Studying may be one of your least favorite tasks, but having effective study habits is the key to getting the most out of your continuing professional education courses. Check out these five tips to help you effectively retain important information from your CPE classes.
As much as we all would like it to be true, we can’t actually multitask. So set aside some time where you can turn off your phone, computer, music and whatever else and focus on your CPE studies. If complete silence bothers you, turn on a fan or some soft music to act as white noise.
Use colored pens
Studies show that color-coding your notes can help you see how things relate to one another and this colorful mapping helps you to recall information later. Use color-coding sparingly though, as too much dilutes the effect on your brain’s ability to recall highlighted information.
Spread out your study time over the weeks and months leading up to your CPE deadlines and avoid a last minute rush. Your CPE credits are a marathon, not a sprint. Break it down and tackle it one step at a time to maximize your learning. This will also help to curb stress and keep you from feeling overwhelmed.
Take a break
Taking breaks is important to refresh your mental reserves and avoid fatigue, particularly if you are looking at a computer screen. At least once an hour, get up and stretch your legs and back muscles. Grab a drink of water or go for a short walk.
Identify your learning style
Perhaps the most effective way to create a study plan that will maximize your success is to identify your learning style. If seeing a photo/illustration helps you to remember better, you may be a visual learner. If it helps to perform the steps yourself in order to memorize them, rather than watch someone do it, you might be a kinetic learner. If you remember conversations and presentations quickly, then you might be an auditory learner. Do some research to figure out which style works best for you.