Finding A Place for Independent Study I Oxford Open Learning

Finding A Place for Independent Study

Finding a suitable location from which to work when you are taking a home study GCSE or A Level course is essential.

Whether you shut yourself in your bedroom, sit up at the dining room table, perch on the sofa with the laptop, head to the local library, settle down in the corner of a coffee shop, or get organised at the desk in the corner of the living room, it is very important to find somewhere where you can concentrate.

Once you have found a location that suits your working style and involves the minimum of outside interruptions, stick to it.

Some people work best in silence, others with bustle or while listening to music. Low level sound and company can simulate the sorts of noise you’d expect at school, college, or in the workplace, and can even aid concentration, providing the levels aren’t too loud. Just don’t be tempted to put the television on – all that will do is slow you down, and your studies will take even longer to complete!

Taking time to read around your subject, as and when you can during the day, can help you make the most of your designated study period considerably. By downloading textbooks onto your Kindle or phone, any spare moments you might have can be spent dipping into these easily accessed bite-sized resources. If you are able to do this, not only will it increase your knowledge, but it will prepare your brain to ease into the mindset required when you do settle down at your chosen place of work.

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Dr Kathryn Bates is a graduate of archaeology and history. She has excavated across the world as an archaeologist, and tutored medieval history at Leicester University. She joined the administrative team at Oxford Open Learning twelve years ago. Alongside her distance learning work, Dr Bates is a bestselling novelist, and an itinerant creative writing tutor for primary school children.

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