Student? Studying Long Hours? Read This

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Student? Studying Long Hours? Read This

By: Brian Ellis

My name is Brian Ellis and I work in the insurance industry with qualifications now.

The Qualification Need

My job seemed fairly safe with my firm. I was a good worker, no problems and achieved my targets without any problems. My bosses were obviously happy enough for me to continue working there.

However, due to new requirements being brought in by the regulatory authorities that govern financial type companies, I needed a qualification. It wasn't concrete, but it seemed fairly certain that to continue to work there I would eventually need the 'Insurance Foundation Certificate'. Oh dear I need my job and I wasn't any good at studying I failed miserably at school.

The Course

The certificate study course consisted of two large volumes, levels I and II and a 2 hour exam for each level. Each volume was studied in a classroom once a week for 6 months with homework.

Difficulties Faced

Level I wasn't too difficult apart from being a very uninteresting subject to study. Think about it, the background of insurance and how it works etc. Level II, however, was going to be the problem. I knew that there was a 70% failure rate for this exam. As soon as I saw the material we had to learn I could see why.

What I did

At the beginning of studying for level I there was a need for me to find out the best way to study due to the large amount of technical data and jargon. I asked my tutor, got books from the library (boring) asked friends and scoured the Internet. What did I learn? Just the same old methods everyone seems to be using. I began to think that there just wasn't a better way and face up to the fact that I'll just have to do my best and keep my fingers crossed.

However, one day I saw an ebook on the web called "The Quick Way To Study For Exam Success". (Available at

I must admit I was sceptical at first due to all the rubbish I had already seen. However, my gut feeling said try it, after all it was on British Pounds 5.27.

When I got it I was pleasantly surprised. I found it straight to the point, easy to understand and could apply the method straight away. I decided to test it on learning all the spirits and prices down the local pub. It worked with surprising ease.

My Study Day

Straight away I got out my study volume and following the instructions starting filling up a 100 leaf duplicate book. On the bus to work each day I'd get it out, quickly scan through and that was my study complete. Thank goodness, no more evenings having to stir myself to get out the volume in an attempt to memorise what was there. Ok, I admit it, I didn't do this everyday, but it didn't seem to make a lot of difference to the results.

No Revision

Coming up close to the exam the tutor starting blasting us with the words "don't forget to revise" and we were given test papers in order to give us practice for the exam. Not just to the surprise of my tutor but also myself, I either came first or second in these mock exams. When others were revising, allegedly, I found I didn't need to, as the way I was studying was just an efficient way of revising anyway.

My Confidence

When the first exam came up we went to the hotel that was booked for us to take the exam. There must have been 150 people there. We were all told to turn our papers over. I found it surprisingly easy and finished in 45 minutes. I had to wait because we weren't allowed to leave until 60 minutes. I was one of the first 5 to finish. Guess what? I passed.


Level II was somewhat different, a lot more difficult. However, I continued to study in the same way.

Before the exam I was a bit more worried whether I would pass due to the publicity of the 70% failure rate. I didn't find the exam as easy as the first but I was able to answer with confidence.

The Results

During the wait period for the results other staff and myself had found out that very few had passed this time. My heart sank at the news expecting failure. Then it came, I was asked to call personnel for my verbal results. What a sense of elation when I heard the words, "I am pleased to tell you that you have passed. Congratulations." Yippee. What me? The x school dunce. Thank goodness, no more boring study of the world of insurance.

The Future

This is such a good way to study, I am planning to go to night school and try to get better qualifications. Then I can get a, hopefully, higher paid job.

About The Author

Brian Ellis is an ex student, now a professional in the insurance industry.


GayHomoSapien 19.07.2010. 09:29

When will international students learn that Australia is NOT a racist country? Ok, I find it very ironic how international students accuse Australia of being a 'racist' nation, when the Australian government is making great efforts to give international students appropriate accommodation in Australia.

Of course, I have more points to make my question more understood.

Fact 1: The Australian government allows international students to come and study at Australian universities, meanwhile many other countries DO NOT offer the same opportunities.

