Updated: Feb 15
Study schedules are a must-have tool for students. Even if you don't follow it 100% of the time, you will likely get more done with it than without. If you would like to create your own study schedule but don't know where to start, check out this quick guide.
i. Choose your planning or scheduling method
There are many options out there from digital apps (like Google or Outlook Calendar) to physical planners (free templates here). Find something you are comfortable with.
ii. Block out your busy time first
Start by adding your school, work and personal commitments to your calendar. This will allow you to figure out how much time you can actually dedicate to studying.
iii. Schedule prep and review time
Schedule time before each lecture to read and prepare. Even a short prep session can go a long way! Schedule time to review your notes soon after each lecture (within 24 hours is ideal).
iv. Schedule time to actively study
In addition to reviewing your lecture notes, you should schedule longer sessions for active studying. This includes creating study guides or quizzes, filling out graphic organizers and working on problems and practice questions.
v. Make sure you schedule breaks too!
Try the Pomodoro Technique - schedule a 25-min study session followed by a 5-min break. Repeat 4 times and then take a longer break (15-30 min). Remember that balance is key; schedule time for work and play.
vi. Use your down-time effectively
Most of us have down-time - whether it is in-between classes, in waiting rooms or on the bus. Make use of that time! You can review your notes, prepare for an upcoming class, go over cue cards or even do a practice quiz on your phone. It will make a big difference and free up other slots in your schedule.
Everyone is different, so it is really important to create a study schedule that works for you. Be flexible and adjust your study schedule as required. Remember: even if you only stick to it sometimes, it can still make a big difference in your academic career.