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7 studying mistakes that keep you from being a better reader

Written by Ashworth College on Thursday, 12 April 2018. Posted in Online College

7 studying mistakes that keep you from being a better reader

There you are trying to cram during your break at work. You’ve been reading for the last 20 minutes. Suddenly you realize you don’t remember a single thing from the paragraph. Or maybe you’re at your kitchen table, and it dawns on you that you’ve read the same sentence five times. That “What am I reading?” moment happens often with students, especially if you’re an adult who has just gone back to college. An affordable career diploma is great, but you need to guard your time as well as your money.

Losing your train of thought while reading can be frustrating, especially if you’re stretched for time and have to re-read it. But don’t stress! The first step to remembering more of what you read is recognizing the mistakes you might be making. We’ve listed the most common mistakes below. Plus, we created a study guide that you can use next time you’re diving into a new chapter.

Mistake #1: Reading (and only reading)

Wait, what?! No really, stick with us. We’re serious. When you’re doing academic-related reading, it’s not just about moving your eyes over text. Not actively engaging in your reading is the most common mistake students make. You’ll see this idea pop up again and again in the other missteps below.

Mistake #2: Reading the first sentence first

This might be another surprising one. But, if you jump in and start with the very first sentence, you might not know what you’re reading until about halfway through. Before you start reading your assignment, scan it. Look at the title, section titles and any bolded or called out information so you can better understand the purpose of the text.

Mistake #3: Keeping everything in your head

Our brains have a lot to remember already. Grocery lists, kids’ practice schedules, that upcoming work project. But when we write something down, it helps us remember it better. For students, it’s even more important. Research proves taking notes with a pen and paper (instead of a laptop) improves learning. So when you’re reading, take notes! Take note of key points, keywords, big ideas, points that make you think “that’s interesting,” and ideas that leave you with a question.


Want some help?

Download our Study Guide: What Am I Reading?


Mistake #4: Memorizing sentences

Some students think the best way to learn is to regurgitate what they’ve read. But that’s way off. Knowledge that is only repeated verbatim what can fade fast, leaving you wondering a few months later about what was in a particular chapter. But, if you ask yourself “Why?” while you’re reading, you’ll be in much better shape. Think about why your instructor assigned a particular topic. When you highlight or write down the main idea, take it another step and write why it's important.

Mistake #5: Lying on your bed

Where you read hurts or helps how much you retain. One really bad place? Your bed. Lying on your bed while you read can make you feel sleepy and will impact your concentration. Sit upright at a desk, your kitchen table, or in a comfy chair. Bonus focus points if you choose a well-lit room where there are minimal noise distractions.

Mistake #6: Loving and leaving lessons

An easy way to forget something you just read? Leaving the ideas you learned behind as you go out into the world. Or in other words, not applying what you learned to your life. Taking what you learned and putting it to work quickly is key, especially if you’re going back to college to get ahead in your career. It’s hard to apply everything all at once, so choose one concept at a time to work into your life or career.

Mistake #7: Keeping the door open to distraction

Between emails, texts, Facebook, that new binge-able show, kids, laundry, what to make for dinner, there are so many ways you can let distraction crowd your concentration. But the more interruptions, the less likely you’ll be to remember what you’re reading. Try to make reading time sacred. Block off a “no distractions” time in your day. Let your family know, put your phone down, and focus just on the task at hand. If it’s too hard to ignore your devices, put your phone on “Do Not Disturb,” or try an app that temporarily blocks those types of sites.

As an online student, a good portion of your schoolwork is reading. But by avoiding the mistakes above you can get more out of the materials given to you and work toward your goals quicker!

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Ashworth College

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Career When Hard Work Isn’t Enough, Here’s What You Need to Succeed

You’ve been studying hard and working towards that 4.0 GPA. But, is that what employers will care about most? While good grades will get you far on your career journey, soft skills can get you even further. Excellent grades don't guarantee spot on performance, but developing soft skills can show potential employers that you have what it takes to adapt, learn, and confidently take on new tasks as they’re given to you. In fact, 31% of teachers think it’s more important to develop soft skills. Here are the skills you need to impress employers.

Succeed with a strong work ethic

Companies across the United States are finding it difficult to find applicants with soft skills, according to the Wall Street Journal. Some skills are difficult to teach and work ethic is one of them. Employers will be impressed if you possess this skill right from the start. Having a strong work ethic means you’re organized, timely, and dedicated. But, that’s not all. Work ethic also means you budget your time wisely while being able to work independently or with a team. Either way, you can be trusted to get the job done every time and without excuses.

