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  • Time management is key when earning your degree outside of the traditional classroom

    If you’re pursuing your degree outside of a traditional classroom, managing your time wisely will mean the difference in succeeding or not. While you may not have the distractions of a campus, you’ll also be missing out on the academic environment a traditional institution fosters. Luckily, these tips will help you hone your study skills, manage your valuable time, and recreate the prime environment to study more effectively.

     

    1. Remember the 50/10 Rule
    Cramming has its uses, but genuinely learning information and gaining knowledge requires a more skillful approach to absorbing your studies. If you find yourself unable to concentrate on long-term studies hours at a time, try the 50/10 method. Study diligently and intently for 50 minutes including required reading and study questions, then reward your brain with a 10 minute break. Breaking your studies into chunks gives your short-term memory a chance to compute into the long-term side as you focus on one area specifically instead of cramming and running everything together into one blur. It also gives your brain a chance to cool down and re-gear for the next chunk of data. Of course this will vary by individual, find the optimal ratio that works best for you or try splitting your work into short goals. “I’ll finish this chapter and do 5 study questions and reward myself with a Nutella bite with toast.”

    2.      Where you study matters
    Where you study can have an effect on how you study. Studying in the comfort of your own home is great, but it may not be the best place for everyone. The quiet ambiance and removal of personal distractions of a public library can allow you to focus more on what you’re studying.

    3.      How you take notes makes a difference
    Want your information to really sink in? Try not typing your notes. Typing your notes can be advantageous because of increased legibility, but writing your notes out by hand leaves a more permanent impression in your mind. When you type you are just pressing keys on a keyboard, but when you write, you are writing out the words and concepts you need to remember. It may take longer to hand-write notes, but the pay-off is a better memory. If you’re strapped for time, find a happy balance between writing and typing that works for you.

    4.      Friends who stay together get passing grades together
    When possible, study in a group. Studying in groups can be beneficial. It allows the bouncing of ideas among peers in a stress less environment. We tend to remember what our peers tell us more than what we read, so when we study with our peers, we remember better. Additionally, being in an environment where you have to explain/teach the material to a peer further reinforces your knowledge of the material.

    5.      Removing interference
    If you set aside time for studying, don’t leave Facebook open in the background. The notifications can wait. In fact, avoid using any social media when you study because a quick break can turn into hours of lost study time. Your ideal study habitat should be quiet, a place you enjoy, with miniam auditory and visual distractions. Non-verbal relaxing music can make your space more enjoyable without distracting.

    6.      What time you study can set you up for success
    Try studying in the morning. Even if you’re tired, your mind is more active in the morning. Studying in the morning allows you to remember things easier. Imagine if you had to go for a run, would you have more energy after waking up, or before you sleep? The mind is no different, so be sure to pick up those books after waking up, not just at night.

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  • Military Exclusive Opportunity for Tuition & College Credit Savings

    Until recently, tuition assistance has been available to military personnel since the late 1940’s.  However, due to recent budget cuts, military branches have been forced to suspend their tuition assistance programs.  “These cuts will have an impact on military families.  The National Education Alliance is subsidizing the cost of the in-depth study materials from iStudySmart.com to help out during the suspension of tuition assistance.  This will allow military personnel to continue to prepare for and pass exams to complete college credit.  Our goal is to support the military during this time,” said National Education Alliance President, Shara Wright.  The courses are normally $225 each but with the funds provided by the Alliance, military personnel can have online access to the iStudySmart.com traditional courses for $49.95 per month per course with the exclusive military discount on the SmartSubscription.  There is no limit to the number of courses which may be purchased in this manner.  iStudySmart.com’s test preparation materials are a flexible alternative to help military personnel complete college credit toward degree completion or for work related advancement. 

     

    Military members can prepare for their college credit equivalent exams using iStudySmart.com materials at the reduced rate and test out with DSST and CLEP exams.  These exams remain funded by the military.

     

    Students can TAP into a program that is:

    • Transferable: over 3,800 colleges accept credit by exam
    • Affordable: one course per month for only $49.95 – for military personnel
    • Portable: work at your pace – anywhere in the world

     

    iStudySmart.com is the only publisher of in-depth study materials endorsed by DSST, formerly known as DANTES Subject Standardized Test. Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth was recognized for its superior educational performance and Chief Master Sgt. Wanda Dillon stated, “Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth went from 5 graduates of the Community College of the Air Force to 77 graduates in one year and iStudySmart.com contributed to that success.” 

