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Ace Your College Exams: Tips On How to Study for A Test In College

You’ve worked hard to get into college and now, you’re faced with a heavier workload than you did in high school. Class participation, assignments, quizzes, presentations, group projects, mid-term exams, and final exams are all challenges you must overcome to finally pass the course.

However, simply passing the course to earn credit hours just enough to get the degree shouldn’t be your goal. You may have observed many college students wondering whether GPA matters. To a great extent, it does matter.

Recruiters often look for people with a degree, but imagine how much of a boost your job application could get if you finished college with an above average GPA. To do that, you need to ace your exams.

Let’s take a look at these tips on how to study for a test in college.

Clear eyes and full hearts can’t lose

That’s Coach Taylor’s catchphrase from the iconic show Friday Night Lights. He led his team of high school football players through inspiration.

Without having a clear picture of why you’re pursuing a college degree and what finishing with a good GPA will get you, you’ll find it hard to do your best. Think of your motivations and imagine yourself as the successful professional or businessperson you will be after you’re done studying.

Know that even if you are doing everything right, success is not guaranteed. But, without doing everything right, success is definitely elusive.

Clear eyes (always stay away from drugs and alcohol under 21), full hearts (be sincere to yourself and others) and you can’t lose!

Focus

study for a test in college

When you’re in class and when you’re studying, resist the temptation to look at irrelevant stuff on your phone and laptop. Snapchat, IG, and Facebook can wait. Funny dog videos on YouTube will still be there when you’re free. Your friends will understand that you are busy when your textbooks are open in front of you.

Carefully listen to the professor in class and get through your academic tasks when in your own space. Just like how a physically fit person never compromises their time in the gym, you can’t let anything else interfere with your studying!

Take notes

It may be obvious, but relying on the professor’s PowerPoint slides isn’t enough. You have to take meticulous notes and place a special mark on points you feel like exploring further later in your own time.

Pay special attention to the unique aspects of the lecture which you won’t find in your textbook or online. The class instructor may also be dropping hints about the exam, so keep your ears open!

Take small breaks

It’s important to give yourself a rest after a while.

For example, if you’ve studied for an hour non-stop, it’s time to take a 15-minute break. Call a friend, talk to your family, play with your pet or check your social media. You deserve it!

Refreshing your mind is important to avoid burnout.

See Also: What Is The Best Time To Study According To Your Peak Mental Productivity?

Participate in group studies

Some people study better on their own while others study better with their classmates.

Participating in a group study is helpful if there are too many lectures to cover for the exam. Each member of the study group may impart value to the group by sharing their knowledge, skills, and their unique perspective.

Academic researchers have found study groups to be an effective method of preparing for exams. Group dynamics affect the learning curve, making it less steep. It allows students to question each other and have concepts explained in easy-to-understand language.

Besides the academic help you can get and give, the group can be a source of emotional support, particularly in dealing with the pressures of college life.

Use online resources

No matter which field of knowledge you’re pursuing, the internet is a treasure chest of useful information for you. Find credible websites through Google to delve deeper into topics. Usually, for any specific keywords, the websites near the top are authoritative resources on the subject.

Many printed textbooks have case studies or information boxes urging students to read more online. Check out those resources as they are directly relevant to your subject.
Your university may have also provided you access to academic journal search engines such as JSTOR.

Make the best use of them by checking out what academic researchers had to say on the subject. You can impress your professor by referencing these published researches in your papers and exams.

Have a good internet connection

studying for a test in college

You have to submit assignments online and you have to check your student email. You have to write your papers after extensive research. For all those tasks, you need a reliable and fast internet connection.

Students today are usually drowning in debt, making it hard for them to secure a decent a internet connection. That’s why it’s imperative to find the best internet deals in your zip code.

Know the syllabus

Remember that sheet of paper you got in the first class you attended which had the course information and syllabus on it? If you didn’t keep it or even refer to it once since the course started, that’s a sign you’re not giving it your all.

Why? Because you can’t revise the entire syllabus without having it in front of you!

When you’re preparing for an exam, you should have the syllabus in front of you to make sure you’ve covered every topic.

Talk to last semester’s students

Do you know anyone who took the same course with the same professor last semester?

Seek them out and ask them what was on the exam. Often times, they will tell you in detail what the questions on the exam were. Many of the same concepts will appear on the tests when it’s your turn to do the exam.

Don’t take just one student’s word for it though. Each may have a personal positive or negative bias about the instructor. Try to talk to multiple people who were in the same class last semester and prepare extra hard for concepts they all said were on the exam.

Consult with the professor

The professors have office hours dedicated to meeting with students. It could be through appointment or a walk-in session.

When speaking with your professor, simply talk about the course and clear any confusions regarding the academic material.

Try to see the course instructor in the office at least 2 to 3 times per semester. If they can put a face to the name and they know you’re trying, they’re likely to give you a better grade.

Good Luck With Your Exams!

Just give it your best shot. Follow these tips on how to study for a test in college and you will most likely end up with a decent grade.

See Also: Ultimate Success Tips For College Students

The post Ace Your College Exams: Tips On How to Study for A Test In College appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Ultimate Success Tips For College Students

Going to college is a fun and exciting time for many people, and it’s usually the first step for complete independence for young adults. However, there is also a great responsibility that comes along with this, and our success tips for college students can help.
We’ll outline the best things you can do to start and keep your college career on track.

Take Control

For many students; they experience culture shock when they transition from high school to college. In college, there’s no one to hover over you and tell you what to do. Whether you do well or poorly falls entirely to you. Getting to class on time, doing your homework, and turning everything in before the deadlines are something you have to do without a teacher or parent there to remind you. Step up and take responsibility from the first day. This can stop you from getting overwhelmed halfway through.

Delegate Your Writing Projects

If you take a full course load, the papers you have to write can seem endless. If you get overwhelmed and behind, consider hiring a professional essay writer to help you. They can take on some of your smaller essays, and this frees up your time to concentrate on the longer and more in-depth essays you have due dates looming for. This ensures that your quality doesn’t slip and your grades don’t suffer from scrambling to finish them all at once.

Go to Class

college students success tips

This one may seem like common sense. You’re paying for your classes, so you should make an effort to go to all of them. Many students think that they can miss a set number of classes without a problem. They miss four, five, six, seven, or eight classes over the course of a semester and think that they can just get the notes. But, if you only have 35 classes per semester and you miss 7, you’re missing 20% of the content. This can hurt your grade and GPA.

Make an Effort to Study

When you go to college, be prepared to study. Most of your work will take place outside of the classroom. The general rule is that you’ll have two hours of studying to do for every hour of lecturing you sit through. As soon as the semester starts, find yourself a quiet area and block off time to study. Getting any e-readings, copying notes, and listening to the lecture again isn’t studying and shouldn’t count for your study time.

Take Tests Twice

Pre-tests are a big part of college life, especially if you use them like you would an actual test. If your instructor doesn’t give you a pre-test, you can draw one up using your course materials. Once you have it, take it like you would a normal test under the same conditions. Have a time limit, don’t look at the book unless you can on the test itself, and grade honestly. This will outline where you need to improve before you take the test again for an actual class grade.

Take Advantage of Office Hours

Most professors offer generous office hours during the week and even on weekends. They also have teacher assistants (TAs) on hand to help. At the very least, universities and colleges require professors to be available to students at least two to four hours every week. Email them, drop by, or use Skype to get answers to your questions. They can also use this time to give you extra guidance about the course in general.

Always Answer the Exact Question

Always answer the exact question on a test or paper. More students lose more points by deviating from the question and failing to answer it than giving the incorrect answer in the first place. Your professors go to great lengths to write out exact questions and sub-questions. They expect exact answers to the question rather than generalized answers or a rambling explanation of everything you may know about a topic.

Make a Point to Participate

It’s easy to get lost in a sea of students, especially if you go to larger lecture halls. It’s a good idea to introduce yourself. You want to make a point to participate during lectures. Ask questions if it pertains to the subject or class in general. It’s very likely that other people wonder the same thing. If it’s not directly related to the class material, send your professor an email. or visit them during their office hours.

Turn in Everything

Even if you hand an assignment in late, docking a few points instead of getting a zero is much easier on your GPA. If you find yourself struggling, you can talk to the profession, talk to the TA, or take advantage of your college’s tutoring services. Try to do this in advance, so you don’t turn in your assignments way past the due date.

Learn How to Cite Sources

Plagiarizing content can be grounds for immediate disciplinary actions if you get caught. No matter if you’re writing out a paper or giving a presentation, you have to cite your sources. You can run your paper through Copyscape if you’re worried about plagiarizing, and make sure you ask before you turn it in if you’re not sure.

Improve Your Writing

college students success tip

Even though you’re in college, your professors can still rate you on your writing quality and style. Learn how to use semi-colons and commas. Your college usually has a writing lab that you can drop by and ask if you have questions. You want to make a point to learn to use homonyms correctly because they have very different meanings even if they sound the same. Also, take time to proofread everything once or twice before you turn it in.

