By Francisco P. – As I’ve been taking my Alison courses, I’ve been learning little things that really help me to finish online courses and get certified. You see, when I first started taking Alison courses I kept finding them either too hard or too easy. As a result, I didn’t finish the courses, and after a little while I felt disappointed with my progress. But then I realised that I was doing a few things wrong. These were really small things, but they made a big difference. Now that I’ve corrected them, finishing courses is much easier.

So, I decided to share with you a few things that I try to remember when I’m finishing my courses. These are just from my personal experience, but I really hope they help you too!

1. It gets harder

Some courses start out easy. Really easy. At first, I thought this meant that the course was going to stay at this level the entire way through. So, thinking that I was too advanced for the course, I would give up and try a new one. This turned out to be a mistake. Alison courses are designed to cater to all skill levels, particularly their Learning Paths. Many of them bring total beginners all the way up to advanced skills. Just because they start easy, doesn’t mean they stay that way, so stick with them.

2. Skipping stuff you already know is not a good idea

Sometimes you find a topic or a concept in a course that you are already familiar with. This happened to me when I took a photography course. So, I skipped ahead until I got to a topic I was completely unfamiliar with. But then, I couldn’t understand this new topic at all. It turned out that all the stuff I needed to understand this new topic was included inside the sections that I had skipped. So I stopped skipping sections, and it really helped.

3. Refresh older topics, it helps

Even if you just did a topic yesterday, and especially if you covered it a few days or a week ago, when you resume your course the first thing you should do is look over the topics you just did. This isn’t because you’ve forgotten them (although, you might have). It’s because by going over the information again you can actually trick your brain into thinking it needs to learn this stuff again, and this helps you to remember things for longer! (something I learned from a psychology course)

4. Do Certificate courses first, then Diplomas

Certificate courses should be done for the same reason that you shouldn’t skip the easier topics within courses. Even if you think you know everything in the course, there is definitely something in there that will make it easier to get through Diploma courses. And besides, Certificate courses take less than 3 hours, so it’s a small step towards making your next course a success.

5. The certification is a great motivator

The first time I finished a course, I didn’t buy a certificate. A few weeks later, Alison sent me an email reminding me that I could get one, and I thought “ok, why not.” So I bought one and put it on my desk. Within 3 days I had finished another course. Just having that certification in front of me actually really motivated me to keep going with my next course, because it reminded me of my achievement and what I was working towards. If you don’t have one, definitely get one, I think it really helps.

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