Time management can be a challenge, especially when you are a student and have an active life. In addition to your classes, you are likely to have other commitments such as extracurricular activities, work, or social engagements. That’s why creating a study plan can help make your life easier: it allows you to see how you organize your time and make sure you are setting aside enough time outside of class to complete assignments and study for exams. And if you have your day planned, you can also make more time for rest and pleasure.
Study plans are really important if you are doing an online course, as you need to be more self-disciplined without constant reminders from tutors. Here are some guidelines to get you started on creating your own study plan so that you can perform at your best and get the best academic results:
1. Analyze your study habits
Think about what works and what doesn’t work for you, as your study plan will be customized to your specific needs, classes, and learning style. Observe yourself and ask yourself some questions: Are you able to study for long periods of time, or is it more effective if you study every night for an hour? Are you more productive at a specific time of the day? Do you retain material better if you learn a subject immediately after class, or do you need a break first? Are you able to study effectively on your own, or should external helpers like paperhelp.org review your material for you to make it more accessible?
You can write down the answers in a notebook because this will help you define the plan that best suits your study needs.
2. Evaluate your timetable and manage your time
Use a digital or paper calendar to block out all your current commitments, including classes, work, and extracurricular activities. This will allow you to see how much of your time is already dedicated and what time you have available for studying.
If your timetable leaves little room for study, you will need to evaluate what you can reduce or how you can reorganize your time to free up more time for study.
At the beginning of each semester, you will be given syllabuses for the classes you are taking. These will usually include the dates of any exams or major projects you have, and this can give you clues as to how to plan the time you need to set aside for studying subjects, as some may require more hours than others. This is a good way to schedule your study sessions and better prepare for exams.
3. Develop a timetable
Now that you understand how much time you need to study and how many hours you have available, you can schedule your study sessions. Add them to your calendar like any other commitment. This will remind you that you have time set aside specifically for studying.
Plan which subjects you will study on which day. For example, Mondays and Wednesdays can be set aside for literature, and Tuesdays and Thursdays can be devoted to mathematics.
If you use public transport to get to university, you can use this time to read or listen to interesting podcasts about the subjects you are learning. Or you can even record subject topics yourself on your mobile phone and listen to them later on the bus or in the car.
4. Set your goals and stick to the plan.
At the beginning of each term, think about what you want to achieve in each subject. Perhaps you want to master a specific skill or improve your grades. These are general goals that will help motivate you for the duration of these classes. And knowing how to set goals will make your life easier.
Also, at the beginning of each week, think about what study goals you want to achieve: are you preparing for a final exam, are you able to keep up with your classes, do you need to reinforce a subject by studying more hours than planned? Adjust your study plan as necessary to achieve your weekly goals.
A plan works best when it is followed consistently. If your schedule includes long learning sessions, it is essential to take short breaks from time to time to stretch and rest your mind, as this will keep your brain fresh and help you avoid stress.
You will need to adjust the plan as you change subjects each term or as you discover what works best for you. The main aim is to help you become more efficient and productive, and here consistency and self-discipline play a key role.