Effective Learning During Online Classes

Effective Learning During Online Classes

Online learning has been an effective method of learning for quite a few years now, especially catering to those with demanding schedules or those who prefer non-traditional means of education. But with the global pandemic of Covid-19, several educational facilities have taken to online learning as a means of ensuring that their enrolled students are still able to learn and keep themselves engaged with the usual assignments and examinations. 

Some students may prefer to learn in physical classrooms, while some students may prefer the ease and comfort of online classrooms. Online learning is just as good, or even better than learning in a physical classroom. However, owing to the pandemic and the need to practice safe social distancing and exercising caution with physical interactions, online classes are the best option for students and lecturers alike. This ensures that your life isn’t held at a standstill and you can still progress forward with your education, without any external obstructions. 

For those who are new to online classes, the shift may be quite challenging at first, but having some tips and techniques to navigate your way through classes and your work will prove to be rather beneficial. 

Here are some useful techniques to learning effectively during an online class 

Treat it like a physical class: 

The most important factor about having the discipline to sit through an online class is to actually treat it like a physical class. Essentially, you are paying the same course fees for your online class, just like physical classes, so keep this in mind, and it will encourage you to sit through it. Additionally, online classes provide you with ease and flexibility with which to complete your work, but do not take this for granted. Set yourself a realistic schedule to complete your relevant research and work by the end of the week, or whenever a deadline is approaching. Start your day early, eat breakfast, shower and put on comfortable clothes, but not pyjamas. This will put you in the mood for the class, and ensure that you’re set for learning. 

Setting realistic goals: 

It’s absolutely vital to set realistic goals for yourself at the start of a semester, with regard to studying and examinations, and keeping an allotted time period for work on assignments. Usually, in a physical classroom, your lecturer or tutor will remind you about your assignment, but without a physical classroom, it is your duty to do this for yourself. Write down reminders on little pieces of paper and stick them around your room or dedicated study space. You can even set reminders on your phone, if that’s what works better for you. These will remind you of pending work and encourage you to actually complete them. If there are four parts to an assignment, work every day of the week and seek to complete one part for each week. This will ensure that you do not complete your assignment in a rush, thus decreasing the quality of your work. You can even pair up with a classmate to work together, holding each other responsible for each other’s work. As long as you are organized and self-aware, you can work towards your weekly goals. 

Managing your time: 

One of the biggest advantages of online learning is the flexibility with which to create your own schedule. However, if you do not have effective time management, you may face challenges in completing your work, or ensuring that you have adequate time to study for exams. At the start of your semester, take a look at your syllabus and make a note of all the major assignments on your calendar. Be sure to note important commitments such as weddings, birthday events and even vacations on the calendar, so this allows you plenty of time with which to schedule your work. Weekly schedules are more effective, and you can set aside a few hours everyday for reading and research, making notes, typing assignments and even group study sessions with your friends and/or classmates. Be sure to check on your progress and see how much you have managed to complete. 

A dedicated study space: 

Set up a space exclusively for you to work at, and when you start to complete your work there on a regular basis, you are setting a proper routine for yourself. Keep your space clean, organized and equipped with necessary textbooks, course materials, stationery and a functioning computer with a fast Internet connection. 

Remove distractions: 

The best way to work in an effective manner is to tune out all distractions which may be keeping you from working. These can include social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or even a noisy home. Close your room door to shut out the noise and start working. If you find that your phone can be a huge distraction (it almost always is!), keep it switched off. For some people, listening to music helps them concentrate better, and for some, even classical music soothes the mind and calms it, enabling them to concentrate and study better. 

Learn what works best for you: 

One of the challenges in learning is figuring out what works best for you. Are you a morning person or a night person? You may even prefer to work during the afternoon and evening. Make some coffee or juice for yourself, keep some snacks (no heavy meals!) and get to work. Take breaks to relax your mind, but they shouldn’t be too long. 

Remember to participate: 

Active participation in online classrooms will help you understand the lecture and course materials better. Pay attention to what your fellow classmates are saying and lend your thoughts to the discussion. Discussing the subject will enable you to understand it better, and if you don’t understand, speak up and ask for help.