See Also: Effective Tips for Writing Assignments You Probably Didn’t Know About

These 11 quick success tips for college students can help to make your transition easier. You won’t get so overwhelmed, and you can have a seamless experience from the first to the last year.

The post Ultimate Success Tips For College Students appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Improve Your Academic Essay Writing Skills

For many students, the thought of writing essays brings along the unique challenge of making sure that it’s better than the last one (or at least just as good as that last A+ essay). But, writing essays regularly can cause you to fall into a rut and use the same formula over and over.

How do you improve your essay writing skills? You can work to hone your skills on your own, or you can use the services of an excellent essay writer to help. If you’re strapped for cash, honing your services can be a more cost-effective option, and we’ll outline steps you can take below.

Make an Outline

how to improve your academic essay writing skill

One of the best things you can do to improve your writing is create an outline. This is important because it helps you organize your thoughts on what you want to say in your essay. A basic outline will help you narrow down your paper’s thesis and create an argument with strong points. Your outline will include an introduction with the thesis, the body with separate paragraphs that support the thesis, and a conclusion that connects all of your points. Ideally, you want at least three solid points to support your thesis.

Use the Correct Vocabulary

How you use your language skills is very important, especially when you’re writing academic papers. The entire goal of an academic essay is to persuade people that you are an expert on your paper’s topic. If you use big words just to sound smart without understanding what the words mean, you can misuse them. Also, people know when you use big words to compensate for a weak argument. Lastly, using obscure wording can cloud the clarity level of your argument. Keep this in mind when you pull out your thesaurus to change a word into something more grand.

Get a Great Understanding of Punctuation, Grammar, and Style

Punctuation, grammar, and style are all very important components in your essay if you want your audience to understand your essay and take it seriously. You want to make sure you have a good understanding of pronoun usage, verb and subject agreement, and sentence structure. You also want a very good grasp on the common punctuation forms like commas and periods. Active voice is better than passive voice because it makes you essay stronger. Also, use concise language if it’s possible.

Understand Your Essay’s Argument

When you write your academic essay, make sure that you keep your main argument in mind at all times. It may tempt you to go off on an interesting tangent for your topic, and this can make your writing more convoluted. Before you put any evidence into your essay, ask if it supports your main thesis. If it doesn’t, you should consider excluding it from the essay. You want to source the strongest evidence possible to support your essay’s thesis.

Use the Elevator Pitch Writing Method

An elevator pitch is very popular with salespeople. You want to imagine yourself in an elevator. In the time it takes your elevator to reach your floor, you should have a compelling argument in place to entice a person to read your entire essay. You want to sell your essay’s idea to your reader in a concise summary that leaves them wanting more. It’s difficult because it forces you to be extremely concise in your writing and thinking to hook your audience.

Don’t Forget Your Conclusion

to improve your academic essay writing skills

Your essay should be strong from beginning to end, and a lot of people forget their conclusion. Your conclusion is extremely important because it’s where you tie all of your points together and prove your thesis to your audience. You don’t want to illustrate your introduction again, and you don’t want to copy and paste your thesis. Instead, your conclusion will quickly outline your points and show how they support your thesis. Don’t let your essay get derailed by a weak conclusion.

Vary Your Sentence Structure

You want to have a variety of sentence lengths in your paper to help it flow from one point to another. If you use a lot of short and choppy sentences, it can make your essay seem disjointed. Mix it up and use both short and long sentences throughout your entire essay. Also, keep an eye out for repetitive sentences. They can make it awkward to read your entire essay, as well.

Avoid Slang and Informal Expressions

Your essay should sound polished and academic. It can’t do this if you pack it with informal expressions and slang. This means avoiding everyday vocabulary like “pretty” or “cool.” You want to write in the third person throughout your paper as well. This can help your audience connect to your paper on a greater level, and they’re more likely to read it through from start to finish.

Research Your Subject

No matter if you choose your essay subject or your professor assigns it to you, research is key. Your research will be a foundation for the rest of your essay, and you should be able to find more than enough research to support your topic as a whole. When you lay out your points, make sure there’s research to support them too.

Writing an essay doesn’t have to be a huge issue, and we’ve given you several ways how to improve your essay writing skills. You can take them and incorporate them all into your papers, and this can help you get your points across and create concise, clear, and professional papers.

See Also: 12 Essay-Writing Hacks That Really Work

The post How To Improve Your Academic Essay Writing Skills appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

11 Tips On How To Write A Good College Paper

An essay is an excellent way to showcase what standardized test scores and grades can’t, your personality. Along with giving your admissions counselors and professors a glimpse of who you are, they’re excellent chances to showcase your writing ability. We’re going to outline several great tips on how to write a college paper below.

Open Your Essay with an Anecdote or a Mini Story

Instead of focusing your attention with trying to come up with gimmicky lines to grab and hold your reader’s attention, start with a small anecdote or mini story. The story you choose should give your readers a small hint of your personality, and this is what will grab and engage them from the start. They’ll want to learn more, so they’ll keep reading.

Get Help From a Writing Service

The use of writing services is on the rise, and it’s not because of lazy students. You might be surprised to know that even students with good grades are hiring these services. Apparently, some students’ load are too much too handle that extra help is needed.

If you’re an extremely busy student who needs that helping hand, you can try reputable writing services like Papersowl. They guarantee papers that are 100-percent free of plagiarism. You can also choose your style and subject before the site matches you with a writer.

Just make sure to do the final touches on your paper so that it still has part of your effort in it.

See Also: How to Find The Best Essay Writing Service for Students

Organize Your Writing

essay outline

Many people skip the organization step and dive straight into their writing. While this may seem like a good idea, it’s a fast way to get off track and lost. Create a rough outline that includes as many even paragraphs as you need to complete the essay while staying within the word count. Put an idea per paragraph, and structure your writing around them.

Combine Like Ideas into Sophisticated Sentences

Short sentences are one way to avoid punctuation mistakes. However, they can also make your paper seem choppy and disjointed. You should take your like ideas and combine them into more complex sentences. You should save your simple sentences for when you want to create a lasting impact that goes directly to the point.

Use Essay Hell for Inspiration

Essay Hell is not a writing service. It’s a site that helps students who are struggling with their essay-writing skills. Founded by a journalist and high school English teacher, the site offers tools like brainstorming sessions, writing tips, topic ideas, sample essays, and much more. It’s a place to find inspiration and conquer your essay writing block or fears.

Know Your Formatting Requirements

Formatting is huge, no matter which level you’re writing your essay for. Find out which formatting requirements your essay requires, and do a quick once-over to re-familiarize yourself with the guidelines. MLA and AP styles are both extremely popular, but there are more available. Most professors or teachers pick one and stick to it throughout the year, but it may not be the same from class to class.

Write Boldly and Vividly

Almost all essays follow a five paragraph format with generalized wording and observations. Imagine trying to grade them all. You want your essay to stand out. One way to accomplish this is to write very vividly and make pinpoint observations with sharp wording. Avoid generalized statements, and pack your essay with details.

Get Feedback

No one likes to hear that their writing or essay needs work. However, it’s vital that you get good and bad feedback on every essay you write. Pull a friend, college, or family member and ask them to review your essay and give their honest opinion. Just make sure that you keep the tone of the essay in your voice from beginning to end.

Proofread and Proofread Again

When you finish writing your paper, don’t just hand it in with a quick glance through for spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors. Instead, put the essay away for a few hours and revisit it with a fresh set of eyes. You can also put it into a program that reads it back to you because it’s easier to catch auditory mistakes than it is to read them. You could also ask a friend to look it over.

See Also: How to Start a Proofreading Business At Home

Consider Keeping Your Essays Short

writing college paper

Unless you have a hard word count requirement, consider cutting your essay down. Shorter essays usually have less “fluff” or filler language because you have less space to fill in your ideas. Shorter essays are also usually more powerful. Cut out sentences that don’t add value to the point or points you’re trying to get across to your audience.

Cut Your Essay Into Three Parts

First starting out can be extremely intimidating when you think about an essay. But, you can cut it into more manageable parts to help create a clear outline. The three parts include:

  • Introduction – The first paragraph will introduce your essay idea to your audience. This is where you grab your audience’s attention and get them interested in your topic.
  • Body – Split the body of your essay into at least five paragraphs. Each paragraph should have one point or example you flesh out when you start to write that supports your introduction’s point.
  • Conclusion – The final paragraph will summarize your essay’s main point, examples, and the supporting points you highlighted in the body. Make sure that you tie up any open ends and reiterate your essay’s main point.

These 11 points on how to write a college paper can help you create a strong and compelling paper from start to finish. You’ll be able to use them to wow your professors or admissions clerks and make a memorable impression that carries through your college years.

The post 11 Tips On How To Write A Good College Paper appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Little-Known Tips For Writing The Perfect Essay

Nearly 2 in 5 high school students lack the English skills needed to complete a college course. This results in most college graduates lacking the writing proficiency needed to get a job, a fact echoed by nearly half of hiring managers.

