You may be looking into a top-up course to learn a new skill and take your career to the next level. Or, it could be a training course which will enable you to launch a completely new career. Whatever the objective behind it, you should be looking to make the most of the opportunity.
So, how do you make the most of a training course?
Do Your Research
Before you enrol on any training course, you need to do your research. Thorough research will help you make sure you’re making the right choice and enrolling in exactly the right course. Keep your end goal in mind. If you want to become a gas safe registered engineer, will the courses you’re looking at help you get there? Will they provide you with the chance to earn the qualifications you need?
A training course may be the start of a new career for you, so it’s not something you’ll want to rush into. Instead, after you’ve done your initial online research, read reviews and testimonials – find out what previous students thought. Then, call the training provider and ask them any questions you might still have. It’s essential that you’re armed will all the information you can get before making any decisions. That way, when you do go ahead with a course, you’ll be confident in the knowledge that you’ve made the right choice.
Be Punctual and Fully Committed
You’ve done the research, you’ve invested money into the training course, and now it’s time to make the most of it. You can’t do that if you turn up late.
Now and again, there are valid reasons for lateness. The morning rush hour traffic may have been worse than usual, or your train was delayed, but perpetual lateness isn’t ideal. By regularly being late, not only are you missing out on essential training time and practise, but you’re impacting other people’s training process. Missing just five minutes each day can add up to hours.
Training courses are scheduled, and any disruption can have severe consequences to your training experience and the experience for others and morale within the class.
If you’re guilty of poor time-keeping, before you snooze that alarm clock for the third time, remember your end goal. Remind yourself of the investment you’ve made in your future.
Get To Know Your Fellow Students
There are a whole host of reasons why getting to know those you’ll be training alongside is a great idea.
First and foremost, building relationships with those in your class can lead to you all feeling much more comfortable. With comfort comes confidence, so you’ll have no concerns or worries when it comes to speaking up and asking questions. Knowing those around you can improve your training experience further, as having friends to call on can lead to a better understanding of the course content.
Not only that, but you can support each other throughout and after training. If you’re struggling, they’ll be there to help and support you, and vice versa.
Pay Attention and Take Notes
When it comes to any learning, you must pay attention. Distractions such as talking to classmates, spending time on your phone, etc., will affect your learning and those around you. As a result, you’ll miss out on crucial information, with the worst-case scenario being that it could lead to failing the course.
While in class, take notes. According to The Learning Centre, “actively taking notes during class can help you focus and better understand main concepts.” Not only will notes help you better understand the material you’re learning, but it also provides you with something to refer to at a later date. When reviewing your notes, if there’s anything you’re unsure about, you can ask your trainer to go over it with you again. ,
Speaking up in class can be daunting, especially if you’re not 100% sure you know the correct answer or that your question is totally relevant – do it anyway.
“Class participation is an important aspect of student learning.” (Source: EducationWorld)
Participating in your training course will not only help you, but it will help your classmates and trainers as well. Answering and asking questions will help to improve your knowledge on a subject and increase your confidence. It also allows trainers to reiterate specific points and go into more detail about others. All of this will increase knowledge for the whole class. It’ll also help the trainers to adjust and improve their instruction in future.
Ask For Additional Resources
Your training course should cover everything you need to know, but that doesn’t mean you can’t undertake some extra learning in your own time.
Ask your trainers if there is anywhere you can find extra resources, information or material. They may have some to hand or at least be able to point you in the right direction. Not only will this show you’re committed to your training, but it will help to improve your knowledge and skills. This extra knowledge will increase your confidence and could lead to better performance in exams and assessments.
Revise For Exams
A seemingly obvious tip but one worth remembering – always revise for your exams. Regardless of how confident you are in your knowledge and practical skills, it’s worth going over the material you’ll be examined on.
Start revising within plenty of time. Trying to cram all your revision into a few hours before the exam won’t give you enough time to understand it truly. Instead, plan out what material you will revise and find a revision method that suits you. If there is anything you’re struggling with, get in touch with your trainers. Give your trainers plenty of time to go over the material and explain it in detail to ensure you understand.
Revising will cement your knowledge and allow you to clear up anything you’re not 100% sure about. This will leave you feeling confident and calm going into your exams.
Take Advantage Of All Opportunities
As well as additional resources during training, your training provider may be able to offer further opportunities after completion. Opportunities could be additional training, workshops or online resources. It’s worth investigating what’s on offer to discover more ways to further your education, knowledge and career.
For example, at Options Skills, we offer several opportunities for students once they’ve completed their training with us.
During week seven of our NVQ Level 3 Electrical Training Course, our students have the opportunity to enrol in our Job Club Workshop. The workshop focuses on the job market and provides CV and interview tips and techniques. We also offer the services of our career development team, who can assist students in their job search.