Fact 2: The Australian government developed English classes to help international students to develop better English speaking skills. However, some international students are reluctant to learn English, instead they bribe other people to complete their English essays for them. Many international students use their "poor english" as a reason to avoid conversation with other people.

Fact 3: Australia is a multicultural country that respects all cultures. However, many international students only associate with members from their own ethnic or language background. They are reluctant to talk to any person from a different culture.

Fact 4: Inbternational students are allowed to celebrate their national events in Australia. However, international students are often reluctant to participate in any national Australian event like Australia Day and ANZAC Day. If you ask an international student to come celebrate with you, they might make up excuses like; "I'm busy studying" or "My english is poor".

Fact 5: Many international students work illegally, this leaves many Australian citizens unemployed. Many local students must wake up at 5am to work, or else they cannot pay their rent. Even though international students work for very long hours, most of their money goes to their own families living OUTSIDE Australia. International students do not even pay taxes since they are working ILLEGALLY.

Fact 6: Whenever someone harrasses an international student, the whole country hears about it for the next 2 months. However, there are more Australian citizens being assaulted and it only appears on the news for less than a week.

Fact 7: International students don't contribute to Australia, they take whatever they receive, and offer nothing in return. They complain about student poverty while their wealthy parents are paying for their education.

Ok. This pretty much explains most of it.
If you've actually bothered to read all that, then you tell me; who is more 'racist'?


Admin 19.07.2010. 09:29

Forget the international students. I am totally embarrassed for the Aussies out there that seem to think that the REAL indigenous Australians can be treated like second class citizens and that racist attittudes towards them is acceptable. I feel that a lot of Aussies that are perceived as racist aren't actually racist but are afraid to go against the racist opinions of others (not always racist opinions, maybe bigotry or ignorance). I've seen it a thousand times where a group of Aussies band together and denigrate another group of people, whether it be New Zealanders, English, Americans or whoever. Whenever a question about "Australia's racist attitude" is asked all the answerers say that it is just a minority of Aussies that are like that but on the other side of the coin all the refugees are terrorists, all the international students are cheats and steal their education from Australia or all Muslims are disrespectful to the "Australian way of life". Also something that is said a lot is "Australia is a multicultural society" (in the same breath) "But you gotta be and do stuff like us". There just seems to be a lot of contridictions when it comes to the answers that come up.
Anyway how can one person say if a country is racist? They can only go on their own experiences. Of course white Australians would experience less racism than a darker person.


samuel 15.03.2013. 15:10

Why do some students study a lot but learn very little? I have seen some students who used to spend long hours studying regularly but used to perform very badly in classes and exams. It was revealed that they had not actually understood what they had read. On the other hand there are some (very few) who were hardly ever seen to study but whatever they studied was very much absorbed by them. Can anybody please explain what makes this difference? How should one study to actually learn/grasp the topic?


Admin 15.03.2013. 15:10

There are several factors that can help a person improve their own study skills. The "Intelligent" people who do well in school actually do all of these things, but they may not even be aware that they do it.

- Use active reading comprehension strategies to maximize your understanding. As you read, think about your thinking and monitor your comprehension. Adjust your reading pace based on how well you are comprehending and reread as needed. As you read, you can interact with the text using strategies such as making predictions, asking yourself questions, and mentally summarizing what you have already read.

- Create a personal connection to help yourself learn new material. Each time you learn a new concept, try to connect it in your brain to something you already know or something that is important to you.

- Be an enthusiastic learner. If you aren't excited about a topic, at least try approach it with a positive attitude. Sometimes it is enough to anticipate favorable outcomes (doing well in your future career, earning a high score, pride in yourself). Some people like to make a "game" out of learning and try to beat their previous record. As a last resort, pretend you are interested and see if you can trick yourself into making it stick.

Last but not least, I have one other little tip that helped me do very well in college, I have not heard others talk about very often:

-Tune in to what each professor emphasizes and try to view the material from their perspective, even if you do not always agree with him or her. Listen actively in class. If you learn to pick up on the professor's opinions and personal biases, you have a better chance of focusing your studies on the "right" material and successfully navigating their exams.