Most professors agree that essays aren’t just about writing skills or sharing what you’ve learned. Professors describe essay writing as an essential step in the learning process, taking what you’ve learned through reading and coursework, analyzing and synthesizing that knowledge into a clear opinion or idea, and crafting a piece of writing that clearly communicates your thesis.

In short, writing papers helps train you to think and argue.

Writing a perfect essay requires critical thinking skills, reading proficiency, written communication skills, and the ability to organize your thoughts into a clear and concise narrative. Most of us don’t enjoy writing essays, but knowing how to do it right will make a huge difference in your schooling and in your career.

How To Write The Essay

essay writing

Before you get started with your essay, you have to do some prep work. This is one good way of starting to know how to improve your essay writing skills.

Know The Different Types of Essays

Review any requirements laid out by your professor or editor, including the scoring rubric or assignment scope. Read any examples provided by the professor or editor. You might even want to take notes and make yourself a checklist of what to include in your final draft.

One of the best ways to get a good understanding of the assignment is to be familiar with the different types of essays and when to write each type:

Narrative Essays: Tell a real-life story
Expository Essays: Explain or define a topic
Persuasive Essays: Convince the reader to believe or do something

Develop Your Topic

Now that you know what’s expected for the assignment, you’ll need to pick a topic. Sometimes, your professor may determine this for you. If that’s not the case, you need to spend some time narrowing the topic to a more manageable focus.

The best topics should be broad enough to find plenty of supporting information while narrow enough for the essay to delve deep into.

When deciding how narrow the topic should be, always consider the length of your assigned essay. Shorter essays can deeply analyze a single small aspect of the topic while longer essays may need to address how a few aspects work together to form the whole.

As you develop your topic, explore background information from your textbook and class notes and begin to look for supporting research. You’ll need to pick a topic with plenty of good source materials available. Your background research will also help you develop a working thesis. This is a draft version of the essay’s thesis, which you can refine and revise as you conduct further research.

Research & Analysis

Essays are built on what you read and good research is the core of the perfect essay. Remember to pick credible sources (and cite them) and stick to recent publications that aren’t too biased. As you read, take notes so you can refer back to them.

Tips for note taking:

  • Record key elements that back up an author’s argument
  • Keep a list of terms to look up
  • Note questions to follow up on
  • Summarize what you’ve read at the end of each chapter or article
  • Always write notes in your own words, so you won’t accidentally plagiarize
  • Let your notes sit for a few days to give yourself a fresh perspective

Writing & Revising

Once you’ve completed your research, it’s time to start writing your essay. Consider your working thesis: is it still consistent with the evidence? Does it need to be broader or narrower?

Revise your working thesis into a 1 or 2-sentence thesis statement. Use words like “although” or “because” to indicate how ideas are related.

Begin your essay with an attention-grabbing fact or a rhetorical question. Then, give a brief overview of the topic before ending your first paragraph with your thesis statement.

Your introduction should let readers know what you’re talking about as well as your thesis, but save your arguments for the body of your essay.

The body of your essay should have a well-organized structure: chronological, cause-and-effect or ordered by complexity. Always conclude with a brief summary of your main points, restate your thesis, and end with a compelling final statement.

Get more tips for essay writing in this infographic:
How to Write the Perfect Essay like a PhD
Source: Online PhD Degrees

The post The Little-Known Tips For Writing The Perfect Essay appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Strategies For Paying Off Student Loans Fast

No one can deny the fact that education nowadays has become very expensive. It is not always possible to fund the whole investment personally and sometimes, you’ll need assistance in the form of student loans.

If you have a good strategy in place though, paying off student loans fast is possible. In case you are having problems devising a plan alone, you can reach out to a financial adviser who can analyze your outstanding loan and give you the best method to clear it.

Being just out of college still means there is a lot left to see in life. Therefore, worrying and losing sleep over student loans should be avoided. If you are looking for help, then this article can guide you in taking the right steps.

Figure out your budget

figure out budget

This is the first reality check that you need to do before paying off your loans. You need to figure out what your budget is every month while repaying. It should be more than the minimum balance that you should invest in.

Whatever extra cash you have, don’t use it for any other purpose other than paying your loan. The extra cash will assist you in clearing your debt faster.

Refinance your student loan

If you have multiple student loans running at various places, getting it to one single agency might be a wise decision. By doing this, you will need to pay only a single interest instead of multiple small ones. As a result, your interest amount will be lower.

Refinancing gives you additional time to repay the loan but consider the decision very carefully. The longer it takes you to pay your loan, the higher the accumulated interest will be. Act according to your situation.

Get in on the sharing economy

Sharing economy is a very novel and fair concept that has caught on with the younger generation.

If you are swimming in a debt pool, consider renting or borrowing useful stuff from strangers instead of paying a lot of money to buy them. This can help cut down your expenses, leaving you with more money to repay your loan.

Since a digital platform is involved here, the transactions are relatively safe, which allows many strangers to collaborate.

Treat the loan like a mortgage

Once you have an outstanding student loan, treat it like you would treat a mortgage. A mortgage is a property or a good whose value is almost similar to your loan amount.

Any issues with the loan can be settled by taking over the mortgaged entity. Once you treat your student loan like a mortgage, you will be motivated to clear your loans as soon as possible.

Focus on one goal at a time

focus on one goal

If you have multiple loans on your head and you keep worrying about all of them at once, life is going to get difficult for you. Instead, you should focus on one loan at a time and concentrate on clearing that.

If you are having difficulty in deciding how and where to start, you could refer to debt review. It can analyze your outstanding loans and give you a plausible solution to repay it.

There are two ways of doing it.

You could take up the loan with the largest amount and start clearing it and once that is done, you can go for the loan of the next lesser amount. This is called the debt avalanche system and it works for most people.

Another technique is to clear the low-cost loans first and then go for the higher ones. This gives you a mental satisfaction of finishing at least one loan so that you can move on to the next one with confidence. This is known as the debt snowball system. You could resort to any of the ways according to your convenience.

A student loan is a burden at a tender age but once you have a good strategy in place, you won’t have a hard time freeing yourself from your debt.

See Also: Is There Going To Be A Student Loan Apocalypse?

The post 5 Strategies For Paying Off Student Loans Fast appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Top Advantages of E-Learning You Might Not Know About

With the advent of the internet and everything being almost fully available online, learning has changed. Now, almost anybody can easily learn even the most difficult skill right from the couch!

Along the years, many remote learning centers have developed complete e-learning models with no brick and mortar school affiliated at all. These companies have evolved into the likes of Udemy, Edx, Alison and a long list of others that we now know.

This is why many people choose e-learning.

It allows you to take charge of your learning experience, choosing what, when, and how to learn. Whether you are a visual learner or you prefer learning with experience and other students, there’s always an option with e-learning.

What Exactly Is E-Learning?

e learning

It’s a learning method where students use electronics and technology to learn. It’s mostly carried out away from the traditional classroom setting. It’s as simple as that.

E-learning is employed at the higher education level but it isn’t unusual to find e-learning programs for grade school curriculum, like with K-12 Online Academy or even Starfall’s e-learning program that target babies to older kids.

A Little History

In 1960, almost 60 years ago, e-learning first debuted in the form of “PLATO”, a CAI (Computer-assisted instruction system) which was created by Donald L. Bitzer. By 1966, it was already introduced in schools.

It did take a full 34 years since the creation of PLATO for the first higher education institution that would use an online-based curriculum to be created. From there, things got solid pretty quickly.

The 2000s saw fully online open source learning programs like Udemy springing up in full force. Businesses also began to use e-learning around that time. It didn’t take much longer for social and mobile learning to become a thing, too.

E-Learning Broken Down By Type

e learning advantage

There are two major types of e-Learning: synchronous and asynchronous learning.

Synchronous e-Learning – With this model, both the students and their teachers have to be online at the same time for learning to take place. It is more like the traditional instructing system, except that the classroom is online.

This system makes use of:

  • Chat rooms
  • Video conferencing
  • Live streaming
  • Voice

Asynchronous e-Learning – This system is more flexible with timing and allows each student the opportunity to work at his own pace. It makes use of:

  • The Web
  • Email
  • Message and discussion boards
  • Digital curriculum resources
  • Social networking
  • Collaborative documents and wikis

How e-Learning Happens

There are five main methods commonly employed with e-learning. It includes:

Microlearning – Because the average person can only really focus on something for a maximum of 20 minutes at a time, microlearning strives to deliver learning in small bits, called “information morsels”. This method is very effective in boosting understanding and retention by at least 30%.

Gamification – Using interactive games to boost learning outcomes outdoes the expectations of many. It boosts long-term retention 10 times more than the usual norm!

m-Learning – Because mobiles are easily accessible, in bed and even in transit, this is the go-to form of learning for most students. 99% of people think that mobile education enhances their learning experience.

Video learning – Many people are visual learners and, frankly, videos can save much more time than other forms of learning and is most suitable for busy employees.

Social learning – This is where most people who aren’t self-starters find the most return on investment. There is peer-to-peer interaction to help students who may have fallen behind get up to speed.

