With your resources in hand and study schedule close by, you are well on your way to dominating the Engineer in Training exam even without having done one second of actual review. To use an analogy, you have taken off from the airport and the wheels are locked in, but now is the time to assess your gauges, your study habits, to ensure the flight continues to be smooth as you trek towards your goal.
Disciplined study habits can be a skill in itself. If you have them, you are good to move forward, but if you don’t have them, it may take some thought as to how you are going to bear down for your journey. Practicing discipline may seem like pulling teeth, but it shouldn’t be, as controlling tasks in your preparation could be the difference between you passing or failing the Engineer in Training exam. As you control tasks, you build self-discipline. As you build self-discipline, you build time management. As you build time management, you build self-confidence. And self-confidence is the key to succeed.
With that, take into account the following tips to build self-discipline and keep it in check and on point throughout your studies:
Time Management: Consider when the best time period you have to study to ensure all distractions are at a minimum and your study environment is most conducive to retaining knowledge. Develop smaller blocks of time during this period, say 50 minutes, and hit the books. After 50 minutes, get up and take a break (10 minutes), stretch, get some food, anything really just to revive your mind. Shorten the time block if you find yourself getting anxious after 30 minutes, 45 minutes, etc. The point is to stay actively involved in your studies for the allotted time you set aside to ensure you are maximizing the time you have.
Keep a note of your study sessions and adjust accordingly. Write down the times you are most efficient (Morning, Night). How long are you sessions? What block of time makes for a good break for you? Are you able to control your breaks and return to studying?
Distractions and escapes: Do not deny that distractions and other escapes exist. Your Blackberry, iPhone, computer, TV, magazines, and environment can all be distractions to progressing in your studies. Come to grips with these temptations and do your best to minimize them. You will be better off, distracting activities will be more enjoyable later without the pressure of the Engineer in Training Exam hanging over your head.
Emotions: Emotions definitely got to me when I sat down to study for the Engineer in Training Exam. I was overwhelmed, and at times, I found myself stalling and doing near nothing to progress in my studies. It’s best to admit when these emotions of being overwhelmed, frustrated, etc arise. Doing so will allow you to realize that you have a problem, allowing your mind to naturally adjust while giving yourself a sense of control because you know you are doing something about it.
Study Space: This reemphasizes a few checks from above. I struggled with defining an ideal place to study that was free from the distractions at first. It wasn’t until I realized that I was spending more time chatting with my buddies on IM and falling behind in my defined study calander. Always have a back up space, maybe a space that you switch out to every other day or two. A library, coffee shop, keep it fresh and distraction free.
Routine: Are you allocating many hours on one day to studying and little to none on other days? Develop a routine where you are dedicating the same amount of time every day to studying for the Engineer in Training Exam and hold firm on starting and stopping at the specified times. This will give you a boost in your studies and your mental state, producing progress in constant small increments. Choppy progress (a lot one day, none the next) can really kill momentum, so establish the momentum through routine and develop the habit, and then let the habit take it from there.
Routine gives you a clear idea of what you want to achieve for the day from the start, because it is clear, the probability is high that you will be able to proactively accomplish your tasks.
As an added strategy for your routine, begin with a difficult subject or task. You’ll be fresh, and have more energy to take it on when you are at your best. What subject has always caused you problems?
Discouragement: There will be without a doubt at times during your Engineer in Training Exam studies that you will become discouraged. Don’t let it wreck shop in your mind. This is something that is natural, acknowledge it, and take a break from studying for a day or so to recharge your mind and get back on track to dominating your studies.
Role Models: Take a minute to think about the people in your life that have great self discipline. See how it interconnects with their daily tasks and how it helps them accomplish their goals. Approach them with some questions, ask for advice on how they go about setting up their daily tasks and let them help guide you in your goals.
Identify Mentors: A mentor could be your greatest asset in dominating the Engineer in Training exam. They can assist you with questions that you otherwise wouldn’t tend to seek answers for. I developed this site as a means to close the gap between you and a mentor. Don’t hesitate to approach me with any of your questions or concerns regarding the exam, I am here to help you succeed.
Have a question burning on your mind? Let me help you out, shoot me an email now!