Penn State World Campus students share their best study tips on social media

We asked our social media audience for their best tips for a successful semester, and they have taken to our Penn State World Campus Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn accounts to share their ways for studying and staying organized for assignments, group work, and deadlines. Here’s a compilation of their responses that may spark some ideas for the new semester:


“The biggest tip I have is to stay organized! It took a lot to balance multiple classes and work and personal life, so having a planner is key. I would go through my syllabi at the beginning of each semester and make sure I knew all the important dates for each class. That way I could plan around them and make sure that I never procrastinated!” Meg Foster

“I would say that organization is the single most important aspect needed to succeed at World Campus. For example, I found it helpful to map out my responsibilities for the next two weeks each Monday morning, so that I could plan accordingly for all readings, deliverables, exams, etc. This way, you are never surprised by any overlapping projects and you can distribute your workload appropriately and not get overwhelmed.” Mike Thorgersen

“I completed an MPS in Homeland Security in 2014 while working full-time, usually on the overnight shift. At that time the educational portals were open until at least 4:00 a.m., and I used my slow periods to catch up on work, and even occasionally stay ahead! Working online requires discipline, and it’s very easy to fall behind. One must take every opportunity, such as slow periods at work, when the kids go to bed, or before they get home from school, to complete or work on assignments in order to stay on course (pun intended). Everyone, of course, has their own style, so it’s important to identify what works for you, and stick with it. Equally important is to quickly recognize what isn’t working and adapt before you fall too far behind.” William Muse

“I typically did my work throughout the week, with a focus on the weekend for the larger assignments. I made sure to check into my classes every single day so I didn’t miss any forum comment deadlines or similar. A MUST is a day planner! Each semester I would spend an hour or so literally writing out every single assignment for each day so I could stay on top of it all. Worked like a charm and kept me focused. I loved Penn State World Campus! I’m now in law school and loved their Law and Society degree as a nice foundation for my career in law.” Autumn Puckett

“So true, checking the homework on Monday to make sure your deadlines are accurate. I’ve made that mistake in the past. Luckily I figured it out before the class really progressed.” Reply – Shaylyn Pruett

“I always make sure to keep the syllabus handy at all times, and check it religiously. The great thing about living in Asia means I’m in the future, so I can do most of my course work on Sundays… which still leaves me a buffer of time to work on Monday morning, since that’s still only Sunday night in the states. However you do it, though, the syllabus and the individual assignment instructions should be followed to the letter.” Steve Fanis

“I enabled notifications within the Canvas app on my phone so that I could receive updates and discussion board comments. This made it easier to stay connected with the flow of the conversation in the course discussions or group, even when I was on the go.” Laura Anderson

“Read the assignment supplements carefully before asking questions about the assignment.” Lilia Lisik

“As soon as I finish this week’s assignment, I organize what/when I need for next week. I try to do a little every day so that I am not overwhelmed at the weekend. It never fails that if you wait until then that there will be an emergency, you will be sick, or something will come up. That being said, some of my best work had been at the last minute with a can of Code Red.” Linda McGrath

“Writing down all my due dates in a planner and checking said planner at the beginning of every week so I know which classes I need to spend a little more time with. Also, matching up my work schedule with when I plan to study so I can spread out my days for each class so I don’t get overwhelmed at the end of the week!” Kat Klein

“I second this thought and would add planning group project roles around your schedule whenever possible. If you have a class where each week there is a group element, volunteer early to do consolidation on weeks with less intense individual work due. Also, volunteer for project roles that fit your study style. For example, if you are a procrastinator, offer to do final edits, not consolidating first group draft and vice versa. Pay attention to group members’ postings to have a better understanding of their preferences as well. If you are in a small program, you will most likely be in multiple classes together.” Reply – Sarah Glass

“I have two little ones under the age of 5, my husband is overseas while I am my mom’s caretaker. She is fighting chemo right now for her ovarian cancer. Needless to say, I burn the midnight oil. I write down all my due dates on my wipe off calendar. If I can handle a year of sleepless nights with a newborn, I can handle late-night study sessions for the next few semesters till I’m done! Thank the heavens for friends who take my kids out for play dates so I can take my exams in peace, and you bet I take full advantage of weekends I don’t have a lot due. I make it up to my kiddos with fun date days! My go-to study tips are:

Take advantage of book study guides to help better expand or reiterate what you have just learned. Some books have free sites that allow you to take practice quizzes or go over flash cards. I re-read all my lessons prior to my exams and make sure to take full advantage of” Shaylyn Pruett


“If you work full-time and you are in a Master program, manage your time and study every night. Also, keep in your mind you don’t have weekends like others just focus on your classes. This what I did!” @omidrajaee

“Take notes along with your text readings and lesson commentaries. They make perfect study guides for exams! Even if I never look at them again, typing it out always helps me grasp the concepts more thoroughly! #WeAre #PSUWC” Lia (@_liamarie)

“Plan ahead. The Sunday of each week, I write down the upcoming week’s assignments, lessons, readings, and due dates for each class. This makes me feel more prepared to tackle the week and plan ahead for work and family life. I also have a great feeling of accomplishment when I cross each task off my list!” @lycers33

“Don’t wait until the last minute. Life is busy and full-time jobs and family responsibilities can be distracting. But stay focused on what needs to be done and what is coming. Get in a pattern for readings/homework/studying. Apply what you learn when you can into what you already do. That will make it relatable come test time and easier to remember. And above all, understand how YOU learn and remember for a test. Not everyone can just read notes over and over and retain. Tap into your learning style and adapt your studying.” (@tyketto)


“No doubt about it, online learning can feel like an exercise in solitude. I could even refer to it as ‘the loneliness of the long distance learner.’ But the reality is, we are not alone! Penn State World Campus has leveraged cutting-edge technology to create a JIT communication network that transports them to wherever you may be and where you may be back to them. The key for a successful semester is to utilize that education technology as a channel of communication and build relationships with your professors that increase participative engagement. Increasing your engagement and participating with your professor will undoubtedly increase your chances for success each semester. It will also humanize the experience for you as well as for them.” James Alami

“For me, I need to read, take formal notes, and then simplify into note card form. Then I’ll verbalize the information as if I’m giving a speech to really allow the information to sink in. It’s a lot of work but it’s all that works for me to obtain the highest grades possible!” Brandie Laughner