Advantages of E-Learning

Over the years, many advantages of e-learning over traditional learning models have been observed. The following are just a few of the advantages that students may get.

E-learning cuts down the cost of learning per person by a large margin. The average cost of learning a course using the traditional learning system has been pegged at $95 per student against e-learning’s measly $11!

With e-learning, students also save time. It has been reported to take between 40 to 50% less time to complete a course via e-learning. It also consumes 90% less energy.

E-learning actually saves the environment. CO2 emissions generated per person are 85% less than traditional learning systems.

Students find that with e-learning, they retain more (as much as 7 times more) of the knowledge acquired for a longer period. It’s because the process is mostly interactive and allows learning by practicing.

With the savings on time and overall cost and the increased retention experienced, students find that they have at least a 50% increase in the return of their investments (time and money).

The numerous unrivaled advantages of e-learning and its speedy advancement in the last few years prove that e-learning is here already. Students, as well as instructors, are embracing it.

There are more work-from-home teaching opportunities today and companies like Edx and Udemy are bound to have an even bigger impact on the shape of tomorrow’s global society.

E-Learning in 2018

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What You Should Know Before Becoming A Pharmacy Tech

Discovering a new career is exciting, frightening, and a process full of self-discovery. Without an adequate understanding of yourself and the current job market, it can be difficult to make a career choice with confidence.

Many young students and older career-changers opt for careers in healthcare. Job stability and the personal gratification that comes from serving others in need are two great things about getting a career in healthcare.

If you are thinking of working in the said industry, then you should consider becoming a pharmacy tech.

Pharmacy tech training is relatively short in comparison with other healthcare professions. However, it is rewarding personally and professionally.

pharmacy tech career

Working As A Pharmacy Tech

Pharmacy techs work in retail pharmacies and hospitals. They distribute prescription medications to customers and work closely under the supervision of pharmacists.

Some of their other tasks include:

  • Measuring the proper amounts of medication
  • Packaging and labeling prescriptions
  • Organizing the inventory
  • Entering customer information
  • Answering any questions

There is a customer service component to the job, too. Pharmacy techs are responsible for educating customers on dosage and side effects they may experience after taking their medicines.

In a hospital setting, a pharmacy tech may make rounds in the hospital, distributing medications to patients. With healthcare changing at a rapid rate and new drugs hitting the market each year, pharmacy is an exciting career that requires professionals to stay current on what is going on in the industry.

Pharmacy Techs vs Pharmacists

Before becoming a pharmacy tech, there are certain realities about the profession that you should know. For one, a pharmacy tech is not the same as a pharmacist.

A pharmacist is a health care provider who supervises the pharmacy and makes sure the premises are top quality. Comparatively, a pharmacy tech does many of the same tasks as a pharmacist. However, their level of responsibility is drastically different, not to mention the compensation.

If you are planning on becoming a pharmacy tech, consider first if the salary and compensation will fit your needs.

How to Become A Pharmacy Tech

In a pharmacy tech program, students will learn the basic concepts of pharmacy care, how different drugs must be used, and which precautions to take with each. Students will receive a basic overview of the human anatomy and understand how drugs impact all parts of the body.

Most educational programs will cover an overview of these concepts in the classroom as well as practical application and hands-on learning.

pharmacy tech job
Via monster.com

Once you have decided that pharmacy tech training is right for you, you need to pick the right school. There are pharmacy tech training programs throughout the country that have their own set of advantages and drawbacks.

Important questions to ask while researching programs include teacher-to-student ratio, cost, and whether or not the program assists with job placement after graduation.

Does the program graduate students who find employment at a relatively high rate? Can students work full-time or part-time while completing the program?

What is the “dropout” rate? Are there online courses offered within the program?

It is important to know that not all pharmacy tech training programs are right for you. Enrolling in a program with your eyes wide open is especially important, given the cost and amount of time you will be investing.

In Conclusion

Finally, if you are looking to work in a field that is projected to grow, any career in healthcare will fit that bill. With the aging baby boomer population, it is projected that more and more elderly will need prescription medications, resulting in an increase in the demand for qualified and trained pharmacy techs.

Pharmacy techs need to be meticulous in their work and enjoy interacting with people from different backgrounds. Pharmacy techs obviously handle extremely personal and confidential information. With this, it’s important that techs are able to live up to a high code of ethics.

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Top Careers In Chemistry After Graduation You Need To Know

Chemistry, just like other natural sciences, is the backbone of how the world is shaping up at present. It says a lot about the structure of things, how they react with and to each other, and the way they change.

This knowledge opens up a wide range of career choices for you.

Some of the most popular chemistry majors include:

  • Marie Curie, the first female scientist to win the Nobel Prize
  • Alfred Nobel, who invented dynamite and after whom the Nobel Prize is named
  • Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsico
  • Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
  • Margaret Thatcher, the ex-Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
  • Kurt Vonnegut, author of the famous novel called Cat’s Cradle
  • Pope Francis

If you want to get a career in chemistry after graduation, here’s a list to help you out.

Research

research and lab careers

Chemistry graduates are in-demand in the research industry. Medical companies, universities, and public-sector research centers are also looking for chemistry graduates.

Apart from research, you can work in laboratories, too.

You can lead the search for new medicines and vaccines. You can work on finding solutions to various environmental issues and perform forensic analysis. In addition, you can also work on developing new materials and products.

Chemical Engineering

Another great option for you is to work in the oil and gas sector or energy sector. You can also look for jobs in water and sewage treatment plants or in industries related to food and drinks, toiletries, and plastics.

If you are up for the challenge, you can look for jobs that require a degree in advanced sciences. This includes Biomedical Engineering and Nanotechnology.

Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Industries

pharamceutical careers

The healthcare industry and the pharmaceutical sector are large employment markets for people looking for a career in chemistry after graduation. You can specialize as a clinician, pathologist or biochemist.

In this industry, you can work on developing new cost-effective drugs. You can apply your analytical skills to test and evaluate them in accordance with government regulations.

Toxicology is another field you can get a career in. Jobs in this field involve identifying toxins in different materials and determining which of them are safe and which are harmful to the people.

Public Sector Careers

Chemists work in several state agencies such as Law, Defense, Public Health, Policy, and the Environment. Forensic experts not only collect evidence but are also called upon to discuss the findings in courts.

Chemical experts offer specialized consultancy to lawyers as well as policymakers. They provide suggestions on how to update a policy for the environment or agriculture based on the latest scientific developments.

Other Careers

Chemistry graduates can use their scientific and analytical skills to shine in other fields, too. With that, your other options include:

  • Business Development
  • Data & Analytics
  • Energy, Conservation & Environment
  • Fintech & finance
  • Marketing & PR
  • Media & Advertising
  • Tech & IT
  • Writing (including writing science fiction and working in newspapers or science journals)

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How to Study Effectively: 4 Ways To Study Like An Ivy League Student

Studying is a crucial skill for students but it’s one that’s not explicitly taught in school. Instead, it’s something you have to figure out on your own. It can be a trial-and-error process to find exactly what works for you.

To help you out, here are a few tips on how to study effectively.

Take Your Notes by Hand

notes writing

Typing on a laptop may be quick but writing out your notes by hand helps you process the information better. Since you can type faster than you write, you can probably jot down almost everything the lecturer is saying.

Writing forces you to choose only the important information. If you take written notes in your class, you’re actually getting a bit of a head start on studying. The same goes if you’re taking notes from a class reading.

Put away your laptop and take out your old spiral-bound notebook. Laptops can be distracting whether you’re in a classroom or inside your dorm. It can tempt you into logging into your social media accounts and checking out your friends’ profiles.

Study At Your Best Time

You may think you’re a master at cramming but you’re retaining a lot less than you think. Cramming is only good for remembering information short-term which you can lose quickly.

This means that if you have to recall the same information for a homework or test, it’s unlikely you’ll remember much of it.

Cramming also usually means giving up sleep so that you can study. This can have a negative impact on your health and memory. You may think you’re doing yourself a favor by choosing to study instead of sleep, but sleep is something that’s necessary for remembering things.

So, pick the right time to study and know when your mind is clearest. Take distractions into consideration, too. If you know you have a chunk of time before your roommate gets back from class and you’re alone, that’s probably a good time for studying.

Make Sure to Test Yourself

Testing yourself throughout your studying process can make information stick better. This method also makes it really clear what information you have to work on before the actual test comes.

If you’re studying solo, try making flashcards. You can also have friends test you out.

 

Eliminate Distractions

studying without distractions

These days we pride ourselves on being able to multitask. Studying while checking texts and social media is pretty common.

However, distractions can definitely hinder your ability to recall information. Studying with no interruptions is the only way to ensure you’re retaining all the information you need.

And that’s not limited to your phone. Having access to the Internet when studying can also be distracting.

As a solution, you can install website blockers. This way, you won’t be tempted to open your social media accounts while you are preparing for an exam.

If your dorm is too noisy, try the library or a study room on campus. If you learn best alone, don’t invite friends to study with you. Make sure you’re setting up an environment that allows you to focus completely on your work.