     

    For military personnel to take advantage of the iStudySmart.com discount, please email info@iStudySmart.com with Military in the subject line.  Members of the Military will be given a coupon code to use at checkout.

     

    About iStudySmart.com

    iStudySmart.com offers exam preparation for DSST, CLEP and EC exams that enable students to pass the first time and a path to the degree which accelerates your progress to completion, while saving a considerable amount of time and money along the way.

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  • Become an RN with iStudySmart.com - Did You Know We Have Nursing Courses?

    LPN, LVN RN Bridge Program

    iStudySmart.com offers over 60 courses across multiple studies including business, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. Did you know nursing courses are also available? iStudySmart.com has over 31 nursing credit hours in study courses such as Health Safety, Chronicity, Reproductive Health, Life Span, and Research. For students who have already completed their LPN/LVN certification, these courses can provide a quick transition to bridge to RN. You may have been thinking about becoming an RN before, but never thought you had time to take the necessary classes and earn your nursing degree.

    iStudySmart.com understands every student is different. You learn at your own pace and have your own study habits. You may also have a busy schedule and life/work responsibilities may be keeping you from attending classes on a physical campus. We wanted to give you an option, and let you know your career and life goals don’t have to take the back seat just because you have a busy schedule. With iStudySmart.com’s nursing courses, you can study when you want, where you want, and test only when you’re ready and comfortable with the material. After learning the material on a schedule you decide, and passing just one exam per course, you earn college credit that is transferrable to an accredited college toward an Associate’s Degree in Nursing. Once you have your degree in hand, finish your clinicals, and pass the NCLEX-RN (board) exam, you will be a registered nurse! If you’re ready to start on your RN journey, you don’t have to wait any longer. Let iStudySmart.com help you reach you RN goal.

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  • Wondering What Happened to Regents College?

    Now Excelsior College

    Nearly thirty years ago Regents College made history when it was founded on the philosophy that “what you know is more important than where or how you learned it.” A radical concept in its day, the College changed the way adult learners can use prior credit and knowledge to earn a college degree. It changed the way people can obtain additional credit by not making residency at the College a requirement. And, throughout this period, it has helped propel students ever upward toward their lifetime goals.

    On January 1, 2001 the College made history again. On that day it officially changed its name to Excelsior College.

    Latin for “ever upward,” the name Excelsior more closely captures the spirit of the College’s mission and philosophy. It closely mirrors the determination of its students and graduates, the spirit and commitment behind what the College does, what its degree programs have meant to thousands of lifelong learners who have realized the goal of earning a college degree, and what it will mean in the future to those who follow.

    It also reflects the many developments that have occurred since the College received its independent charter in 1998. Significant progress toward developing new programs and services has been made, from the introduction of two master’s degree programs, to the availability of online research resources at its virtual library, to increasing its alumni base to more than 89,000 graduates worldwide.

    And, as the College adopts a new name, its commitment to students becomes even stronger. Regents College was an innovator in 1971, and Excelsior College will continue to provide cutting-edge services and educational opportunities to adult learners everywhere. “Ever Upward” is more than a motto: it's a sign of things to come.

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  • Making the Transition from LPN/VN to RN

     

    Written by Roger Ruiz, RN, BSN, MBA

    The nursing shortage has created opportunities for LPNs to advance their education to become RNs… and maybe their only option for thriving in a diminishing LPN market. With a growing and aging population throughout the United States, patients are becoming increasingly complex to care for.  In the increasingly competitive healthcare market, hospitals favor hiring and retaining RNs over LPNs for many reasons.  Better nursing staff education will result in better patient outcomes. RNs have been trained to make decisions and perform patient care interventions that require critical thinking and decision making abilities…an area that LPNs lack not because they do not have the talent to do so.  Without the required formal nursing education to pass the state board examination and earn the designation of RN, many LPNs often become frustrated because they realize their shortcomings….not because they are not capable.  The “nursing law of the land” dictates that LPNs are limited in scope and practice.  Employers translate that into lower wages for LPNs as opposed to higher salaries for RNs.      

