Study Tips

The information given here is simply the opinion of one guy who did electrical work from 1967 until 2001and has taught electrical courses since about 1973. Please confirm all aspects of this information with others before acting on the contents. Hopefully you will find helpful details here which will make your career choice easier to follow. Cheers:>) David U. Larson

Same Time Same Place
Find a place where you can arrange all your course materials and leave them. Then each day at a set time, for a specific amount of time, go to that place. Sid down and begin studying. Establish a routine. Thirty minutes every day is much better than 3 and 1/2 hours all at one sitting on only one day each week.

Tell your Family and Friends
When you have established a place to study and a study schedule, make sure your family and friends know about it. Only in this way will you be able to minimize distractions. You need your family and friends on your side to be successful. Ultimately everyone will benefit from your success.

Improve your Vocabulary
Look up every word you do not know as you come to them in any study exercise. Have a good dictionary handy. Make a list of the new words with definitions that you are learning.

Repetition Repetition
This is an obvious study technique which has great power. Reading each assignment once is great. Twice is better. Taking a test the first time produces areas which you can see  you need to work on. So after improving your understanding of each question on a test, retake it. Work through each code reference and each calculation until you can do them all from memory. That's a good thing.

Flash Cards Help
Children are not the only students who benefit from flash cards. You can, too. Use 3x5 blank cards and a black felt tip pen. Write a word on one side. Definition on the other, for example. Make flash cards for anything you want to memorize. Then let anyone help you. Take the flash cards with you in your pocket. Whip them out when ever you have a spare moment.

Make Audio Tapes
If you have a long commute, you may want to use audio tapes of code articles to improve your memory. Use any inexpensive cassette recorder. Read 60 minutes worth of code into the recorder. Put article numbers included on a sticker. Repeat the process until you have tapes for Chapters 1, 2, and 3. Then during your commute, plug in a tape and listen to yourself.

Let Others Help
When you encounter an aspect of your study that you do not understand, ask someone for help. People who can help you will like to help you. Let them. Equally effective is for you to help others. Both of these activities will help. As many people have said, you only really understand a topic when you can explain it to others.

Make To Do Lists
Study time like most activities is best applied according to a specific plan. Make a list of what you need to accomplish each week. Work backwards from your goal to where you are now. Then list every task to be done. Divide the tasks by the time available to determine how much needs to be done and when. List the work to be accomplished then work your list.

Read At A Good Time
If you find yourself falling asleep when you try to read, consider trying to read at a different time of the day or in a different place. The National Electrical Code will put anyone to sleep. But face facts. The NEC is THE book to get through for success.

Establish A Study Group
Two or more people getting together to study can really help one another. One person may understand topic A but not topic B. Another person may understand topic B but not A. In a study group setting, anyone can ask any question. Anyone else may be able to answer. Easy for me to say.

Bring Questions To Class
If you are luck enough to participate in a classroom setting where an instructor is available to answer questions, bring any question you come up with to class. On a tablet, write out questions no one in your study group can answer. A separate yellow tablet works best for this since it is readily identifiable in class.

Skip What You Know
When you encounter a topic that is easy for you, just do a few problems then move on to what is difficult for you There is no reason to waste time on what you know. Study what you don't know.

Visit Job Sites
Fortunately in the electrical trade, many people already know how to do the work. You can learn from them. By looking over what others have done, you can record images of completed installations in your memory. Then when you are reading about a specific topic, you'll have an image to go along with just words. A picture is worth those famous thousand words for sure.

Ask Questions
When you are working on a job, with other more experienced electricians, ask them for help to study a topic. Ask them how they learned. Follow their suggestions if you see a benefit. If you develop this ability, you can go right far.

Make Mistakes
Yep. An effective study tip is to accept mistakes as normal. No one knows everything about anything. Why try to be the exception? Therefore if you are never going to be perfect, just work to get as close as you need to be. And if along the way you don't do well on a test or two, no big deal. Go back over the material until your errors are reduced. For sure, improvement is more likely with effort. Perfection is unlikely regardless of effort. Close sometimes is good enough. Well sometimes it just is! This is particularly true if working for perfection will cause you never to reach perfection, be frustrated and quit. Get all you can of the trade knowledge available to you. But accept the fact that you'll never know it all. Welcome to the club. I've been a member since forever.

Use Books - Build a Collection
A good selection of reference books should be available to you as you study. A dictionary is the most important to have. Remember to Invest In Yourself. This will pay great rewards.

Product Literature
Manufacturers of electrical tools and material produce beautiful trade literature mostly given away freely. These days you can request videos, CD's and booklets from many companies. And online data is increasing exponentially daily. This information is readily available. 

Click HERE to read about the importance of investing in yourself.

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Many electrician workbooks and practice exams are now available 
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