It’s a lot easier to study like a pro than you might think. Try these methods and make yourself the best student you can be.

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How to Maximize Space in A Dorm Room

Most dorm rooms are really tight. Without the right strategy and failure to know how to maximize space in a dorm room, you’ll have a hard time fitting everything you need in your space.

If you are about to transfer or you’re redecorating your room, here are some great tips you can use.

Utilize the Storage Space Under Your Bed

storage under the bed
Via Pinterest

Many students looking for more space to store their belongings will just stuff things underneath their beds. If you are like those students, consider getting more organized by using storage containers. They are effective in conserving and maximizing space at the same time.

Before you actually place your items in their respective containers, make sure to do vacuum packing first. It can take away the excess space your things will occupy, allowing you to keep more items in your containers.

Tip: Store your seasonal items you won’t need to clear up more space.

Use Your Dorm Room Door

If you are like most students who like to bring several pairs of shoes to college, you can get a shoe rack which you can hang near your doorway. Most of those shoe racks can keep around 9 to 12 shoes at a time, saving you a lot of floor space.

You can also get storage bins which you can attach to your door. Those bins can give you enough space to store your miscellaneous items.

Tip: You may have two doors in your dorm room. Use both of them to get more space to keep your things.

Keep Things On Your Walls

Using a small area on the wall for a coat rack will allow for more space. However, most college dorms won’t let you nail or screw anything into their walls. If that is the case, you can use sticky hooks which you can buy them from your local stores.

You can also find sticky baskets which you can stick to your wall. You can use those baskets to keep your keys, coins, or even small pens. The more organized and easier it is for you to find them, the less likely you’ll have to scramble for them when you’re running late for your class.

Tip: Tuck away your coats and jackets you won’t need for the season under your bed. Put them in your bins after they’ve been vacuum sealed.

Declutter Your Deskorganized desk

Most students have desks that look like a bomb hit them. This is especially true with students who are in the middle of preparing for exams.

Now, how to keep your desk more organized?

Consider investing a desk lamp with little compartments for your paperclips, pens, and scissors. This can greatly reduce the clutter on your desk.

Installing a file sorter can also help. You can use it to store all of your files and papers. You can use the other drawers for your books and other miscellaneous items.

Utilize Your Sitting Area

If you frequently have friends dropping by, consider getting ottomans. They aren’t just great for comfy seating but they can also serve as storage boxes. Ottomans have removable tops which you can take off if you need to keep things inside the boxes.

In Conclusion

These are just some of the things you can do to maximize the space in your dorm room. If you are still having problems fitting everything into your space, sit down and go through each of your items. Find out which of them are really necessary to keep and which ones you don’t really need.

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Balancing Work and Study: 4 Highly Effective Tips You Need to Try

If you are a student, you’ve probably thought of getting a job. But is it possible to work and study at the same time?

The answer is yes.

To be successful in balancing work and study, here are some tips and tricks you can consider.

Find a Job Based on What You Are Studying

It might seem difficult but it is not impossible!

For example, if you are pursuing a degree in History, you could look for jobs that can help you improve and learn more about your course. Universities are often looking for students who want to get involved.

You can help with different organization or your school’s administrative tasks. Either way, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with successful people who surely have a lot to teach you. Plus, you’ll be able to earn while learning, too.

Filling your resume with field-related experience also increases your chances of getting a job after you graduate. Employers appreciate related experience.

Become the Master of Time Management

time management planning

Your schedule might be pretty tight if you’re working and studying at the same time. This is a challenging situation but you need to stay committed to make it through.

The key to balancing work and study successfully is to manage and organize your tasks carefully. Take into consideration using an agenda. It helps a lot! You can plan all the activities you have to do and, while time passes, you’ll get used to using it.

Every person in the world has the same amount of hours in a day, the same amount of days in a month, and months in a year. If others can make it work, so can you. Make changes to your current schedule until you have full control over your time. Follow this schedule to optimize your tasks.

See Also: 5 Essential Time Management Tips to Live By

Take Breaks

take breaks

Of course, you might feel overwhelmed because it is not easy to work and study at the same time. Every once in a while, a break might help a lot. Don’t bury yourself under a pile of articles and lessons right after you come back from work.

Take your time and relax! Of course, it is also important not to push it and start procrastinating. Limit the length of your break and follow your agenda.

Enjoy a couple of hours with your friends, take a walk with your dog, and do some morning exercise to keep the energy levels high. Something as simple as your favorite chocolate can make things better, as long as you keep track of your schedule.

See Also: Five Things To Do Right Now To Stop Procrastinating

Keep Your Motivation Level High

At first, you could feel that everything is possible and that you can make it through without problems. The boost of motivation you have at the beginning is incredible and it gives you amazing powers.

But, with time, you might feel overwhelmed or tired and so your level of motivation might decrease. It will become harder and harder to do your assignments after a long day at work.

Reward yourself after you finish reading your lessons. Keep in mind that you do not have to give yourself amazing rewards. A chocolate, watching a movie or going for a walk will surely help. Besides that, you’ll have more energy and you will retain the information easily. Receiving small rewards after accomplishing tasks makes it easier to retain information.

Conclusion

Of course, it is not an easy job balancing work and study. Both of them are important for us and we should take care of both aspects. Although it might seem challenging at first, and it is, you should probably keep in mind that it’s not impossible.

By successfully managing your time and your breaks, you can easily achieve work-study balance. And remember, this is just a transition period towards adulthood. Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do!

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The 7 Biggest Mistakes That College Students Make

So many great things can happen in college. It’s essentially your launching pad.

This is the time and place where you meet people, have your ideas and perceptions challenged, and get prepared for your next steps in life. It’s also a time where you can make some pretty costly mistakes and miss out on some great opportunities.

Here’s a quick list of the 7 things not to do in college.

Going Out Too Often

For many students, college is where you can make spontaneous plans. You can make your own schedule without the need to ask for your parents’ approval.

That, however, isn’t always a great thing.

You may face pressure from friends and roommates to go out and enjoy yourself. They’ll encourage you to stop reviewing and just go out for a night of fun.

When students give into pressure and temptations to go out too often, they usually end up low on cash, sleep-deprived, and behind on their studies.

Fortunately, a solution is available.

Rather than randomly going out on half-baked nights with pals, pick a single night each week or month where you can truly enjoy. This will make it much easier to stay in.

Skipping Classes

Let’s be honest.

If you ever attempted it, you know that skipping class in high school is a real challenge. Now, what happens when you skip class in college?

Well, nothing. There are no phone calls, lectures, and warnings.

But, that doesn’t mean there are no consequences.

Missing lectures, labs, quizzes, or simply not being there to take notes can put you behind very quickly.

So, how do you avoid the temptation?

First, avoid getting overwhelmed and exhausted. Get enough sleep and give yourself plenty of time to do your homework. Try to find other ways to give yourself a mental break when you need it.

Finally, if you must, give yourself one day per semester to take the day off. Just be prepared to get your notes ahead of time and make up for any work.

Not Reaching Out For Help

No college experience is perfect. One of the only certainties is that, at some point, you’re going to struggle with something. For some, that struggle may be academic.

You may find yourself struggling in a particular class or just unsure of where you’re headed in terms of your major.

On the other hand, you may do wonderfully with academics but struggle with homesickness and depression.

Sadly, many students make the mistake of keeping their problems to themselves rather than asking for help.

Keep this in mind.

There are people who are willing to help you if you are having troubles. There are tutors in your student learning center that are waiting for people to come to them for academic help. Your academic adviser can help you stay on the right path and your instructors can help if you are behind. There are also counselors if you are struggling mentally or emotionally.

None of those people will be annoyed or bothered if you approach them. Instead, they will be happy to apply their talents to help you.

See Also: 4 Ways To Overcome Depression Naturally

Taking Classes That Contradict With Sleep/Awake Patterns

You know you aren’t a morning person but if you take that 8 A.M. class, you’ll have all of your basic credits in. That means you can take the summer semester off.

But should you sign up for that class?

You might want to think twice.

How tired will you be and how much sleep will you lose?

Too many students sign up for early classes and then have a really hard time. If you commit to an early class and coffee isn’t enough to keep you going, your grades can really suffer.

Know your sleep patterns and energy levels. Be honest with yourself. Getting in one more class won’t do you any good if you lower your overall GPA or fail a class.

Missing Out on Student Discounts

Your student ID card might just be your ticket to tons of discounts around the campus. Restaurants, movie theaters, clothing stores- there’s a good chance that you can receive a pretty nice discount from those places.

Pay attention to your local banks and credit unions as well. Many of them offer free or reduced price checking accounts and other perks just for college students. This is a great way to establish yourself as a local banking customer and get into the habit of saving.

Ignoring Your Health And Wellness

Poor health doesn’t happen overnight. It comes incrementally.

You go to school sick when you should be resting. Skipping breakfast becomes a habit. You eat too much junk food and you indulge in a few too many beers each week. You rarely visit the gym, too.

