Good study habits?

Hi everyone,

So let me start off by saying this. I pretty much SUCK at having god study habits. I can't read something once and just remember it. With getting certs, I feel like you need good study habits. I've been watching videos on the courses and doing labs.

Is there any good study habits that you guys use? Maybe some pointers on studying? I always blew at it in school.

Best regards,


  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Security +, ITIL Foundation, MPT, EPO, ACAS, HTL behind youMod Posts: 2,781 Mod
    Read, Practice, Practice, Read..and take alot of notes on the items you don't understand..
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • kohr-ahkohr-ah Member Posts: 1,277
    For Cisco it was always read. Lab... Lab.... Lab, Lab, Lab, LAb, LaB, laB, lAB, LAB LAB LAB LAB LAB then I remembered it.

    I can read books all day long but if I dont play with the tech I wont remember squat. That is how I always learn.
    I also learn better with hand written noted over digital ones. Digital ones I prefer as I can access them anywhere but the handwritten beats it every time for me.
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,015 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Find interest in what you're studying. As you're going thru the material, try not to be so serious about it. Think about how cool the technology is, how amazing it's applications would be, or how much prestige/money you'd have once you get a position doing it - whatever motivates you. I've found that simply smiling and being positive while studying helps me to remember the subject more, as well as power thru the moments when I feel like quitting and doing something else instead. Even when the smile is fake - I usually have to pep myself up prior to digging into the denser, less exciting portions of a subject I'm attacking.

    Personally, I like to blitz thru videos 1st. Or aimlessly google the topic and just take notes on the random stuff I find - whether it's blogs, wikipedia articles, or the company's official website/documentation/whitepapers. I find it gives me a primer to the material, the topic, and puts context around the entire thing. The material might not stick fully, but I've become familiar w/ the body of ideas that the subject encompasses.
    When watching videos during this phase, I take nots, but still try to get thru the videos very quickly. I don't consider it the meat of my studying, but more of an appetizer. I watch most videos at accelerated playback speed - often at 1.5x speed, but going as high as 2.5x+ for parts of material I'm already familiar w/. The high speed forces me to completely focus so I don't miss info, but the actual time spent goes by much faster.

    Then I simply read and follow along with what I'm reading. I highlight, write notes, and lab as I go. If I want to get more info about a subject not in the material, I hop on Google.

    I highlight a lot and take lots of notes. The funny thing tho, is I rarely ever need to go back and read them if I follow the above. Labbing especially helps to make sure everything sticks.

    There's also a class on Coursera that covers this very subject - Learning How To Learn.

    Then there's plenty of books an materials out there that focus just on the memorization/retention aspect.

    Then there's also a few video series on udemy covering the topic, tho to be honest, a lot of the udemy courses I've tried haven't been such high quality. But @ $10-20 a pop, aren't too bad.
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  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,161 Mod
    My approach is usually something along the lines of:
    • Go over the exam blueprint, see what I'm up against and the scope of what I'm about to learn
    • If a CBT Nuggets or other video course exists, I like to sit down and watch it all the way through to get a preview of what I'm doing, not necessarily take notes or focus in-depth
    • Begin reading the book, chapter by chapter, taking notes and saving any helpful articles referenced
    • Do the labs/practice work at the end of each section or chapter, if available
    • Go back and watch videos covering each topic or section, to make sure I didn't miss anything, take notes on anything that wasn't covered properly in the book or articles to look up later
    • Run through the end-of-chapter reviews and labs again, as well as any quizzes or review questions. If the book doesn't have it, this is the time to go out and find a practice test provider. This is to figure out my weak areas.
    • Re-study the weak spots, go over the blueprint to make sure I covered everything, then do some reviewing with the book, videos, or another resource
    • Take the test
    • Significantly decrease the amount of available beer in my part of the world in a single sitting

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  • TrifidwTrifidw Member Posts: 281
    Slowhand wrote: »
    [*]Significantly decrease the amount of available beer in my part of the world in a single sitting

    Could always make a small dent while reading? This was my reading yesterday....

  • twodogs62twodogs62 Member Posts: 393 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I just took a short video course on how to study.

    couple things jumped out to me.

    in reading, read thru headlines first. Read intro and summary. Then what I had never heard before was read first sentence of each paragraph.

    my thought too on this is read thru another time looking for new terms. I plan on highlighting.

    then go back and read details.

    whether you are reading or watching video take notes. All about repetition.

    Then also lab and get hands on. Take practice tests to determine where weak.
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