Before throwing yourself into studying, you should make a study schedule. Creating and following a study schedule can help you concentrate, better retain course material, and effectively manage your time.
Assess your current schedule. Creating a healthy balance between your studies, social life and sleep is important. You can tailor your study schedule to fit your needs and learning style. Do you need to allot time on weekend afternoons because you work nights the same days? Could you listen to an audio recording of a lecture on your MP3 player while sweating at the gym?
List all the subjects you need to study. If you have a study guide or a textbook with review sections, use it to narrow down what you list. Once you have your list, rank the subjects by how confident you feel about them. You can note them with least, moderately or mostly. By doing this, you can focus more time and energy on problem areas.
Pull out your calendar/planner. Write down important dates or events that you cannot change (e.g. midterm, final exam day, your grandmother’s 99th birthday). Now, you can check if there are times or days of the week you can always study during. For example, you may be free 3-4 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday. If possible, try to schedule your studying then, because a regular, set routine can help you get into a studying mindset and into one more quickly.
Schedule study sessions in 20- or 30-minute blocks. Shorter time blocks are easier to find and to schedule than 1-hour or longer times. By doing 20 and 30-minute limits, you automatically create breaks. This way, you can rest your tired eyes, stretch your legs and maybe get a healthy snack.
Write down which subject you are studying in each session. This will help keep you on track, create checkpoints for the material, and allow you to organize your textbooks and study materials ahead of time. If you have questions or concerns about a specific subject, you have a record of what you studied and when. If you request help from someone, you can give them context.
Stick to the schedule. There’s no point in making a study schedule if you don’t stick to it, but it can be hard to start. Try to get into the habit of looking at your calendar/planner on a regular, preferably daily, basis. This will help keep you away from the “out of sight, out of mind” trap. Once you’ve established a routine, you may start mentally associating certain acts, such as the opening of a textbook or sitting down at a desk, with a study mode. By quickly getting to your studying mindset, you can more easily ignore distractions and focus on the material you are reviewing.
- Try to not use technology during your free time or you’ll be tempted.
- If you finish something ahead of schedule, go back and note which subjects you feel better about and which you still have questions on. Accordingly, you can adjust what you plan to study and review later on.
- Plan day by day schedules if you are a beginner in time management and stick to that system for a week, then plan for whole weeks, this helps to pass the stage of procrastinating.
- consult your teachers about the relative importance of different chapters.
- Use the production line strategy , for example: you want to get your tools for studying, is it faster to go and prepare some papers then go and get the pencil, then the book , then … / or it is faster to get them all in one go?
- Did you miss a study session? Reschedule ASAP. You don’t want to lose your study stride.
- Don’t wait till the last minute. Study regularly in order to only review things you aren’t sure about before an exam.
- Be honest with yourself ,put in your schedule what you can do and not what you wish to do.
- Avoid procrastinating (delaying) work as much as possible.
- Set an alarm on your phone or computer when you study