Before you know it, you’ve put on weight. You’re depressed and anxious and you feel awful.

Don’t procrastinate.

If you’re sick or experiencing pain, deal with it immediately. Commit to eating right most of the time and always include some form of exercise in your day.

See Also: 4 Habits That Will Improve Your Focus And Destroy Procrastination

Overspending Student Aid Checks

Your tuition is paid. Now, you’re waiting for that awesome check from the school bursar. It finally arrives and you have visions of a flat screen television and the latest gaming system in your eyes.

Before you go spending, be careful!

Remember that this money is supposed to cover your expenses for the term. Even if you’re sure you can make it and earn extra money, there are a lot of things you can do with your windfall.

You can consider:

  • Pay off or avoid credit card debt.
  • Get needed maintenance done on your vehicle.
  • Put money aside for savings.
  • Start an emergency fund.
  • Pay your student loan interest.

If you make it to the end of the semester, then spend the leftover money on something fun and frivolous.

Conclusion

Save money. Stay healthy. Get the most out of your education.

Isn’t that what most college students want? Avoid these seven screw-ups and you will accomplish those goals.

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5 College Skills That Have Lasting Value

Between writing essays, going into interviews, and managing deadlines, you refine several skills while you’re applying for college. Those skills are important because not only do they help you get into your dream college, but they can also help you find jobs and manage your career.

Here are some of the best college skills that can help you achieve success in your life.

Creative Writing

KudosWall recently conducted a survey and found that creativity is king. In fact, 72% of admissions professionals say they accepted applicants who submitted creative admission essays over those who have better academic qualifications but failed to convey passion.

To put it simply, if you can learn how to think outside the box and effectively convey your passion and tell stories, you will improve your odds of getting into the college of your dreams. Better yet, you’ll also be able to impress potential employers with cover letters and resumes.

In fact, the Job Outlook 2017 survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that 75% of employers look for communication skills (written) on resumes.

Creativity goes hand-in-hand with writing skills. According to a new report from the World Economic Forum, creativity will be the third most important work skill by 2020.

So, even after the college application process, you should continue improving your creativity and writing skills. You can take courses online through websites like Udemy and Coursera. You can also sharpen your skills by visiting writing centers and working on projects with a tutor or coach.

Communication

improve communication

Communication, both verbal and nonverbal, is vital to building your career. As the same survey found, 71% of admissions professionals say they’re more likely to accept those who convey outgoing, friendly personalities.

Being outgoing doesn’t come naturally to many. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn basic communication skills. You don’t need to be a boisterous people person. You just need to know how to express yourself and tailor your style to different audiences.

In addition to that, you should also know how to follow up. 94% of admissions professionals who responded to the survey said they prefer applicants who follow up during communications.

Bottom line: When you exhibit strong verbal and nonverbal communication skills, you will ace interviews and thrive both in your academics and future profession.

According to a Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) 2017 survey of nearly 1,000 employers who recruit on business school campuses, good communication skill tops the list of abilities employers look for when hiring graduates.

A simple way to cut your teeth in communication is by putting yourself out there. Join professional and student organizations and attend events. Shake hands, meet strangers and build meaningful relationships with the community around you.

See Also: How To Boost Your Communication Power

Active Listening

Active listening is a skill you can develop on a daily basis. It refers to your ability to fully concentrate on someone who is speaking and to understand the information they share.

During the college application process, you will be in contact with admissions professionals for a series of interviews. Half of those professionals conduct the interviews to assess your character as well as your personality.

Use this as an opportunity to let yourself shine and to become a great listener. Build this skill by giving your full attention, making eye contact, and ignoring your surroundings. Don’t plan out your response. Instead, hold onto your thoughts and focus on their ideas.

Show you’re listening by nodding in acknowledgment and provide feedback on what the speaker is saying when it’s your turn to speak. The best part about this skill is that you can practice it in daily conversations.

Networking

networking

Networking is always valued in the professional world, but it can also benefit students looking to land their dream school. Six in 10 admissions professionals who responded to the survey said that people with large networks are more likely to fit into a college’s culture.

If you have a large network, you demonstrate that you can start and maintain meaningful relationships with others. With strong communication and active listening skills, you’re well equipped to start building your network immediately.

A big network pays off throughout your career because you will have more people to turn to for advice and guidance. You might even earn job referrals. An astounding 80% of professionals consider professional networking to be important to career success, according to a 2017 Linkedin survey.

Why? Because it leads to amazing opportunities.

The Linkedin survey also found that 70% of people in 2016 were hired at a company where they had a connection.

Networking is easier now than ever before, thanks to online communities. In fact, 61% of professionals who participated in the Linkedin survey agree that regular online interaction with their professional network can lead to possible job opportunities.

Be strategic in how you make connections and interact with them. Organize your network in a way that makes sense for you and plan outreach. Schedule check-ins with people you’re close with and consider how you can add value to their lives, like sending them an article they might enjoy or congratulating them on a new project they started.

Personal Branding

Personal branding defines how you manage your online presence and how you present yourself to colleges and potential employers.

In the survey, 71% of admission professionals state that people who already have a personal brand have a major advantage over others. In other words, start defining your brand now.

Once you know what your strengths are, begin creating content that showcases your skills and share that content through social media. This helps you stand out during the college application process and throughout your career.

As a 2017 CareerBuilder survey found that 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates. They are looking for information that supports their job qualifications (61%), if the candidate has a professional online persona (50%), and what other people are posting about the candidate (37%).

See Also: How Building Your Personal Brand Can Affect Your Job Prospects

The best part about starting your personal branding strategy before college is that your brand evolves with you. As you learn new skills or even change areas of expertise, you can update your online presence to reflect how much you’ve grown.

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Is There Going To Be A Student Loan Apocalypse?

One of the scariest things that can happen is a robocall alerting you to the fact that student loan forgiveness program is on thin ice. It’s such a predictable tale of terror – people were promised a decade ago that if they made payments based on their incomes, the remainder of their debt would be wiped out in a decade.

It seems that the program is on the chopping block and people are in a panic. They entered into these agreements in good faith, executed their end of the bargain over the past decade only to see their balances increase, thanks to unfettered interest rates.

Now, they have no recourse and many will have to start the cycle all over again. Is it time to talk about student loan forgiveness?

Student Loan Forgiveness Horror Stories

Clerical errors that aren’t even your fault can keep you in debt for life if your debt is in the student loan category. The New York Times recently reported a story about an Oregon man named Jed Shafer who discovered- after eight years of his 10-year payment plan- that his loan servicing firm failed to enroll him in the program he asked to be enrolled in.

The $70,000 he’d paid in that time period had not put a dent in his loan principal balance. And he’s not the only one who spent the last decade spinning his wheels.

Even the folks in the correct repayment programs are worrying that they might not be out of the woods yet after announcements of their programs’ probable cancellation.

How Many People Are Affected By Student Loans?

The short answer is almost everyone. Even if you don’t carry a student loan balance, chances are you know someone who does.

But even if you don’t know a single person who carries a student loan balance, student loans are an invisible drag on economic recovery. Black Friday is just around the corner. It’s called Black Friday because that’s when retailers get their ledgers into the black after being in the red all year long.

But people who have a student loan debt, a debt category that is second only to mortgage debt in America, spend far less money during the Holidays than everyone else. These are people in their supposed prime earning years who should be otherwise contributing to the economy.

  • 61% say they spend less on gifts
  • 39% say they spend less on travel
  • 28% say they spend less on charitable donations
  • 28% say they spend less on Holiday gatherings

An Ounce Of Prevention Is Worth A Pound Of Cure

student loan tips

The bottom line is this:

The only way to survive student loan debt is to not get into it in the first place. Sure, there are people who dutifully made maximum payments and got out of their student loan debts by living in their parents’ basements and working two jobs.

But, for many people, especially those who find that making a living wage isn’t as easy as you were led to believe at college orientation, the payments are too big and the paychecks are too small. It may be too late for Millennials. However, younger generations should heed their warnings: no amount of student loan debt is safe.

What Needs To Be Done?

student loan crisis

If you already have student loans, don’t count on forgiveness programs to bail you out. You could end up like countless others paying minimum payments while your balance continues to grow. Pay as much as you can each month, including additional principal payments.

The key is to reduce the balance, not to wait around for someone else to do it for you. Take a second job if you have to or find an employer who will pay a portion of your student loan debt as part of your compensation package. Your future depends on it.

See Also: What Can Employers Do About The Student Loan Crisis?

If you are a student looking at schools, stop. Go to a state school or a community college. Apply for work-study programs. Do not go to a private or for-profit college or university. You don’t need it. Consider becoming an entrepreneur to fund your school expenses so that you can work your schedule around school.

The problem with student loan forgiveness is that it is a tremendous economic burden. All that debt has to go somewhere and it’s starting to look like Congress has declared a collective “not it!”. Time will tell if anything meaningful will be done about the student loan crisis. Until then, learn more about the case for student loan forgiveness from this infographic.

