Category Archives: Studying Tips

A study guide for IELTS success

If you are taking your IELTS exam, you need to practise exam-style questions again and again. While there is no shortage of free IELTS practice material and IELTS advice available online, students who learn English in London often comment that they wish to know exactly what areas they should focus on to improve their grades. This brief study guide gives students taking IELTS courses in London just what they need: information on the areas to focus on and the skills to master for IELTS success.


  • Some of the most common mistakes students make are through lack of concentration. Always read the instructions carefully and do not assume they are exactly the same as other questions you have come across.
  • Take your time so you avoid careless mistakes in the seemingly easy initial questions. Focus on your spelling to avoid needlessly dropping marks. If you are struggling to understand the speaker, try not to panic. Take a couple of deep breaths, relax and try again.
  • Never leave a blank – have an educated guess at an answer and you may just be right.
  • Perhaps the most important skill for the listening section is to the ability to read, write and listen at the same time. Make sure you have practised doing this.


  • Be careful with your time. Move on from an answer you are struggling with. Do not focus on words you do not know – try to guess their meaning from the context. Avoid re-inventing the wheel by simply copying the answer from the text if it is there, and if only one answer is requested, only give one answer.
  • Read widely from a variety of sources before taking the exam, such as books, newspapers, magazines and academic articles. For many students wishing to learn English London is an ideal base, as there is so much to see and do, with plenty of opportunities to read English everywhere.
  • Always check your spelling and be careful not to confuse singulars with plurals.


  • Stick to the question. Make sure your paragraphs are clearly divided and deal with one idea at a time. Make sure you are always answering the question directly.
  • Do not answer the question with a model answer you have memorised. This is a recipe for disaster, as you will not be answering exactly what the question asks.
  • Watch the clock and remember Task 2 needs more time and can get you more points. Leave yourself time to check and correct your writing.
  • Avoid repeating yourself. If you have made a point, do not go on to do this again in different words.
  • Develop ways to quickly estimate how many words you have written: for instance, if you fit 10 words on to a line, then 15 lines will contain roughly 150 words.


  • Be confident. You are being tested on your ability to communicate effectively and not just your grammatical accuracy. Always ask for clarification if you need it.
  • Rather than learn prepared answers, focus on learning essential vocab and phrases, as the examiner will not always stick to the script.
  • Be expansive. Always give opinions and try to develop your points as much as possible.
  • Practise important phrases and possible responses at home using a voice recorder.

StudyUp – take your study notes online!

Have you heard of Neither had we until this past week. It turns out this cool new study tool allows you to store your study notes online. The site operates a lot like Facebook by allowing you to find school buddies and network with people taking similar classes. Even better, there are no fees just like Facebook; so none of this “Upgrade to a Gold Account” mumbo jumbo. Signing up to StudyUp is about as easy as it gets; just 3 basic fields and you are off to the races!

The add notes feature is super easy to use, allowing you to type your notes directly in for practice leading up to tests and exams, or cut and paste from existing note pages you may already have in electronic format. What happens next is the really interesting part.

As you add more notes to the system, StudyUp begins to find correlations between your pages of notes, and begins building a neat Wikipedia style database of your notes, automatically building hyperlinks within the body of your notes linking to other relevant pages. You can also easily search your notes by subject, course, school year, professor and more.

You can follow your study buddies as they add new notes using the StudyUp Home Base. Another neat feature is the ability to share only certain subjects or school years with certain people. So your math buddy does not get to see your science notes if you choose to set it up that way.

There is also a study tips section for helpful hints posted by other students and teachers that are members. What StudyUp really does is keep a free online history of all the courses & classes you have ever taken. Never again worry about digging up last year’s notes to help you solve a current problem. StudyUp keeps it all organized and online for free. Access your notes from anywhere from any device. We give these guys 2 thumbs up!

Study Tips for Online Classes

In today’s busy world many people have chosen to continue their education via online programs and degrees. These classes allow you the freedom to study at your own time and at your own pace from the comfort of your home. Online classes is a great way for anyone to earn a degree who may be unable to otherwise find the time to go back to school.

Because you are not in a classroom and are in the comfort of your home or other area, it is important to remember that you are still attending school, and if you plan to graduate, must treat it that way. Learning a few basic skills can help you master going back to school with an online program.

The first thing you must remember is to go to class! Missing one or two classes can quickly put you behind in your work. You must log in and complete your work to stay current. Since there is no teacher, you must be sure to read all of your work and materials, and if you need help, ask for it. Faculty is available online to help day or night.