Learn together: 

Learning is better and much more fun when you pair up with a classmate. Build proper relationships with your classmates and participate in virtual study sessions. It can actually be fun and you can even make new friends aside from learning, which is a motivator. Classmates can be resourceful and encouraging. Additionally, working together can ensure that work is produced faster and better.

Continuous learning is the minimum requirement for success in any field. 

Effective Studying Techniques For Exams

Effective Studying Techniques For Exams

Do you ever feel like your studying doesn’t pay off? You’ve spent countless hours reading through your notes and realize you can’t actually remember anything? This could be because you aren’t studying effectively. One of the main reasons could be that studying in college is quite different to the studying you used to do in school, during midterm exams, final exams and Ordinary and Advanced Levels. Turning your studying routine around can be quite beneficial and effective in terms of retaining information relevant to exams in college. 

Here are some useful and effective techniques for studying that will benefit you

Reading is NOT studying

This is a common mistake that students make when trying to study. Of course, reading is an important part of studying, but it is not the entire process. Reading should be “pre-studying”, where you read your notes or essential reading, but for class and for your actual process of studying. Rereading your notes can help you forget what you’re even reading. Firstly, create your own study guide and work from that. Read information to yourself out loud and create maps and small notes explaining the material. You can even quiz yourself as a means of testing. 

Develop a study cycle

Work on a routine for yourself everyday before class. Do your essential readings pertaining to the lecture which will be taught the next day. This ensures that you are prepared and have an understanding of what will be taught, leading you to form questions after the lecture and raise them up with the lecturer. Lecturers are there to help you and above all, ensure that you understand your material. Later, read your notes from the lecture and pair it up with the information you have from your readings to get a better grasp of the subject. 

Create effective study tools

When you are reviewing your notes from the lecture, make little notes or maps/diagrams on a notebook or even your laptop. Simplify your notes and highlight key words. The short and interactive notes with little bits of information in a spaced out manner will help you retain information easier and possibly faster. If it helps you, use different colours for your notes by using highlighters and/or coloured pens and markers. Use your own examples to relate to lecture content for a better grasp of the subject. This helps you to understand better and effectively. 

Study intensely:

A longer studying session does not necessarily mean that it is more effective. Extended sessions of studying can be quite exhausting on the mind and body, and can wear you out, thus rendering your study session ineffective. You can actually achieve more in a single study session, if you study more intensely. Set aside a study session for a single topic, for about 30 – 45 minutes, and actively work on that without any distractions. You can have 4 or 5 sessions to cover topics. The shorter time frame puts pressure on you to work effectively and avoid procrastination. 

A dedicated study space

Set up a space exclusively for you to work at, and when you start to complete your work there on a regular basis, you are setting up a proper routine for yourself. This could be a desk in your room, or in your living room, or even at the college library. Keep your space clean, organized and equipped with necessary textbooks, course materials, stationery and a functioning computer with a fast Internet connection. Sometimes a library may be too quiet or stifling for you, so be mindful of what space works best for you to study. 

Do not multitask while studying

The best way to study is to tune out all distractions which may be keeping you from working effectively. These can include social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or even a noisy home. Close your room door to shut out the noise and start working. If you find that your phone can be a huge distraction (it almost always is!), keep it switched off. For some people, listening to music helps them concentrate better, and for some, even classical music soothes the mind and calms it, enabling them to concentrate and study better. 

Make a weekly study routine

Managing your time is rather essential with regard to your study routine. Every Sunday, sit down and make a schedule for your daily study routine for each day of the week, and pencil them in depending on the timings of your lectures. Write down what you need to get completed during the week, and make sure that you stick to it, or at the very least, complete a part of what needs to be done. Having a definite plan for each day sets the step for you to be more productive and efficient with studying. 

Cramming is useless

It’s the night before an important exam, and you realize you haven’t studied a bit, nor do you have any clue about the topics which will appear for the exam. Do not let this happen. It’s usually a recipe for disaster, and most often, cramming before an exam will leave you with barely any information retained in your mind. As mentioned above, an effective, intense and practical study schedule will help you prepare for exams weeks or even months ahead, and ideally, this is the best and easiest way to study. Be easy but firm on yourself. 