Source: refinancesstudentloans.net

Student Loan Forgiveness

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5 Simple Ways to Pay Off College Debt Faster

If you have a massive debt on your student loans, you’re not alone. Many people do.

The standard repayment period for student loan debt is 10 years. That means you will be spending a chunk of your monthly income to repay your student loans for a decade.

If you apply for a program based on your income, it is possible to be approved for a lower monthly amount and a longer loan term. An income-based program can help you if you’re finding it a challenge to make minimum monthly payments. Take note that it can make your monthly payments longer.

For many people, the 10-year repayment period is a long exercise in denial. Paying their monthly student loans means they may not be able to save for a house, buy a new car or take a nice vacation. We only have so much disposable income and if college debt repayment is part of your monthly budget, it can effectively eliminate most of your spending money. You’ll have a hard time gaining financial freedom.

One solution is to repay your college debt more quickly. Once you no longer have debts to repay, you’ll have money to pay for other things. It can become the seedbed for your first house, raising a family, buying a new car or traveling to Europe.

How can you pay college debt off more quickly? Here are five simple steps to consider.

Pay More Than the Monthly Minimum

This is probably the best way to pay off student loans faster.

You can pay off your student loan debt quicker than 10 years by raising the amount you pay every month. Any extra amount you can pay goes toward the principal, not the interest. Lowering the principal will decrease the amount of interest you pay over the life of the loan.

If you can pay $75 per month more on a $10,000 student loan with a 7 percent interest rate, for example, you can save almost $700 over the loan’s life.

Some loans do charge a penalty for prepayment, so be sure to check with your lender. It’s also a good idea to double-check that any amount above the minimum will go toward the principal. Most loans do, but you want to avoid surprises by knowing what your lender’s policies are.

Re-Evaluate Your Repayment Methods if You Have Multiple Sources of Debt

Many people simply pay whatever minimum is owed on every debt they have, whether it’s a credit card, car loan or student loan. However, there are methods to manage your debt so your overall burden is removed more quickly.

The first method is called stacking or laddering. In stacking, you sit down with every debt you have, read the paperwork, and find out what the interest rate is. Then, you prioritize the debt with the highest interest rate. The higher the rate is, of course, the more money you are paying both every month and over the loan’s life. The idea behind stacking is to reduce the debt costing you the most the fastest. It ends up costing you less.

Say you have a Visa credit card with $600 at 12%, a department store credit card with $300 at 11% and a student loan of $10,000 at 7%. If you have $20 extra per month, you’d put it toward the credit card. Once you are free of credit card debt, you then put the $20 extra toward the student loan.

The second method is called snowballing. With this, you place any extra money toward the debt with the lowest dollar amount, ignoring the interest rates. In the example given above, you’d pay your extra $20 for the $300 department store card. Once fully paid, you can add the $20 to your Visa card repayment.

The idea behind snowballing is that you can pay off smaller amounts of debt more quickly and that it provides psychological impetus to keep going.

Get a Higher-Paying Job or a Raise

One of the best ways to pay any debt faster is to increase the amount of money you earn. The more money you have coming in, the more easily you can utilize the first two methods.

One of the best ways to get a job with a higher salary is to find a high-paying career with low-cost degrees. You can be trained as a medical biller or electrician, for example, at a relatively low cost and be paid more in your first job out.

student loans

Any raise you receive in your current job can be used to raise the amount of your student loan payment. If you don’t want to put all of your raise toward a student loan payment, just allot a portion of it.

Consolidate and Refinance Your Loans

If you have student loan debts from several different providers, you may be able to pay less per month if you consolidate the loans. You need to apply for loan consolidation and a repayment plan.

If your student loans have a high-interest rate, apply for a loan consolidation with a lower interest rate. The best sources for refinancing and consolidation are often nontraditional lenders with digital platforms, such as Sofi, rather than banks. You will have to have an excellent credit score to qualify.

sofi student loan

Use Any Windfalls to Pay Down Student Debt

A windfall is any money you weren’t expecting. An aunt dies and leaves you money in her will. You get an unexpectedly high tax return. Your company gives out bonuses.

Again, any money applied to the principal reduces the amount of interest you’ll have to pay. That, in turn, lowers the amount you pay over the life of the loan. So, putting all or some of your windfall money toward student loan debt will help you pay it off more quickly.

These five methods are proven strategies for paying off your college debt faster. The faster you pay it off, the more you can spend on other things and save money for the future.

What’s the best way to pay off student loans for you?

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Top Five Skills To Develop In College That Can Help You Get Your Dream Job

While in college, it’s not surprising for students to be starry-eyed about working. However, when reality strikes, life can be devastating.

As a student, to avoid such a situation, it’s important that you see things as they really are. You need to know that having a college degree isn’t a passport to a dream job. It might fetch you an interview call, but that’s not everything. To actually land the job, employers will want to know, among many other things, what you can do.

You need to have a particular skill set that fits their needs. They will also want to know if you’re a leader, can work independently, think logically and are professional in your dealings.

Unfortunately, most students don’t know many of these things. Others feel they will pick them up as they go along in their professions. Some students may learn professional skills by reading “management books by reputed authors“, watching videos on these subjects or latching on to management gurus.

See Also: 3 Management Books Every Upcoming Entrepreneur Must Read

Now, if you are wondering what exact skills can help you in getting your dream job, read on.

Leadership skills

leadership skills

In life, you need to demonstrate leadership skills where applicable. The ability to assume leadership roles as and when the situation demands in college and in working life will help young professionals to assume positions of influence in the future. Besides, “companies prefer hiring leaders rather than followers“.

You can develop this skill by looking out for leadership opportunities while still in high school. As a student, you can do this by becoming the captain of a sports team, a drama club or a student movement.

Collaborative skills

College kids should work well in groups while collaborating on projects. The ability to work as a team is one of the things employers often look for.

Apart from team-based projects like service activities in high school, you can learn to be collaborative by participating in extracurricular activities and athletics, too.

Essay writing skills

essay writing skills

As a college student, you will have to juggle multiple subjects and write numerous essays. Some of them can come with very short deadlines. The trick is to master essay writing skills and get so comfortable with researching and formatting your essays that you can handle them with ease and quick turnaround times.

If you are unsure about how well you can write an essay, ask yourself if you are confident that you can score an A+ if you write the essay yourself. If you aren’t confident in your ability, it is recommended to take help from professional essay writing services. Use their essay as a reference to improve your essay writing skills.

Communication and interpersonal skills

Another skill you must learn is listening “actively, humbly and attentively“. You should also learn how to start and carry on a conversation and ask relevant questions at the appropriate time. Make sure to maintain eye contact with your group members in group projects, too.

You can inculcate better communication and interpersonal skills by speaking with your teachers in one-on-one situations. Getting a good internship is another great way to enhance your interpersonal and communication skills.

Problem-solving skills

Students and working professionals will always be confronted by numerous challenges that will need deft handling. You can work on your problem-solving skills by taking classes that teach experiential learning. You should also try out new activities that can put you in unusual situations, such as a debate or an oratory club. By participating in group projects, you can develop problem-solving skills, such as logical thinking, critical thinking and decision-making.

Time management skills

By the time you move on to college, you should have ingrained good time management skills. You should be able to track several projects efficiently and prioritize tasks.

You can improve your time management skills by taking in more responsibility. Some examples include obtaining internships, doing volunteer work or engaging in extra-curricular activities.

See Also: 5 Essential Time Management Tips to Live By

Growing personally and academically during college comes with hard work, perseverance and lessons. Don’t give up and keep honing your skills as they can be your ticket to getting your dream job.

 

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Pay off Student Loan Debt by Going Back to School

If you are currently struggling with student loans, you’re not alone. According to Forbes, 44.2 million Americans struggle with student loan debt. For many people, the financial burden of debt infringes upon their quality of life. Thus it is important to pay off loans as soon as possible.

One of the best ways to escape student loan debt is to pursue a degree that will get the highest return on your investment. If you have already graduated college with a bachelor’s degree, you may find that you’re not able to make enough to pay off your debt. Returning to school for a higher-level degree might be just what you need to increase your income enough to pay off your loans faster and easier.

Graduate Degrees Garner Higher Income

One of the biggest advantages of going back to school and obtaining a master’s degree is that doing so will boost your starting salary. This substantial increase in income will enable you to pay off your student loans, as well as get into the career of your dreams.

According to a 2015 study lead by Georgetown University, students who graduate with a master’s degree earn around $17,000 more per year than those who graduate with a bachelor’s degree. As such, students with a graduate degree are able to enter the workforce and earn a higher wage from the start. This significant advantage enables them to pay off their loans quicker.

Of course, this benefit varies across different fields of study. For example, a degree in architectural engineering will tend to net you more income in the job market than a degree in, say, social work. Nevertheless, the Georgetown study found that there was a demonstrable increase in income for graduate degrees over bachelor’s degrees, regardless of the chosen major.

Defer Your Student Loans

If you choose to go back to school, you can temporarily defer your student loans so you don’t have to make payments while attending school. This will ease the strain on your finances while you redirect your mental energy toward graduating in a more lucrative field. Keep in mind, however, that if you have defaulted on previous payments, you may not be able to defer your loans.