You must also remember to devout an area to your studies, free of noises and other distractions. You must maintain the distraction free area for the entire time you are working, and, if possible, have the area for school work only. Keep your area clean and neat, and all of your papers and textbooks organized and together.

Earning a degree online can help you achieve the career that you have always wanted. Using these study skills will help you do your best and become successful at your new profession.

Fight the Pre-Exam Slump

Pre-exam slump? Check out this article, It says that students tend to create study plans every day; but the problem is that study plans became futile when the urge to slouch takes over. So instead of making it a daily basis routine, create a project method to plan your exam and plot your work in a visual panic schedule. No matter what, stick to that plan.

But of course, being on alert and making sure that your plan is always in progress can be stressful as well. So don’t forget to take a breather. Reserve one day with no “To Do List” so that you are free to do anything you want to do like watch a movie with a friend; eat without hurry; or go to malls.

These would rejuvenate you and could get you going again for the loads you have to take.  Also, who says you cannot break the rules? Violate as many rules as you can. If it is the general practice that you study one week ahead of your examination date, do something different like studying a month ahead.

Do you usually study in the library? How about changing it into studying in the park or memorizing while in transit? When our mind is not set to the generally accepted norm; there are more chances that we will not fall into procrastination.

By going out of the standard norm, we break the sense of going through the same motion every day.  It is also important that we beat the feeling of not working by forcing ourselves to do the opposite. Make a goal for yourself.

Be prepared one week ahead and spend the extra days to master those challenging part. Having a goal can give you the drive to move ahead. Of course, reward yourself. Think of an exciting plan for that you will truly enjoy.

In most cases, human’s endure challenges if they feel they are looking forward for something worthwhile. You may ignite this drive by careful planning and looking forward for the realization of that plan. This transforms your exam from a challenging and meaningless task into the last challenge before your anticipating reward.

It can be particularly good to if you’re studying for an online college degree or an online mba degree, as the freedom of being able to study from almost anywhere could make you more likely to study either too hard or too little.

Read this for more tips.

Practical Ways To Boost Your Intelligence

Everybody knows we have to exercise our muscle to be physically fit. However, it is not just our muscles that need exercising. Our brain also needs the same exercise that we ought to give to our body. Using our brain the right way can make us more focused. It boosts our intelligence and thinking capability. But then, how do we exercise our brain? Here are some practical ways to do it:

Watch less TV –This is a real tough one especially for those who love watching shows.  But according to numerous studies all over the world, television would not allow our mind to think or re-charge.  After long hours of television our eyes sore and we feel so drained. An alternative relaxation is to listen to good music. You can also try reading magazines or newspaper instead of watching TV if you feel some boredom.

Do some stretching – Exercising can boost our physical capability. It can clear our head and creates a positive wave of energy. After a good work out, we will feel more energetic and we could concentrate clearly.

Read challenging books – I am a fan of suspense thriller but I just found out recently that these type of books are not good in stimulating our brain. To enhance our thinking capability, it would be better to read classic novel because these are the books that can make you focus. More than that, it could enhance your vocabulary to good English language.

Get enough sleep – My doctor advised me to get at least eight hours sleep every day. But then, there is a catch to that. One should sleep early to make the most of the sleeping benefits. Rejuvenation takes it fullest if we sleep early and avoid sleeping for more than eight hours. In case of sleepiness attack during day time, 10 to 20 minute nap should do the job. Anything in excess can make us sluggish. Remember, complete sleep helps our mind focus.

Free your mind from unnecessary worries – Too much things crowding our mind makes it difficult to concentrate and could make us feel exhausted. Reflection can make us more organize and easily identify our priorities . Any form of solitude is also good for our brain. Ideas are coming out when we are in solitude state.

Some Pointers To Keep Your Brain In Shape

Forgot where you left your keys this morning? Or maybe you left your umbrella in the office?  It happens. With all the responsibility and things to accomplish, we probably tend  to get forgetful sometimes.  Do not worry because this is not conclusive for Alzheimer’s disease or any type of dementia.

Dementia is an illness that makes our brain develop a difficulty in remembering or communicating. Terminal situations are when the patient loses her or his capacity to take care of herself or himself. This normally requires at least six months to be fully recognized and diagnosed. 2007 Alzherimer’s Association report estimated that more than 5 million Americans are suffering from this disease.

Scientists are still trying to unravel the many mysteries of the brain – how it process and retain information. How it ages and how diseases like Dementia or Alzheimer’s develop. It could also help us determine how we could keep it healthy.

Here are some tips on how we could take care of our brain;

1 – Eat healthy foods. Fatty and heavily processed foods can acquire a negative effect  in our brains synapses. Synapses are important for learning and memory. Foods that can boost synapses are balance diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids found in salmon, walnuts and kiwi fruits.