Kayla 29.09.2008. 05:15

What is the most effective way to read textbooks and how to combat procrastination? I am a college student and most of my classes require a lot of textbook reading. I need some effective ways to read and aborb information from reading chapters. Should I do outline? or take notes?

Also I procrastinate A LOT ... and when I read/study for a long time... my mind wonders elsewhere.

How long /how many hours should I read/study and then take a break?

Thank you!


Admin 29.09.2008. 05:15

I am a recent college grad and I often found myself in your position. It took time to learn how to study efficiently.

1. When your professor assigns a set of chapters to read before the next class meeting, try read a chapter at a time. Maybe read a chapter right after class and then read another chapter before bed. It all depends on what the reading assignment is and the time between the next class.

2. Figure out when you are most alert. For me I was most alert in the morning, that is when I got the most use of my time and I used it to my advantage. Maybe you are more alert in the afternoons and that is when your highest concentration level occurs.

3. It varies by people but for me to read it had to be totally quiet and I couldn't be near a computer, TV, people or even leisure reading books. Try to find out why you procrastinate and try to stay away from the things that divert your attention from your work.

4. It depends what textbooks you have but I know a lot of my college textbooks came with CD-ROMS and/or a book website. Often times these things had down loadable notes, outlines, quizzes, and vocabulary. I utilized these resources a lot!

5. Many chapters in textbooks have introductions at the beginning of the chapter. These introductions list the objectives for the chapter. The objectives are pretty much what the author believes are the most important ideas in the chapter. I would keep these objectives in mind while you read, and when you find answers to the objectives make sure to highlight or jot them down.

6. Pay attention to bolded words. Bolded words are vocabulary words that will more than likely be on the test if you are tested. I remember in all my courses that required a lot of reading, the tests were mainly on vocabulary regurgitated into multiple choice sections.

Just try to stay focused. Also don't forget, college is a great time and sometimes it is okay to procrastinate to have some fun!


Kayla 29.09.2008. 05:16

What is the most effective way to read textbooks and how to combat procrastination? I am a college student and most of my classes require a lot of textbook reading. I need some effective ways to read and aborb information from reading chapters. Should I do outline? or take notes?

Also I procrastinate A LOT ... and when I read/study for a long time... my mind wonders elsewhere.

How long /how many hours should I read/study and then take a break?

Thank you!


Admin 29.09.2008. 05:16

I like to highlight as I read. But it depends on what kind of learner you are. If it helps you to actually write it then maybe you should take notes.
I procrastinate a lot too and I find that lots of short breaks help me. I usually study for about an hour and a half and then take a ten to fifteen minute break and then start again.


Kayla 29.09.2008. 05:14

What is the most effective way to read textbooks and how to combat procrastination? I am a college student and most of my classes require a lot of textbook reading. I need some effective ways to read and aborb information from reading chapters. Should I do outline? or take notes?

Also I procrastinate A LOT ... and when I read/study for a long time... my mind wonders elsewhere.

How long /how many hours should I read/study and then take a break?

Thank you!


Admin 29.09.2008. 05:14

I know how you feel! When I was at University all my courses required reading reading reading, and I found myself falling behind with the readings unless I kept up with it, then I would read and it would all just be words to me - so I needed to find the right way to learn effectively.

So what I did was read the entire chapter without taking any notes and highlighting a few important points and take breaks in between the headings within the chapter (you know how within each chapter there are headings and subheadings?). I did it this way because I to am a procrastinator and I get distracted easily if I allow myself to, so by keeping up the momentum of the reading without stopping to take notes etc. I was able finish reading the entire chapter - and then when I finished the chapter itself, I would take notes based on the summary at the end and the review questions - because it usually focuses on the important parts of the chapter and when you go back you would take notes based on something you have already read - so the information is not only reintroduced to you but you are also able to take that information which you have already read and apply it to the questions/summary to gain a better understanding.

It is also important to put things into your own words, that way you understand it better than learning verbatim - putting things in your own words ensures that you understand the concepts and it becomes easier especially in an exam when you have to regurgitate the information - making your own examples based on the ones they present in the text is also a good learning mechanism.