Reduce Your Graduate School Loans

working student

Even if you defer your loans, with tuition costs being what they are, you’ll probably have to take out more loans in order to go back to school. This may seem counterintuitive, but if you’re in school to qualify for a higher paying job, it’s actually an investment.

That being said, make the most of this investment by reducing what you take out in loans. You may not be allowed to work part-time, but you might be able to find time to donate plasma, do freelance writing, or apply for scholarships/grants (this last one is HUGE!). Think of anything to supplement your income and lessen what you’ll have to pay back later.

See Also: 7 Ways to Save Money while Earning a College Degree 

Embrace “College Student Poor”

Everyone hates the “poor college student” lifestyle, but college students have a wealth of money-saving life hacks in their repertoire. And don’t worry — you don’t have to live on instant ramen to save money the college way.

  • Cut down on “luxury” expenditures like new clothes, trips to the car wash, and eating out. When you have to go, price-check first and go for the best deal.
  • Attend university events with free food (who knows, you might have fun).
  • Take advantage of the student gym instead of buying a gym membership.
  • Student discounts! They can be found everywhere: movie theaters, museums, car insurance, restaurants, phone plans, etc.

Pay Off Other Debts

pay off debt

Once you’ve graduated and landed your dream job, it might be tempting to live the opulent lifestyle you dreamt of while working your tail off in grad school. But your work isn’t over yet! Paying off smaller debts can make room for paying off another, larger debt (aka your student loans) faster. This is called the Snowball Method, developed by Dave Ramsey, and it really works!

You can also choose to refinance, so instead of making many small payments on various debts, you make just 1 big payment each month that will go toward all of them. You may cringe at such a large payment coming out of your bank account each month, but thanks to refinancing negotiations with each lender, you’re actually paying less than you were before.

Higher Income = Larger Payments

Sticking to the minimum payment on your student loans can cost you thousands in interest in the long term. Put your extra income to good use by making larger payments on your loan—reducing not only how long you will be making payments, but also how much you have to pay off.

See Also: What Can Employers Do About The Student Loan Crisis?

Summing Up

Going back to college for a master’s degree is a surefire way to improve your job prospects, open your career, and increase your income. More importantly, it enables you to pay off your student loans once and for all, granting you invaluable peace of mind.

 

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Achieving The Perfect Balance Between Studying And Working Full-Time

Balancing work and school can be difficult. If you are looking for ways to make the best of your time, here are a few tips you can use.

Review class syllabi

Class syllabi are those small documents created by your instructors, teachers or professors to assist with your studies in the course of the semester. Make a point to go through the syllabi for all your classes. That way, you will have a clear understanding of what will come in the following weeks, including topics to be taught and dates for exams.

Use a good calendar to schedule work and school deadlines

good calendar

Using a calendar, like Google Calendar, can go a long way in keeping up with end-term exams for school or important projects at work. With your entire schedule in front of you, you’ll find it easier to know when you’re available. Setting deadlines for both school and work will also ensure that you’ll never miss any deadlines or fail to prepare for exams.

Start working on assignments the moment they are issued

Avoid postponing school assignments to the last minute. That way, you won’t need to study all night to the point that you get too exhausted to perform effectively at work.

To avoid this, work on your school assignments at the first opportunity. Taking those initial steps, like researching for the assignment and taking a few notes, will help you build some momentum.

Manage your debt to avoid getting distracted by stress

The stress of huge credit card debt, mortgage, car loans or student loans can weigh you down. It can make it difficult for you to concentrate on your education and perform at work. Seek expert advice on debt relief to learn how to take this weight off of your shoulder.

Try out a few different study methods

Use your study time in the most optimal way. To do this, you might need to try a few different methods of absorbing, retaining and synthesizing information.

Some methods include having a study partner, rewriting notes and jotting down some concepts. The only way of finding out which method of study is the most appropriate for you is by experimenting.

Have clearly set out tasks for your studies

study method

While at the office, it’s typical for you to have a defined set of tasks. This can include meetings with your workmates, writing/replying emails, speaking with clients, etc.

You should approach your studies the same way. You should come up with study tasks that are clearly set out, like writing reports and researching term papers. This can help you manage your study time better.

See Also: How to Stay On-Task…Every Day

Schedule your entire week’s study sessions

The last thing you want to do is study in a haphazard manner. Simply opening a random textbook and reading a random chapter won’t help.

So, set aside chunks of time in your calendar for tackling specific topics. These blocks of time can be anything from 30 minutes to three hours, depending on your work/school calendar.

Construct an emotionally supportive network

Have a solid emotionally supportive network both professionally and by and by. That emotionally supportive network can represent the moment of truth you,” says Amy Chen, advertising and correspondence administrator for TINYpulse.

Regardless of whether it’s your administrator, guide or a relative, ensure that everyone around you is energetic about your choice to set off for college.

Time administration is everything

I had at regular intervals of my life (with the exception of Sundays) planned for 30 minutes increases,” says Gabe Lumby, CPA and organizer of Gabe Lumby CPA. Lumby says the way to adjusting classes, examining, work and your connections is dealing with your time purposefully.

See Also: 5 Essential Time Management Tips to Live By

Make your director mindful

Ensure that your director knows that you’re going to school and knows your work limit. Bringing your manager into the discussion at an early stage may even result in acknowledgment or an advancement after graduation.

Adore your learning

When you’re really energetic about your training and vocation, it stops feeling like work all of a sudden. Don’t simply consider it as doing assignments and checking in hours. Instead, consider it as enhancing your brain and propelling your vocation.

“You have been given an open door that few individuals in this world have: a school training,” “Don’t simply take a class, satisfy a fantasy. Cherish what you are doing!”

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What Can Employers Do About The Student Loan Crisis?

There’s news about the student loan crisis just about every day. College tuition is going up at a greater rate than wages. Daycare costs more than college, leaving parents unable to save beforehand. The average student graduates with over $37,000 in student loan debt, often deferring payments and increasing their debt overall.

According to Florida Representative Dennis Ross, “Unfortunately, most students today are saddled with extraordinary debt and are entering one of the weakest economic recoveries in history. . . More than 43 million Americans owe nearly $1.3 trillion in student loans, with a repayment delinquency rate of 11.6 percent. That’s more than $150 billion in student loan delinquency, not including interest. This is a serious problem we cannot continue to ignore.”

An Educated Workforce Is Better For The Economy

college students

We all know that individuals who have achieved a higher level of education do better financially in the long run, but that principle also scales to the entire economy. Our economy actually does better when more people are better educated.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, investing in education is the single best thing we can do as a society to better the lives of individuals. In a recent study, they found:

  • States with the highest wages are also the best educated
  • Investing in education can lead to greater economic opportunity
  • States with more educated workers can attract higher wage jobs
  • Initial investment in education can return greater tax income to the state in the long run as wages grow

See Also: How a 529 Plan Can Help You Save for Your College Education

Why Employers Should Pitch In

working student

Even if some magical force rendered college tuition free tomorrow, we would still have an entire generation of students saddled with student loan debt. More and more companies are offering signing bonuses, tuition reimbursement, and other forms of help for students these days. Companies want to attract and retain top talent, and offering relief from student loans is certainly likely to help you keep your employees happy.

In one study, healthcare giant Cigna was able to achieve a 129% ROI on its tuition reimbursement program, mainly through retaining talent. In that same study, employees who took advantage of the program were able to gain promotions within the company, resulting in an average wage increase of 43%.

Even companies like Best Buy and Starbucks are investing in the education of their workforce, with Starbucks explaining, “College education is a priority for Starbucks partners, but for many, the rise in tuition costs has put college out of reach. We know that there is a clear and demonstrated value of having a college degree, both the opportunity it affords and the measurable impact on earning potential throughout a lifetime.”

One of the student loan repayment proposals on the table right now was proposed by U.S. Representative Dennis Ross. Under his plan employers would get tax credits for matching up to $500 a year in student loan repayment for up to 3 years, but only for students who have an associates degree or higher and who have more than $10,000 in student loan debt. Says Ross of the plan, “Overall, this bill is designed to help students become gainfully employed and pay off their loans while employers are benefited by hiring skilled and educated employees with a vested interest in long-term employment.”

Work Study Programs May Not Be Enough

Many students opt to take advantage of work study or resident advisor positions in order to lessen the burden of college costs, but that may not be enough. If employers can pitch in to make up the difference, there will be a better educated and less burdened talent pool to be attracted and retained, and there may even be some tax benefit to employers in the near future.

See Also: 7 Ways to Save Money while Earning a College Degree 

Student loans follow people around for the rest of their lives, unable to be bankrupted. In today’s economy with stagnating wages and greater competition over jobs, student loan debt is tantamount to a noose around your employees’ necks.

Preventing student loan debt before it starts is crucial to loosening those nooses. Learn more about the possible alternatives to student loan debt from this infographic. You might be surprised how many other options are out there!

Source

Hacking

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