    LPN to RN transition

     

    In their journey to attain and retain Magnet status, many large hospital systems have removed LPNs from the acute care inpatient settings and re-assigned to outpatient care areas.  In reality and the broader scope of this matter, LPNs will likely be phased out the outpatient settings by attrition (taking early retirement, frozen wages, etc.).  LPNs may be retained only if they are enrolled and will complete an RN program within the next 5 years.  The message is clear, if the highly experience LPN wants to remain competitive in the health care industry….get your RN degree!  For fulltime working LPNs, an excellent choice to make the transition from LPN to RN is through a self paced distance learning program such as Excelsior College of New York.  Start your journey from LPN to RN by preparing to test out successfully and complete college credit through examination. 

    The time and money you use to finance your RN degree program are an investment in your family and most importantly….you!

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  • 7 Study Tips on “Testing Out”

    Taking a test in grade school, although scary at the time, seems like a distance but pleasant memory to most, so how did we make it this far? As kids we took multiple tests through grade school, middle school and high school yet we graduated. But as working adults we cringe at the very thought of test taking.  Will we look back on tests we take now and wonder what the big deal was? I think not. Most kids have one responsibility SCHOOL, now we juggle work, family, social obligations and continuing our education. Testing out of college courses using DSST, CLEP and ECE exams saves money and time, but for some seems daunting. So let me give you a few helpful hints.

    1. Study: I know it may seem obvious but reading + writing = retention.
    2. Sleep: Before taking the exam get a good night’s sleep don’t cram!
    3. Prolong knowledge: Instead of cramming, study a little each day
    4. Eat Well: Stay healthy and feel good, your brain is a vital organ feed it well.
    5. Use good resources: Textbooks, study guides and internet resources. You can buy really cheap textbooks at amazon.com, study guides at iStudySmart.com and two good internet resources are getcollegecredit.com or collegeboard.org.
    6. Eat a good meal before the test: a grumbling stomach can be a distraction that causes you to think of nothing other than that MacDonald’s sign out the testing center’s window.
    7. Don’t Stress: You are PREPARED!

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  • Test Out of College and Save Money

    Prices for college tuition continue to rise what working adult wants to risk  spending their milk money on an education?  Working adults face multiple challenges:  cutting down on hours at work, finding childcare, commuting to a college campus, paying a hefty tuition, purchasing numerous textbooks, and paying all the “fees” associated with college.  This all adds up to spending more while bringing in less.  On the other hand how can anyone afford not to have a college education?  According to the National Center for Education Statistics a person with bachelor degree earns 50% more then someone with only a High School Diploma and the gap is only rising!

     

    Here is a little tip that can cut college costs in half and the information won’t cost you a thing, TEST OUT! What does Test out mean? It’s an awesome way to save money. Let me explain, most colleges will allow you to take a proficiency exam.  There are three nationally accepted exams:   CLEP, DSST and ECE.   CLEP stands for College Level Examination Program.  DSST stands for DANTES Subject Standardized Test. ECE stands for Excelsior College Exam.  Testing out allows you to take the “final” test without physically attending the class. If you know the material for a subject you can take an exam, pass, and complete college credit, it is that simple! You can test out of 30-45 semester hours of credit at one of over 3,800 colleges and universities.

     

    Save the college tuition, save the gas, and save the time and complete college credit without setting foot in a classroom.

     

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  • Study Guides for CLEP, DSST and ECE

    iStudySmart.com writes in depth study guides for CLEP, DSST (DANTES) and ECE (Excelsior College Exam)exams. Passing these exams allow students to complete college credit at home.  iStudySmart.com offers an online format so students can access their courses anywhere at anytime.  Students can study at their own pace in their own place. 

    The online courses guide students through key concepts designed to make sure they learn the information that will be on their tests. Included with the assignments are sample tests and other study tools.

    All of the online study courses are the same format. The only difference is the subject matter. iStudySmart.com has over 60 courses within five major categories: Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Business and Nursing. The actual CLEP, DSST and ECE exams are all multiple-choice questions with the exception of English and Religions of the World, which have essay sections. The iStudySmart.com course sample exams are multiple-choice too and the computer scores your results to let you know your level of comprehension.

