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Learning from Home: How to succeed at Cybrary’s Online Learning

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By: Tatianna

June 11, 2015

Updated August 10, 2018When taking classes to prepare for exams, there are important factors to consider. With Cybrary’s courses, much of the class material is based on watching videos. While this may be great for some people, for others it is not enough to fully grasp the discussed concepts. Below are some tips on how to prepare yourself for learning in an online environment, and how to adequately study the information and help pass your exams. Keep in mind that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to study, but there are effective and non-effective ways based on personal learning preferences.

Setup –

Step 1: Make a Schedule

If you already know what you want to study, the first step in preparing for an online course is to make a schedule. Make a note of when you are busy with work or other responsibilities, and when you have free time.Next, assess how much time you want to dedicate to learning and studying course material. Divide that time between the days of the week that you have the most available time. What's left is a study schedule.

Step 2: Prepare for your Courses

Find out what materials (programs, software, etc.) you will need to do the coursework. Cybrary's career paths are the perfect option with pre-set curriculums that match to in-demand work roles; SOC Analyst, Penetration Tester, Network Engineer, and Cyber Security Engineer, with more to come.

Step 3: Find your Happy Place

Depending on your preference, your study place could be a quiet library or café, on the subway during your daily commute, or at your house with kids, a barking dog, and noisy neighbors. Whatever your place is, find it, and make sure you can think clearly.   When it comes to preparing for certification exams, you need a place to focus solely on the subject matter.

Step 4: Get Comfortable

Proper posture is essential. Do yourself a favor - reduce eye strain and neck pain. While getting cozy on the bed or sofa with your device is great for casual internet browsing, it's not recommended for productive work.While attending online classes, you should be comfortable but focused on the work at hand.

Step 5: Get Rest

Busy individuals might skip this crucial step, but it is probably one of the most important. When you are tired, your brain does not function at full capacity – even when stimulated with sugar or caffeine – thus making it hard to concentrate. Everyone needs different amounts of sleep to feel rested, so figure out what works for you, and go with that.

Attending a Course –

Step 1: Take Notes

While many people may feel it hinders their ability to entirely focus on what is said, taking notes is a proven way to help retain information. No matter what form education comes in, getting the highlights from the notes you take will help refresh your memory later.If an instructor is working through a process, it is often helpful to follow along simultaneously. If you watched a video on how to set up a virtual lab, follow step by step on your computer – it saves valuable time and you can do everything without forgetting steps.

Step 2: Get up and Stretch every 20-30 minutes

We’ve all been there: getting tired, stressed, and cramped while studying. So how do you mitigate these issues? Increase circulation and blood flow to the brain by getting up and stretching for a few minutes. Stretching helps relieve muscle tension and allows your brain to get what it needs to focus. All in all, moving helps to relax you and increase your ability to concentrate.

Step 3: Make Flash Cards

Flash cards are useful no matter what. Even the process of writing them helps you study. They are great for times when you can’t sit down to study for hours, when you don’t have your computer, or when you need to review what you've learned. In any case, make flashcards.   >> Here are some places that you can use or create your own on your desktop or mobile device >>;;

Step 4: Use Other (free) Resources

While there are a lot of resources available online, many of them cost money. Cybrary offers some “Recommended Additional Study Material” on most courses. You don’t need to be a “Google Master” to find quality free resources; you need to be patient and know what you are looking for.Google Scholar is an excellent place if you need peer-reviewed/scholarly information. A regular Google search will also work as long as you know how to search for what you need. For more information on how to enhance your searches, look up “Boolean Operators.”

Step 5: Test your Knowledge

Practice tests and quizzes are perfect for testing your knowledge and lessening anxiety before you take an exam. There are many places that offer free and paid practice tests for certification exams. Exam Compass and Skillset are two places that offer free practice questions for several CompTIA courses, ethical hacking, PMP, and others. With Cybrary's Insider Pro subscription, you can access all of our practice exams, virtual labs, capture the flag (CTF) assessments, mentors, and more to help you reach your goal!
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