2 – Hit The Gym. Exercise is a mild stressor to our body, eating up energy and releasing the chemicals called growth factors that make the brain’s neurons stronger and healthier. Stretching can also reduce stress, giving a positive impact on the memory centres of our brain.

3 -  Mind Benders.  Work on your brain also through brainteasers, crossword and memory games. Studies shows that being mentally active can reduce the risks of developing dementia.

4 – Memory tricks. Simple mind control by storing and retaining our memory banks.

5 -  Rest well. Sleep gives our brain the chance to replay the memories of the day and consolidate them for long term storage. Studies shows that our brain can do its reviewing and re-winding much faster when we are asleep than when we are awake.

None of the above tips are fool-proof because in some cases, Dementia could be hereditary as well. For now, no one can really predict who will and who won’t develop dementia. While scientists are working on indicators and cures, the best option on our end is to keep our body and brain healthy.

Free Student Resources From Project Gutenberg

The Internet is now flooded with so many information and for students, it is somehow hard to know whether the particular information they gathered is official, valid, true or not. So it is really important to only search from trusted online resources.

The Project Gutenberg is one of the most reliable educational eBook sources in the internet that is free and can be accessed by students anywhere from the world. It is said to be the first and largest single collection of free electronic books or eBooks.

Project Gutenberg is founded by Michael Hart, the very same person who invented eBooks in 1971 and since then, he continues to inspire the creation of eBooks and related technologies for students and general public.

Project Gutenberg is has more than 28,000 free books in its Online Book Catalog and more than 100,000 titles from Project Gutenberg Partners, Affiliates and Resources. Searching for book title is so easy and with Project Gutenberg, students need not to pay for anything. They can search, download, and read the book for free at the comfort of their homes.

Aside from eBooks, Project Gutenberg also has the Sheet Music Project where you can access public domain sheet music such as those classic music composed by Brahms and Beethoven. So the next time you need to research a book of music sheet, feel free to use Project Gutenberg.

More Tips For Effective Note Taking During Lectures

Note taking  is a common activity to many students but doing it effectively is a skill that must be learned. To make effective note taking a student must do multi-tasking because during lectures they are required to listen attentively to understand what the lecturer is discussing. At the same time, they have to write note to recall what has been discussed.

Remember that in taking notes one must write more for a better recall and to ensure that highlights of the discussion were included on the notes. Write as much as you can and make sure to note the lecturer’s ideas. This will help you to capture and to put in good use the note that has been taken down. Using highlighter is recommended to mark the key points.

Most of the lecturers give important message or tips at the first and last part of the lecture. Listen and focus on these stages. Make sure to adjust your attention and write the ideas laid down on each topic.
Observe and identify the phrases used by the lecturers like “take note that….or the key point is…” these are clear indications that such details are important and can give value on the topic.

Walking Meditation Can Increase Your Focus

Walking meditation is ideal to increased focus and awareness. It helps a person to be attentive on their encounter as they do the walking. It gives more freedom and enhances feeling good on the inner selves. Walking meditation to be effective should be done outdoor like in the sea shore, park or any open space without barriers. This makes one aware of the surroundings and increases the level of thinking because eyes are wide open.

Walking meditation is favored because it is proven that when body is in motion the level of awareness increase compared on sitting down. It can calm your mind and promote good thinking and concentration. Walking meditation gives the benefit of enhancing awareness in addition to the health benefit it does to your body.

Walking meditation can be done easily at your own time and pace. Even while walking from a grocery to your car in the parking lot can be considered as part of the meditation. It is also highly recommended when you are busy because it can be done at the most convenient time while doing some other errands.

Habits of Highly Effective Brains

Having a highly effective brain can be develop by some habits that can be adopted in our daily lives. One can start by finding out what is the “It” in “Use it or Lose it”  which include mental activities. A thoughtful consideration will make a better perception. Having a healthy body and eating the right food will definitely booze a brain to work effectively. Physical exercise is also highly recommended because it is proven to sharpen the brain.

Expert said that being optimistic can make a highly effective brain.  Engaging to mental exercise and challenges including learning new things and working on puzzles and games will also add wonder to the brain. Continuous learning new ideas regardless of age make a brain more effective.

Traveling and exploring new places also add up in making the brain highly effective because it adds knowledge and stored happy memories.  Making decisions on your own keeps the brain on a tiptop condition and aid in analytical thinking. Making friends also proves to be helpful to the brain because it promotes interaction and communication. Laughing and proper nutrition make our brain more productive.