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Could you be ready to study at an Ivy League University within a year – without changing your routine?


The initial preparation for any university course can be quite daunting, whether you’re a new student or a professional looking to enhance your existing skills and expertise. It takes quite some time to research the courses available, and then make the final choices as to what exactly you want to study. And of course, there are the undergraduate reading lists. These are mandatory for certain courses, which can pose a problem – namely, where will you find the time? Well, happily, a new has identified one particular aspect of everyday that could be the secret to your degree: your commute.

Your commute could be the key to your studies

According to the study by ethical car recycling company Scrap Car Network, the average British commute lasts 58 minutes. Given that there are about 233 working days over the course of any given year, that means that the average British commuter has about 225 extra hours to kill annually. While many people are content to pass this time on social media, or catch up on the day’s headlines, it also provides a valuable opportunity for anyone enlisting in further education.

For example, Scrap Car Network’s researchers found that the entire undergraduate reading list for a Philosophy, Politics and Economics course at the University of Oxford – the degree considered to the elite of the elite in the UK and equivalent to an Ivy League education – is a surprisingly achievable goal for those travelling by train or even bus. On average, it would take one person 167 hours – or 172 days of commuting time – to read each book on the list once. That’s ample time for you to prepare for the beginning of the course itself – and that’s the most difficult material!

Could you be ready to study at an Ivy League University within a year - without changing your routine?

How your commute can provide the perfect learning environment

The advantages of learning this way are clear to see; if you’re in a full time job, it won’t cut into your normal working day, and you can prepare for your studies without worrying about them intruding unduly on your home life, hobbies or family commitments either. What’s more, for many people, there are certain aspects of a public transport environment that they find can help them to focus. It’s easygoing enough so that there’s no tension or pressure to get a certain amount done, but at the same time it’s got a great balance between general bustle and low background chatter – aspects that it shares with most modern offices and study rooms. If you’ve got a particularly early commute, you might even be able to enjoy a quick study session in complete silence. What’s more, it’s regular and reliable, so you know how much time you’ve got and can set your learning objectives and goals accordingly. Handily, you don’t even have to be a student to benefit from this type of supplementary learning. University reading materials don’t require any special qualifications to read, and they’re easily obtainable – many are even available for free. That means you can reap sizeable benefits from the knowledge they contain, whether you intend to enter the world of further education or not.

As Scrap Car Network’s study demonstrates, even the most sophisticated university reading materials likely won’t take up all the available commute time in a given year. This means you can supplement your learning even further by reading extra materials by other relevant authors you’ve identified in the course of your studies, or familiarise yourself further with particularly involved concepts. In short, with prudent use of the available time on your daily commute, you might be surprised at how much knowledge you can absorb before the start date of your course – whether it’s a Philosophy, Politics and Economics course at Oxford, or a different one suited to your career and skills.

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