Short breaks for the mind and body

When you complete a 30 – 45 minute study session, take a break for yourself. Perhaps do not take your phone out, because a screen can be tiring. Take a walk around your garden, or go into the kitchen to get a snack, or some coffee or juice. Eating and drinking will sustain you, and give you some energy to progress throughout the rest of the intense study sessions. Do not eat heavy meals as you may be sleepy afterwards. Short social media breaks are alright, as long as you’re aware of the time. 

Study in a group

Once in a while, get together with your close friends from class and engage in some effective and intense discussions and studying. It would be good to compare notes and quiz each other on individual topics. This is effective and also helps to retain information in your mind. If in a group, one person can take on the role of a lecturer and quiz each person, and this role can be passed onto each person. Take breaks every now and then to refresh your minds. Group studying, when done properly can be effective, helpful and fun.

Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.

Which accounting certification should you choose – ACCA or CIMA?

Which accounting certification should you choose – ACCA or CIMA?

One of your aspirations is a career in finance, but you are faced with a dilemma, and that is not knowing or being able to decide which professional accounting certification to choose from. Both accounting certifications – ACCA and CIMA provide you with vital skill sets, but it all comes down to what you want to do with your career. Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is a body for Chartered Accountants, while Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) is a body for Management Accountants. The duration of both certificate qualifications is around 2 – 3 years. 

There are notable differences between both certifications, which are worth noting, before deciding what’s best for you!

  1. ACCA will recognize the skills and qualifications of a Chartered Accountant, while CIMA will recognize the skills and qualifications of a Management Accountant. 
  2. ACCA courses are being organized by the global body of Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, while CIMA courses are organized by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.  
  3. Students who qualify in ACCA will gain skills in accounts handling, taxation and auditing, while students who qualify in CIMA will gain skills and training with regard to management accountancy. 
  4. ACCA subjects are Accounting, Law, Taxation and Financial Reporting, while CIMA subjects are Organizational Management, Project and Relationship Management, Advanced Financial Reporting, Strategic Management and Risk Management. 
  5. Potential careers for ACCA graduates can be in accounting firms, educational and training companies, the FMCG sector, financial services and consultancy firms, whereas CIMA graduates can explore careers in the media, publishing and even fashion, owing to CIMA’s focus on business. 

There are notable differences in examinations conducted by ACCA and CIMA: 

  1. ACCA has a total of 16 courses, of which 14 are papers you will have to submit in the following format: 9 are Fundamental Level papers, and 5 are Professional Level papers, while CIMA is split into 4 levels and each level is set to provide students with essential knowledge and practical skills which will give them an added advantage in any career they choose to be in. 
  2. ACCA question papers are divided into three types of questions, which are objective type, longer type and case studies, while CIMA has a total of 9 exams with which to gain your certificate. 
  3. ACCA exams are held twice a year in December and June, while CIMA exams are also held twice a year, in May and November. 

Why should you consider ACCA as a qualification? 

ACCA is recognized all over the world and even more so by employers who understand and recognize that this is a qualification that has equipped their potential employees with vast accounting skills and practical knowledge. It also trains professionals to demonstrate strategic thinking. 

Additionally, ACCA is known for its flexibility and the core accounting skills provided by it enables students to be an all-rounder, ensuring that they do not have to choose an area of specialization immediately, thus allowing them time to decide on a suitable career of choice much later. 

Why should you consider CIMA as a qualification? 

Widely recognized as a specialist management accounting qualification, CIMA is the most ideal course for students who are steadfast in their choice of career, and who know what field they want to work in. If you are quite interested in business and management, CIMA is a great qualification to pursue. Graduates are also encouraged to veer towards careers where they can demonstrate forward and strategic thinking in their respective roles. 

Additionally, CIMA ensures students that they have a wide range of careers to choose from, whether it is in the financial sector or not. It definitely focuses on business demands and widens career options for its graduates. 


ACCA and CIMA are both internationally recognized accounting certifications that are accepted anywhere, and applauded for the knowledge and skills taught to students to prepare them for their future careers. Deciding on which qualification to embark upon should always be based on which career you wish to pursue, or industry you wish to work in.

Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.