The big box has arrived and it is full of papers, with a big blue folder for each subject you are going to study. It can be a bit daunting because there is so much information. Don’t worry, though, you have plenty of time to digest it all, and you can refer to it whenever you want and however much you want, during the time you are studying each subject.
There are two particularly important things in the folder you should look at first: the list of textbooks you need and the arrangement of lessons.
Order those textbooks as a first job. Be sure to double-check the ISBN number for each one, because there are often books available which have very similar titles.
Now look at the arrangement of lessons. It is presented in the form of a big table in the Introduction section and is the whole course condensed into a manageable chunk of information. You can use this for your planning.
Sit down with the arrangement of lessons, a calendar and a big sheet of paper. Write out the dates of each week, from when you will start until when you will take your exam. You can do it on a big grid if it helps. Cross out any weeks that you are going to take off – everyone needs a break every so often! Now divide up the lessons amongst the weeks you have left. Aim to finish around 6 weeks before your exam, if you can, to allow for revision. Now you can see clearly how quickly you need to work in order to finish the course in good time. Each of the tutor marked assignments (TMAs) is marked on the arrangement of lessons. Put these onto your calendar too.
Your next job is to complete the Study Record. This will be straightforward now that you can see on your planning grid when each TMA should be completed. Send a copy of these dates to your Tutor.
Now you are ready to get started on lesson 1.
You will find lots of other useful information in the introduction to your folder. Refer to it whenever you want, it will be useful again when you finish the lessons. Some subjects also have specific information in the appendices, which can be found right at the end of your folder. Check them so you know what you have in your file. It might also be a good idea to stick some of these on your wall.