Repetition, repetition, repetition! Once you have made notes on the chapters, and you have notes from the class then it should be easier to review everything! It is also so much better although we hardly ever really do it, to read the chapter before you go to class (this isn't very often I know!! lol but it helps if you do get the chance to). If not it's nice to use the outline done in class to figure out the important parts of the chapter itself.

Pace yourself, and make sure the readings are done! Go to the library it helps so much with finishing off a chapter! You go there for a couple hours to do the readings, get that out of the way and when you get back home with all the distractions (online, msn, email etc etc etc) you can do the summary and questions and not be to flustered with all you have to read!

Good luck and I hope that helps!


rboy 17.12.2011. 15:45

Why do i start day-dreaming while studying? I am a 17 yr old boy and a science student and i can't focus for much long time (2hrs)during studies and i start daydreaming after i take a break it becomes hard for me to go back to studies?Please advice me on how to study for long hours and improve my focus..i have seen that many girls can concentrate very well on studies


Admin 17.12.2011. 15:45

You dont understand the topic
Its boring
You would prefer to be doing other things
Your method of studying or revision isn't good- this is usually because your not doing active studying, your just staring at the book and reading notes, to really get the info stuck in your mind , do flashcards, quizes or write bullet point shortened notes


Jasmine L 16.05.2008. 02:11

Is it possible to be good at math in two years? Like what would be some tips to get really good at math. Do you take lots of lessons? Read? How long do grade 10 ~ 12 students study math on average everyday? I've pretty much ignored academics until now. I want to change so if anyone can give me some of their experiences thanks!

Jasmine L

Admin 16.05.2008. 02:11

My college Algebra professor says, "Practice, practice ,practice." And she's right. I think, probably to get really good at it, at least 1 hour every day or every other day. I plan on staying up on my skills over the summer by doing at least 10 problems from my book everyday. That way the formulas and operations stay fresh and I don't forget anything.
When our final exam came around this semester, and we got our review to study, I had already forgotten some of the stuff we did at the beginning of the semester.
Making note cards for operations and formulas helps also.
Good luck ! You can do it.


L?????? ????? <3 02.06.2012. 08:16

How many hours should a GCSE student study each day while on study leave? My exams are in just over a week, how many hours should I put in?

L?????? ?????  <3

Admin 02.06.2012. 08:16

I've been on study leave for the past week or so, and I've been doing around 7 or 8 a day. it's not as bad as it sounds, though. I just say every morning I need to do chapters 5,6 and 7 in history and 9 in science or whatever and don't stop until they're done. yes, I take breaks, and eat meals and stuff, but I don't watch t.v. or anything until I'm done. this study routine may also help, it may be hard the first 2 or 3 days, but it gets easier and easier and you're way more productive doing it this way (at least, everyone else I've told has been):
Get somebody to check on you every half an hour, like a parent or older brother/sister. Tell them to force you to study for 1/2/3/4 hours a day, no matter how much you want to stop.
The single most important thing is to TAKE BREAKS! This is not just me rambling on, it has been proven again and again by scientists. Every 45 minutes take 15 minutes break, you brain is physically unable to absorb any more information at that stage. but during breaks, don't watch TV, read, or go on the computer. This will only distract you and you'll loose track of time and not go back to your work. talk to somebody, but tell them in advance to stop you at whatever time. And don't text people, your phone is your worst enemy! turn it off! Give it to a parent to mind until you're finished! Let the charging run down!
Planning in advance what you want to study helps, like "Today I'm going to study all of chapters one, two and three in science" and don't stop until you've finished them (but still take breaks).
Make a study plan, like "I have three weeks until my history test, and 75 chapters. i want to have three days before my test to revise everything, but only skimming through to refresh my mind. That leaves my18 days to study 75 chapters. 75 divided by 18 is four chapters a day and three extra, which I will do on Saturday 18th." i know that sounds complicated, but just break up how much you have to do for each subject for how long you have left. write it down for each subject so you don't forget it.
i mentioned skimming through everything there, which is something everyone i've told to try found it amazing. I can't remember what i studied two weeks ago, but when i was studying it i made notes, pictures spider diagrams/ word webs for the major topics. if you don't know how to do these look on google images or something and you'll see it's a word in the centre with different parts on that subject coming out of it. for example the centre word(s) may be DIGESTION in a circle with the words teeth, stomach, liver, etc. at the end of a line coming out of it. then in turn incisors, canines and so on coming out of that. try using colour, you're more likely to remember it then. the day or so before the exam read over these notes (which you must always keep together in a folder of A4 pad).
for the distractions at home, my advice is everybody has a room with nothing in it. mine is my dads' study. yes his laptop is in there but i can't access it or if it's a TV give somebody the remotes (but the are not allowed watch it). i've already told you to get rid of your phone (that's what distracts most people).
if it's siblings or people distracting you, tell them fine, if the want to talk the can, then hand them a book and get them to test you or (a personal favorite) teach the (even if they already know), explaining stuff to them in simple terms and in your own words. get them to respond to this with questions and then break it down even more. if they can stand this, then great, they're helping you. if they can't, then they can either put up with it (your exams are more important than their gossip) or they can shut up and leave.
give people no excuse for distracting you, I'm giving my dad headphones for Christmas so he can't play his music in my face, and my mom her own copy of Romeo and Juliet so she'll stop stealing mine.
good luck, and hope this helped!


