So why should you act Now?

studying, motivation

While you are waiting for “things to get better” you could be improving your qualifications and making things better yourself right now.

Who knows what opportunities for promotion are waiting round the corner… will you be ready for it? Or will it go to someone else?

People with better qualifications get the better opportunities, better jobs and better pay. If you start a Certificate or Short Course right now… you can be earning more by February next year.

Everybody plans to start studying in January. If you join that crowd you will be standing in line, holding on the phone, and fighting for a place with everybody else. Or you can be smarter and avoid the January delays by registering NOW.

But, of course, with distance education institutions like Unisa and College SA, you can start you studies at any time of the year. And even though it works like this, if you ask anybody at Unisa, you will find that in January they have long lines of people waiting to register! How strange, because if you go to register right now, there is no line at all…

Many qualifications have their exams in March or in May. You need to register before January to ensure you got your study materials and to ensure that you are busy studying by 5 January – if you are still planning to register for studies in January, you will not be prepared for exams in March or May. For example, if next year you want to study a Bookkeeping qualification with the ICB (Institute of Certified Bookkeepers – then you need to know that the first exams are in February 2016. And you have to register with a College for your studies, and register with the ICB for your exams before the end of December 2010. If you don’t do that, you start the year by being behind!

It is very difficult to catch up with the person who starts early! Do not let other people get a head start in front of you – make sure that you are in the very front of the queue!

Most educational institutions increase their fees at the end of every year. So if you want to avoid paying more, you must register before January 2016.

Your parents, teachers and friends won’t tell you… people are like crabs in a bucket.

If you put a lot of crabs in a bucket, one will eventually get on top of the others and start climbing out. But as soon as that happens, the other crabs will pull that crab back into the bucket. Even before it can get out, there are crabs hanging on to it, and pulling it back into the bucket.

There are two lesson in this:

  1. If people help each other they can overcome anything – so you should help others, even if you can’t see how it would benefit you directly
  2. If you expect people to help you, you are going to be disappointed. Nobody wants to see you improve your life to where you are in a better position than they are. They will pull you back as soon as you get to the top of the bucket.

So if you want to be like everybody else, and do what everybody else does, and listen to everybody else who will improve their lives “tomorrow”, then wait till January…


But if you want to move ahead at your own pace, if you want to improve your life now, and not later, then, if part of your plan is to study; you can start studying TODAY.

Take care!

How to Study: Tricks, Tips, Techniques and Methods

It’s a couple of days before the exam (maybe even the Saturday before the big test on Monday) and you are staring at that thick textbook just lying there in front of you. The book seems like a slab of granite – immovable, oppressive, and weighing you down.

How do you start studying? How do you keep it up? How do you succeed, and how do you make studying more enjoyable?

I’ve been a student myself (a couple of times, actually). Studying is hard, I know. But you can make it easier for yourself.

I looked back at what helped me succeed. I searched far and wide and did some research, and I came up with a list of 10 tips, tricks and techniques that will help you get through.

So here we go!

  1. Make summaries

I know, it’s even more work that you’ll need to do. But you will be extremely grateful that you made the effort in the end! Summarise your course content using headings, subheadings and bullet-points.

Summarising will help you in 2 important ways:

  • It will help you internalise the work as you put it in your own words.
  • It will make it easier and faster for you to study the work, as you will have short synopses of the course content.

Make summaries as you go through the work the first time. Then, when exams come, you are going to have a much easier time studying and revising.

  1. Learn the concepts first

It is important that you grasp general concepts before learning the details.

If you try to memorise details without fully understanding how they fit into the theme or topic, you are most likely going to forget them!

Understanding the general concept first will allow your brain to remember the details and facts as they relate to it.

  1. Change location

This is a great tip that often worked for me. Tired of studying? Change your scenery. Go study in a park, at a coffee shop, or even just in another room. Go get some fresh air, and take your books with you!

Not only will this refresh your mind, but studies have shown that changing locations increases your likelihood of remembering things you learn. Memory is connected to environment.

This is also a benefit of distance learning, as it affords you the opportunity to study wherever you want and wherever you feel most comfortable.

Change your studying environment

  1. Study with someone

This is one of the fears that most correspondence students have: the fear of studying alone. But just because you aren’t in a classroom with peers, it doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from studying with someone! Ask a friend or family member to quiz you on your work.

And if you get stuck, College SA provides an excellent student support system that you can use: e-mail, Skype, or call your tutor for help.

5. Find your study method

I used to draw little pictures in the margins of my notes to help me retain the information. Some people benefit from drawing diagrams or mind maps.

Study methods - mind map

If you are struggling to keep the information in your head, maybe you just haven’t figured out which approach suits you best.

Remember: You aren’t necessarily bad at memorising things – you are mostly likely just using a study method that isn’t working for you!

6. Goals

This is a great motivational tool. Set yourself daily study goals. Then determine how many study sessions you’ll need each day, and how much you’ll need to learn in each session.

This will help you overcome procrastination, as well as allow you to pace yourself for greater ease and relaxation. You’ll feel much more prepared when you’ve got some structure in your study routine.

7. Reward yourself
If you keep to your goals, reward yourself. This is a great way to stay motivated and disciplined.

Studying incentive: When you reach a gummy bear, you get to eat it.

8. Take breaks
Don’t exhaust yourself in one session. The rule is 15 minute breaks every hour. But this rule is more of a guideline: you can make your own schedule. I used to take a 15 minute break every half an hour, in fact!

Just don’t fall into this trap:

Study for ten minutes. Reward self with two hours of pointless internet use.

Find a pace that works for you, and then stick to it!

9. Get enough sleep

Too many students cram for exams the night before. This is not a great idea, as the more tired you are, the less information your mind will retain.

Make sure you get enough sleep during your study time, as well as the night before the exam.

And again: don’t only sleep! Remember to stick to your study schedule.

10. Enjoy it!

I’ve been roommates with a number of different students – all studying an array of different courses. One thing I noticed is that studying was easier for those who enjoyed their subjects. This is why you should choose a study direction that you are actually interested in! What is the point of studying a subject if you don’t actually enjoy the work?

Do you really want to make a career out of something you don’t like? You don’t have to! Find your passion, and studying will become much easier.

Once last thing…
Don’t stress so much! Stress will not only hamper your memory retention, but will often paralyse you when you actually need to be studying.

So, take a deep breath. Relax. And remember:

Everything will be okay

Exam Registration with College SA

College SA … they really are brilliant. No wonder College SA students are so HAPPY – College SA is all about their students.


For those College SA students who are registered for courses that have external examsexam registration is VERY EASY. The College SA website has a section within their website just for all their students (the Student Centre).


Step one – go to the College SA Website

Step two – go to the College SA Student Centre

Step three – select Exam Registration Portal


Fill in the quick and easy form – and you are DONE!


Now that’s smart. And really useful too …