Distance Learning is one of the most flexible and freeing ways of studying for an accountancy qualification. But it requires a little discipline – as you’re in control.
There’s no one there telling you to do it, you just have to get on with it. So we’ve come up with some top tips to help you when it comes to learning from afar.
It may sound obvious, but you have to be motivated to learn. And without a teacher or a classroom to rely on, you only have yourself. So set yourself goals – they don’t have to be massive – such as “I will read 5 pages and do a practice question before tea”.
Short, manageable, targets can keep you going.
Doing an accounting qualification isn’t quick, and it isn’t necessarily easy for everyone. Keep going. If you get stuck on something, ask a tutor or a fellow student. Don’t worry about finding something hard, everyone hits a bump every now and again.
There’s nothing wrong with sticking your hand up and asking for help. Actually admitting that something isn’t clicking with you can help expand your learning. Eagle’s Academic Support can explain a subject or topic in a different way, and then it might all fall into place for you. Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness.
Distance Learning is all about standing on your own two feet. You don’t have tutorials to attend and you won’t get told off for handing in poor work. Eagle wants you to do well, but we’re not going to be in touch with you every day, pushing you on.
You need to be an independent learner and take initiative. Look at other resources, speak to other students, use your Study Buddy, or Integrated Workbook. Read outside your core materials to understand topics more thoroughly and try to improve your study skills.
Be proud of your wins
Feel pride in every good mark and productive study session. Share your achievements and keep a visible note of how well you’re doing. Celebrate and it will keep you motivated.
Make your own study space
Create the best learning space for you. Do you work best in a stream-lined, minimalist environment. Or do you prefer to have every book and note all strewn out in front of you?
Whatever works best for you, make sure you have your own space that is just for studying. Make sure you’re comfortable, you have enough light, and all the tools you need.
Get in touch with other students
There are plenty of forums on the web that can help you connect with other accountancy students. It’s important to communicate with others doing the same qualifications so you can talk about common problems, and support each other.
To keep you going, reward yourself at the end of every study session. It doesn’t have to be big, it could simply be a little treat to look forward to.
Take a break
It’s all too easy to get really bogged down in a subject.
After a really intense study session, you might look up and see 4 hours have disappeared. Your back is hurting, your eyes are blurry, your mouth is dry. You feel disorientated.
This is a sign that perhaps you need to take a break. Every 25 minutes – rest. Just 5 minutes away can help reset and refresh. Grab a drink, rehydrate, and get back on it.
The joy of distance learning is that you can study when and where you like. But if you’ve created your perfect study space at home it can be easy to think that it is the only place you can crack open the books.
Be flexible when and where you study. If you find you have an extra half an hour to spare, open your book or laptop and get a little more done.
It doesn’t matter where you are – sometimes being somewhere different can actually help your focus and productivity. Give it a go next time you are somewhere different with some time to spare.
Distance Learning is the ultimate learning freedom. You’re in control at all times. If you’re ready to get going, check out our AAT and ACCA pages for more information.
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