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Achieving Success: Proven Strategies & Tips For Acing Your Studies

Acing exams in the National Open University of Nigeria requires twice the effort you put into acing exams in a conventional university.

To help our readers and all NOUN students, we have put together proven tips and strategies to help you ace both your e-exams and POP (Pen on Paper).

Here are a few tips for acing exams at a distance learning university:

1. Create a study schedule: Set aside specific times each day or week to study, and stick to it.
2. Take good notes: While watching lectures or reading materials, make sure to take clear, organised notes that you can refer to later.
3. Stay organised: Keep track of important dates, deadlines, and assignments in a planner or calendar.
4. Participate in class: Even though you're learning at a distance, try to actively participate in class discussions (online facilitation) and ask questions when you need clarification.
5. Stay connected: Reach out to your professors and classmates for help and support.
6. Practice, practice, practice: Take practice exams, quizzes, and sample problems to help you prepare for the real thing.
7. Manage your time: During the exam, make sure to manage your time effectively by reading the questions carefully and focusing on the task at hand.
8. Don't procrastinate: Avoid waiting until the last minute to study. The more time you have to prepare, the better you'll perform on the exam.
Remember that every student is different, you should find what works best for you and stick to it.

Creating a study schedule

Here are a few additional tips for creating an effective study schedule:
1. Assess your schedule: Take a look at your current schedule and figure out when you have free time that you can dedicate to studying.
2. Be realistic: Don't try to cram too much studying into a short amount of time. Instead, spread out your study over a longer period of time.
3. Take breaks: Make sure to take breaks while studying. Studies show that taking regular breaks can help improve focus and retention.
4. Prioritize: Focus on the most important or difficult material first, when you are most alert.
5. Use a timer: Set a timer for each study session to keep yourself on track.
6. Study in different places: Mix up where you study to keep yourself engaged and avoid distractions.
7. Reward yourself: Set goals for yourself and reward yourself when you reach them.
8. Be flexible: Be prepared to adjust your schedule as needed. If something comes up, don't be afraid to move your study time around.
9. Make it a habit: Stick to your study schedule as much as possible to make studying a habit.
10. Lastly, have a plan B in case of unexpected events, as it will help you stay calm and focused.

The key to a successful study schedule is making it work for you. Experiment with different techniques until you find the one that works best for you.

Remember, building a good study schedule is not always easy, but it's worth the effort. It's important to be consistent and to always keep in mind your goals and what you want to achieve. If you have any more question(s) or need additional help, don't hesitate to reach out.

Taking Effective Notes

1. Get organised: Use a notebook or binder to keep all of your notes in one place and divide it into sections for different subjects.
2. Listen actively: Pay close attention to what the instructor (during online facilitation or lecture videos provided) is saying and try to anticipate what information will be important.
3. Be concise: Write down only the most important information and avoid writing down everything that is said.
4. Use abbreviations and symbols: Use shorthand and symbols to save time and increase your writing speed
5. Use colors, diagrams, and images: Use different colors, diagrams and images to organise and illustrate your notes.
6. Summarize: After each class or study session, summarize your notes in your own words.
7. Review regularly: Review your notes regularly, and update them as needed.
8. Use the Cornell Method: This method involves dividing your notes into three sections: keywords and main ideas, summary and questions, and review and reflection.
9. Take advantage of technology: Some devices and apps allow you to record lectures and take notes digitally, which can be useful for reviewing later.
10. Lastly, personalise your note-taking style: Find the note-taking style that works best for you, whether it be traditional note-taking, mind mapping, or something else.

Remember, effective note-taking is a skill that takes time and practice to develop. It's important to find the note-taking method that works best for you and to review your notes regularly to make sure that you understand and retain the information.

Staying Organised

1. Keep a planner or calendar: Use a physical or digital planner or calendar to keep track of important dates, deadlines, and appointments.
2. Make to-do lists: Make a daily or weekly to-do list to help you stay on top of tasks and deadlines.
3. Set reminders: Use your phone, computer, or other device to set reminders for important events and deadlines.
4. Use the Eisenhower matrix: Prioritize your tasks by dividing them into four categories: important and urgent, important but not urgent, urgent but not important, and not important or urgent.
5. Declutter: Keep your workspace and living space clean and free of clutter to reduce distractions and increase productivity.
6. Use labels and folders: Use labels and folders to keep your papers and documents organised.
7. Use a filing system: Use a filing system to keep your important papers and documents in order.
8. Use cloud storage: Use cloud storage services like Google Drive or Dropbox to keep your files organised and accessible from anywhere.
9. Use apps: There are many apps available that can help you stay organised, such as Evernote, Todoist, and Trello.
10. Lastly, review and adjust your organisation system regularly, make sure it's still working for you and make changes as necessary.

Remember, staying organised is an ongoing process, it's important to find a system that works for you and to review and adjust it as needed. And above all, be consistent in implementing the system, it will make it easier to maintain in the long run.

Participating In Discussions

Participating in class discussions can be challenging in a distance learning setting, but there are several effective ways to make your voice heard:
1. Be prepared: Make sure to read the assigned materials and come to class with questions or thoughts to share.
2. Speak up: Don't be afraid to speak up during class discussions or virtual meetings. Your contributions are valuable and will help keep the conversation going.
3. Ask questions: If you don't understand something, don't be afraid to ask your instructor or classmates for clarification.
4. Share your experiences: Share your own experiences or perspectives on the material being discussed to add depth and context to the discussion.
5. Use the chat function: Make use of the chat function if available during online class, it is a great way to ask questions or share your thoughts in real-time.
6. Use video: If possible, use video during virtual meetings, it can help create a more engaging and interactive experience.
7. Participate in online discussion forums: Many NOUN centres have online discussion forums or groups where you can participate in discussions with your classmates (created by students, study cntres and educational consultants).
8. Follow up with your professor: If you have a question or comment that you didn't get to share during class, reach out to your professor via email or office hours.
9. Be an active listener: Listen to your classmates and instructors and try to engage with their ideas.
10. Lastly, participation is not just about speaking, it's also about being an active listener and engaging with the material being discussed.

Remember, participating in class discussions can help you better understand the material, and will help you to build a better relationship with your classmates and instructor. It may take some time and practice to feel comfortable participating in a distance learning setting, but with time, it will become easier.

Staying Connected

Staying connected in an online distance learning institution can be a challenge, but there are several ways to make sure you're engaged and building relationships with your classmates and instructors:
1. Join a study group: Find a group of students who are taking the same class as you and create a study group.
2. Attend virtual office hours: Many instructors hold virtual office hours, which are a great opportunity to ask questions and get to know your instructor.
3. Participate in online discussions: Many online classes have discussion boards or forums where you can interact with your classmates (we have numerous set up on telegram, if you want to host or participate contact us via WhatsApp).
4. Attend virtual events: NOUN host virtual events, such as zoom sensitisation that can help you connect with other students.
5. Use social media: Use social media platforms to connect with classmates and instructors.
6. Reach out to your classmates: Send an email or message to a classmate, introduce yourself, and ask if they'd like to study together.
7. Collaborate on group projects: Collaborating on group projects is a great way to build relationships with classmates and learn from each other.
8. Use video: Use video conferencing during class or virtual me

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