How to succeed as a part-time student
It is challenging to combine family, work and studies. Good study routines will go a long way in making your life as a part-time student easier. Here are a few tips!
1. Inform your family and employer
Your family will be your most important support, so involve them and make sure they understand that you will not always have time for daily chores. Keep your employer and colleagues up-to-date about which days you will be attending lectures, and how to make sure work tasks are handled when you are away.
2. Get an overview
Start by reading lecture plans, curriculum lists and course descriptions. Make a realistic reading plan and update your calendar with all ‘to-dos’ for the upcoming semester; lectures, study groups, what to read and when, submission deadlines, as well as private and work-related tasks and activities. Try to find a balance between studies, family and work. It might be difficult at first, but as you settle into a daily routine, things will get easier.
3. Be structured
Do not put off reading the curriculum. Stick to the reading plan, but do not get discouraged if you are unable to stay current. The reading plan will then become an excellent tool for getting an overview of what you have not done, and you can distribute the work over multiple days or weeks. Learning requires you to take the time to reflect on what you are reading, so regular reading sessions are a more effective way to achieve good results than strenuous last-minute efforts.
Repetition is the single most important factor for memory, and we therefore recommend that you read the curriculum before the lecture, so that your first repetition will be at the actual lecture. Make a summary of what you are reading and underline the most important parts of the curriculum directly in the books. Review lecture notes and work on previous examination papers. As an adult part-time student you also have the advantage of being able to relate the studies to your own work situation.
5. Participate in study groups
A well-functioning study group increases motivation and desire to learn. Find fellow students with the same level of ambition as you and make a realistic schedule for study group sessions. It is very important that you make a plan for what to discuss at each meeting and that you prepare for every meeting.
6. Use your own experience
Experience is the most important advantage you have as a working adult student. Use this during lectures, group work and study groups. What you learn from other students is also valuable knowledge.
7. Be curious and ask questions
You are a student because you want to learn something new. It is therefore important that you ask questions when you need clarification. There are most likely many others who are wondering about the same thing.
8. Sign up for a class on study strategy
As a BI student, you can participate in a study strategy course (study methods) – take advantage of this. With good study methods you can save time and improve your learning outcome.