fit into your day and, by contrast, just how easy it is to waste time.
So, if you’re thinking about a distance learning course here are some tips to help prepare you for your studying experience and really get the most out of your BTEC or A level…
Compile a Timetable and Be Disciplined
Compiling a timetable is an absolute non-negotiable. It will tell you when you study, what you study and for how long. After you’ve organised the course into sections and sub-sections then plotted them into your timetable per week over the months you will feel assured that everything can be fitted in. Starting a distance learning course on a confident footing is incredibly important to lasting mental positivity.
With a BTEC or A level course some of this work will be done for you in the form of units or modules but you may want to dissect the units further so you give equal amount of consideration to all topics. Gather the whole course requirements together and divide into manageable bite-sized portions. If you need help, ask right away – your designated tutor is there to help you, and make sure you don’t get bogged down.
This tip is in regard to when you are able to study and for how long. Think realistically: when do you have time? Two hours every night? 16 hours over the weekend? Or two hours per day Monday to Thursday? Once you’ve set your routine, make sure you stick to it – if it’s structured, then your friends and family will also fall into line with it, making it easier for you to stick to. If you tell people at work or your friends that you are studying a distance learning course you’re also less likely to quit, too.
Getting involved with local businesses and clubs that are related to your course is never exactly a bad idea. It will enhance learning and allow you to study without even realising it. It can also help you get work experience placements and even a job at the end of your course.
Finally, it’s absolutely essential to give yourself a bit time off and little treats when you’ve finished a unit or assignment. After all, a job well done deserves recognition, and rest, recuperation and reward are as much a cornerstone of successful distance learning as the old-fashioned ‘three Rs’ were of primary education.