tar manelope 16.12.2012. 06:37

Seeking advice from professional musicians, how do you do it? I'm a first-year music student studying Jazz Instrumental Performance (sax/piano). Although I love and feel music, I'm having a hard time adjusting to the amount of work/stress involved in learning to understand this language. I schedule my day around practicing and it seems like that's all I ever do (almost 7 hours a day). I know you have to practice a lot, I'm not complaining, but sometimes It's just hard for me to motivate myself.
What I'm asking really, is for words of advice from experienced musicians who went through the phase of beginning to take music very seriously. How did you cope with stress? How did you learn to enjoy practicing? Which methods worked for you and which didn't? Did you worry about not being "good enough"? And if so, how did you get over that? A specific question; for multi-instrumentalists, how did you know which instrument you wanted to focus the most on? How did you balance practice time for more than one instrument? Any other wisdom you could offer would be also be very appreciated. Thank You if you took the time to read this.

tar manelope

Admin 16.12.2012. 06:37

Come to terms with the fact that, particularly in Jazz, you will never be done learning. It seems that every time you get to the top of a mountain, there is a bigger one behind it. Enjoy learning, it's a never ending journey.
Now what comes with that is the feeling of not achieving. Here's what helps with that: Go back to what you learned 1 month, 1 year (or more) ago and realize that it is now much more simple. If you have the opportunity, record yourself then, a month later listen to your playing a month ago and realize how far you've come.
Do the work without worrying about the end result. Use a timer, decide how long to work on something, let's say 60 mn, then stop for the day.
Philosophically: Imagine life without music, go for a walk, Choose 1 day a week where you do not touch your instrument (I did that and I think if you have a true passion for it, it will feel like a drug withdrawal), don't do drugs, listening is part of practicing...
good luck


student 28.04.2009. 06:47

What are some ways to study for accounting and econ? I have been studying my butt off for these classes but I have been getting mediocre grades on the exams. What are some tactics to help me do better on the final?


Admin 28.04.2009. 06:47

Hi there,

I have taken several econ and accounting courses. It wasn't fun! I had to study long hours and I worked full time. I had a lot of homework for accounting. Here is what worked for me (these classes didn't come easy to me).
1) I ensured not to miss class, as much as I could
2) Took lots of notes
3) Asked questions during class. Don't worry about other students thinking that you are annoying. You are there to learn
4) Don't procrastinate and do your homework/study on time
5) When you get home from class or the next day, go over your notes and rewrite some of them to help you remember
6) Read the chapters (especially the summaries) and highlight important points
7) Make flash cards to help you remember
8) If you have a student learning center or lab where students can get assistance with subjects, you may want to take advantage of it
9) If the steps listed above don't work, although I am certain they will, find a buddy in class who can help you. Or hire a tutor.

If you work, in addition to going to school, it may be overwhelming and you may be tight on time. Try to study most of the day on your day off/s. I know it's hard but you can do it.

Good luck and hang in there! =)


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