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Study skills for distance learning

Get tips and advice on how to set up your distance studies.

Keep yourself updated

Keep a habit of visiting Canvas, the programme website, course websites as well as KTH’s website on a daily basis, to keep yourself up to date with the latest information regarding your studies.

Structure and planning

Structure and planning is vital when carrying out your studies on distance. Set up a schedule of when and what to read each day and each week. Maintaining a routine is especially important when studying at home. Decide the day before what time to get up in the morning and what to do the following day. Don’t forget to take a break from time to time and go outside for a while.

Inspiration on study habits: Rocks, Pebbles and Sand Story (Youtube)

Use an analogue calendar or a calendar available in your computer or phone. They will help you keeping track of what to do for the coming weeks.

A picture of a woman writing in a calender.

Setting up goals

Working towards set goals is important in order to know what to do. A clear goal ensures that focus is put on the right activities. Without a goal, there is great risk that the result is determined by coincidence. Set a goal that is desirable and worth the effort.

When setting up a goal it is important that it is your own and not somebody else’s, and also that it is achievable.

S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Accepted
R - Realistic
T – Timed

Finding a good study place

If possible, reserve a separate place for your studies. Make your study place as pleasant and functional as possible. Avoid sitting on a couch or bed, as this is not an ergonomic posture. Determine times when, for example, you do not use social media since this may distract your focus. Be honest with yourself and avoid the things that easily distracts you: friends, e-mail, social media, Youtube, TV shows, laundry and dishes. 

Have a Swedish afternoon fika at 15.00 via Zoom with your study group and classmates!

A picture of a coffee mug and the text: it´s always time for a swedish fika!

Prioritize your time

Follow the study plan of your programme or course. You will be working more on the computer than you normally do. Remember to take breaks during the day. Call your friends and study together with your study buddies using digital tools. Help each other and discuss the assignments that you’ve got.

Information on the digital tool “Zoom”

Schedule deadlines

Try to stick to your schedule; otherwise, it is easy to fall into the trap of postponing your studies. This will lead to a higher workload and a risk of getting behind in your planning. Set up a fictitious deadline the day before the actual deadline. That way you will have an extra day to review the work and will be able to relax and enjoy the good work that you have done!

The Pomodoro Technique - Study And Productivity Technique (Youtube)


Schedule follow-ups on a regular basis and try to keep this routine. Schedule the appointments in your calendar and have group meetings on the phone or via Zoom. Feel free to use online services such as Google Docs.

Devide the workload

Often there are projects that are carried out together with your classmates. In these cases, it is important to be clear and to delegate the tasks among each other in order to reach the goal.

Different learning styles

Make sure your learning takes place in different ways: read, listen, write or combine all of these. People have different learning styles and collects information differently. Try to find what works best for you!

How to Effectively Study with Online Courses (Youtube)

Study Skills & Effective Note taking for Online Students (Youtube)

Clever studying

On our website, we will also find films and other tips on study skills presented by Björn Liljeqvist who is an expert on this field. Among other things, he presents what makes a student successful in his or her studies.

Combining family life with studies

If you are combining studies with family life, it is important to plan your studies and try to stick to the plan. Try to use the time when your child is in school or kindergarten for studying. 

If you have a study loan/study grant or hold a scholarship, you may have to check if there are any restrictions when it comes to keeping your loan/grant/scholarship if you for example need to take care of your child, and this in turn effects your studies and study results. 

If you fulfil the requirements that apply and hold a study grant or loan through the Swedish Board of Student Finance (CSN), please check what apply here: CSN homepage. 

Lecture in study skills during quarantine: keep your motivation and routines

Lecturer: Björn Liljeqvist