Think outside of the box

Employers want candidates with critical thinking and problem-solving skills. That means you need to be creative and curious. Stand out from other applicants by showing you can make informed decisions and analyze situations. No matter the field, you’ll need to think critically and understand problems while providing solutions. You’ll also need to adapt to new challenges and take ownership of problems as they arise. Thinking outside of the box can go a long way. Set yourself apart by approaching challenges in a critical way through analysis, open-mindedness, and creativity.

Communication is key

Communication skills go beyond talking. To be a good communicator you need to be able to effectively articulate your needs and also listen to the needs of others. Employers look for candidates who can communicate their ideas and receive the ideas of their coworkers with an open mind. No matter the career, you’ll need to communicate with coworkers, clients, customers, or vendors. As an employee, you may find yourself discussing problems, giving instructions, and working in teams. Being able to do so effectively can help you advance your career. By bringing forth clear ideas, plans, and processes for how to improve goods or services in your company in an easy to understand manner, you'll show your employer how invested you are in what you do.

There’s no “I” in team

Teamwork really does make the dream work, and employers recognize that. That’s why employers look for candidates who work well with others. As an employee you’ll often work with your colleagues on projects and you may not always see eye to eye. Being part of a team doesn’t just mean working together. It also means you give and receive feedback and constructive criticism. Collaboration skills are essential and employers look for candidates who can work independently while also contributing to overall team goals.

Spread positivity

A smile goes a long way. While you may not think a positive attitude is the key to succeeding in the workforce, employers are genuinely interested in candidates who are optimistic and are refreshing to be around. As an employee, you should be friendly and eager to work. It’s especially important to remain positive in a less than ideal work environments. Your enthusiasm, patience, and overall energy won’t go unnoticed.

Go beyond your grade

While a high GPA is certainly something to celebrate, remember that employers are looking beyond your grade when considering you for a position at their company. Job candidates who can think outside of the box, understand teamwork, can come up with creative solutions, and possess leadership skills are in demand. Work to strengthen these skills like you would any other lesson you learn at school. With hard work and a dynamite set of soft skills you can succeed in work you’re passionate about!

woman walking down a road

Career Career Programs You Can Start & Finish This Year

If you’re ready for your next career adventure or if you’re looking for something new and exciting on your current career path, you don’t have to take the long road. Ashworth is here to help you embark on your journey towards a rewarding career. Here are 10 programs you can start and finish this year.

Child Care Provider

The need for child care providers is increasing. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 1,298,700 people will be employed as child care providers by 2026. Parents rely on child care providers to help keep their kids safe while also aiding in their intellectual growth. As a child care provider you may work in a daycare center, before- or after-school program, preschool, or home visit. Through our Child Care Provider Career Diploma program, you’ll develop skills to care for children from birth to school age in as little as four months.

Upon completion of the program, you’ll become a member of the National Association of Family Child Care (NAFCC).

Medical Billing and Coding

Learn in-demand skills with our online Medical Billing and Coding Career Certificate. This program will help prepare you for work in doctor’s offices, medical practices, hospitals, and clinics. With a growing aging population that requires medical treatment, medical billing career opportunities are expected to grow by 13% by 2026 according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

You’ll learn the responsibilities of a medical biller/coder, the purpose of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), billing guidelines for medical needs, the life cycle of insurance claims, and the need for accurately coding diagnoses and procedures using industry-standard coding systems.

Heating and Air Conditioning

Commercial and residential buildings require HVAC systems, leaving a need for qualified professionals to install, maintain, and replace those systems. In our online Heating and Air Conditioning Career Diploma program, you’ll learn skills such as how to identify systems and components used for heating and air conditioning, understand standard installation procedures, and troubleshoot and maintain HVAC installations and commercial refrigeration in as little as four months.

This program also offers students the opportunity to complete the EPA 608 Certification Exam.

Bookkeeping

If you’re interested in financial data, spreadsheets, and statistical reporting then a career in bookkeeping may be for you. Our online Bookkeeping Career Diploma program will help prepare you to meet entry-level bookkeeping needs for businesses of all sizes. You’ll learn the basics of bookkeeping and accounting practices, to explain the concepts of cash and accrual accounting, to prepare payroll transactions, and assist in basic internal controls to prevent theft, embezzlement, and check and credit card fraud.

Dog Obedience Trainer

If you have a furry friend who you trained or if you enjoy helping friends train their new pet then you might want to consider starting our online Dog Obedience Trainer Career Diploma program. As dog owners seek help training their pets, animal trainer careers are expected to grow 20% by 2026, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. In this program, you’ll learn the roles and responsibilities of dog trainers, different breed characteristics, problem behaviors, and critical periods of dog behavior in as little as four months.