    Each assignment has a question, a reference to a section of the related text, and a place for students to type answers in an online form. Assignment questions and answers can be printed in an open-ended format, if desired.

    Each assignment question comes with the chapter reference to help students find the answers quickly. After a question is answered, it can be printed out for study.

    A sample exam provides a multiple-choice exam designed to emulate the proficiency exam a student will take. Each online course has a computer application built in that automatically scores the results. Therefore, students can review the questions they missed. They can reset the exam and try it again. In fact, they can take the test as many times as they wish.

    Each exam question is designed to help students recall the information they've studied. At the end of each exam, they're shown the questions they answered correctly -- and the ones they didn't. The exam results are designed to help the test takers determine their weak areas, he added.

    No instructors are involved as iStudySmart.com courses are designed to let students work through an entire course without needing outside assistance. However, they do have access to other students working on the same material via the iStudySmart.com forums. There are forums for adult learners, high school or college students, military, nursing, time management, testing companies, and a general forum for posting comments about distance learning.

    The online courses are completely self-paced. There are no time-limits. Once you have completed a course and feel comfortable with the subject matter, then you register to take the proficiency exam at a testing site nearest you. When you pass the exam, you can transfer it to the college of your choice as credit.

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  • Test Out of CLEP, DSST and ECE exams to Complete College Credit at Home

    Electronic education is increasing in popularity, which is good news for iStudySmart.com, a company that specializes in distance learning and provides online courses that allow students to comlete college credit by testing out of CLEP, ECE (Exceslior College Exam) or DSST (used by DANTES) exams. (These proficiency exams are accepted by over 3,800 accredited colleges and universities.)

    iStudySmart.com offers self-paced learning, complete with assignments and practice exams. Students buy the courses, study when they'd like, and take the exams when they're ready. The traditional courses cost $225* each. While every college treats scores differently, most courses are worth between three to six hours of college credit.

    Students will need to buy a textbook for each course. Students can buy the texts from the iStudySmart.com On-Line Bookstore. Of course, if students decide to pursue a degree, they'll have testing and college fees. However, federal loans or grants can't be used for iStudySmart.com courses.

    After registering at iStudySmart.com, students are given access to local testing centers for all exams, their own interactive study calendar, and access to forums for communicating with other iStudySmart.com pupils. Registration is free.

    "Registering is a marketing tool that we use to gather demographic information about our users so we can better understand their needs," David Wright, iStudySmart.com President, says. "Anyone interested in completeing college credit can register and find out how iStudySmart.com can help them specifically."

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  • Why do more than 70 million adults want to head back to school?

    A recent study of adult Americans regarding continuing education found this:

    Nine out of 10 (89%) said the benefits of higher education are equal to or greater than the time, money, and energy invested.

    That is impressive considering the rising costs of education.

    "One of the big surprises was the mix of reasons why people thought it would be beneficial to get more education," said Lyungai Mbilinyi, PhD, author of the study report. "Although 71 percent did think additional education would help them earn more, several intangibles were rated even higher. Eighty-one percent associated higher education with a personal sense of accomplishment and 78 percent believed education would help them better develop their talents or pursue their interests."

    What is the greatest barrier to pursuing higher education? Time management. More than 73 percent of those surveyed rated time management as an issue of concern. The need for flexibility in managing schedules may be the impetus for the increase in non-traditional enrollments. The National Center for Education Statistics says that online education is growing at a rate that is 10 time faster than that of traditional postsecondary options.

    An additional concern is how to pay for college. While many colleges do a good job of helping high school students find resources for financial aid, the options for adults is not so obvious. Many do not realize that some of the same resources available to high school students are also available to them. Many working adults may also have access to tuition reimbursement through their jobs, an option few high school students have.

    Eighty-four percent of higher education enrollments are non-traditional students, such as working adults and students enrolled in distance learning. Despite whatever barriers may have existed for these working adults, more than half surveyed said they wish they had done it sooner. The overwhelming majority believe the resulting benefits have made the struggle worthwhile.


    This study was conducted for Capella University by the independent research firm TNS NFO and may be found at www.degreesofopportunity

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