Event Planning

If you’re detail oriented, organized, and enjoy working with people then you may want to consider a career as an event planner. In our Event Planning Career Diploma program, you’ll learn the role of an event planner, the importance of the interview process and how to determine the budget, size, and style of events, how to plan various events, such as birthdays, religious celebrations, showers, and more, and business considerations involved in running an event planning business.

Enrollment in this program also comes with a one-year student membership to Meeting Professionals International.

Graphic Design

If you have a love for art and design and want to turn your passion into a rewarding career then our online Graphic Design Career Diploma program may be right for you. In this program, you’ll learn the elements and principles of design and how to apply them to print and web projects. You’ll also learn to use graphics software from Adobe Creative Cloud®, including Photoshop®, Illustrator®, InDesign®, Muse®, and Edge Animate®.

Retail Management

If you’re looking to enhance your resume and are interested in being in a role that combines leadership and interpersonal skills with sales knowledge, then consider enrolling in our online Retail Management Career Diploma program. Growth in managerial roles in expected to increase with 77,300 new jobs expected for first-line supervisors of retail sales workers by 2026, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. In this program, you’ll learn the basics of retail management and merchandising, including organizational structure and key positions, growth and expansion, consumer communication, and merchandise layout and presentation.

Wedding Planner

You love love and you’re a people person, but most importantly, you enjoy planning parties. Newly engaged couples often seek the help of professionals to plan their big day. By enrolling in our Wedding Planner Career Diploma program you can turn your love for love into a career. You’ll learn the role of a professional wedding planner, wedding customs, rituals, and traditions, planning wedding events, including parties, showers, and ceremonies, and how to run a wedding planning business.

In this program, you’ll also receive a one-year membership for the Association of Bridal Consultants® (ABC).

Small Business Management

Whether you’re interested in launching a home-based business or opening your own store, the Small Business Management Career Diploma may be right for you. In as little as four months, you’ll learn how to plan, structure, and run a small business. You’ll cover topics such as business plan development, sales and marketing basics, and the fundamentals of small business accounting and finance.

Why Ashworth?

Ashworth programs are self-paced and available online, allowing you to study when and where you want.

When you enroll you’ll have access to your Student Portal dashboard, which provides instant access to your lessons and support. You’ll also join an active online community of students, staff, and alumni.

Contact Ashworth to start your journey towards finishing your program this year.

What Kinds of Jobs Can You Get with an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education?

Career What Kinds of Jobs Can You Get with an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education?

An online Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education is designed for aspiring educators who want to develop a career focused on teaching children age 4 and younger. Though you may have stayed at home with a sitter or guardian, or attended a loosely-programmed preschool or play group at that age, it’s now the 2010s and expectations for life pre-K now include structured education by teachers who have earned degrees specifically for this field.

Become a preschool teacher

If you have a heart for little kids and patience to boot, consider earning your online Associate Degree and preparing for a job as a preschool teacher! The main goal of preschool is for toddlers to gain language, motor, and social skills while having lots and lots of fun.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for preschool teachers is projected to increase 10% between 2016 and 2026.* That’s a faster-than-average growth projection for all occupations during the same time period. Since the typical requirement for launching a career as a preschool teacher is the completion of an Associate Degree, that leaves plenty of time to get started, graduate, and secure a position in this growing field.

Positions for preschool teachers are available through Head Start programs, private early childhood education centers, churches and faith-based schools, as well as through tutoring, nannying, and at-home childcare services.

The need for preschool teachers is projected to increase 10% between 2016 and 2026—a faster than average growth for all jobs!

Bilingual or want to be? Teach ELLs or become an au pair

As more school systems throughout the U.S. enroll first-generation citizens from non-English-speaking homes, there’s a growing need for trained teachers who can help the youngest of students learn English. Becoming a preschool teacher who works with English Language Learners (ELLs) is a unique way to apply your passion for ECE to a demographic of children who can greatly benefit from your language skills.

If private childcare and teaching is more your style—and you have a sense of adventure—use your ECE degree to become an au pair for a family outside the U.S., or nanny for a foreign family that’s recently moved to the U.S. In both situations, your training will bolster the children’s English-speaking skills and you’ll gain a world of knowledge about another culture.

Ready to learn how to play with purpose? Check out the curriculum of our Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education. Or practice your ABCs and enroll today!

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Preschool Teachers, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/preschool-teachers.htm (visited October 31, 2018).

 
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