Creating a study schedule can be harder than we think. Not only do you have to prioritize the subjects and courses you need to study for within a certain amount of time, but you also have to juggle other responsibilities such as family, friends, and social activities. Ultimately, though, with a little thought and a little work, you’ll have no problem creating a schedule and meeting all of your academic goals.
Follow our 5 simple steps to create your ideal study planner.
STEP 1: Set your short and long term academic goal
It will be easier to create and manage your schedule if you know what you want to achieve at the end. This will also help you identify areas that you need to focus on.
- Short-term goals might include passing a test in a week, finishing an essay within 2 weeks, or finish a presentation in 10 days. For these projects, break up your tasks by day.
- Long-term goals might include getting into a certain university, winning a scholarship, or landing a certain job or work experience. For these, break down your goals by week and month to make them more manageable.
- Make sure you know exactly how much time you have for each of these goals. Write the end-date down and calculate how many days, weeks, and months are left.
STEP 2: List deadlines and subjects you need to study
Write down all of the subjects you need to study for including exams, essays, assessments throughout the year. This includes any social events you have coming up. This will allow you to schedule your study time effectively without any last-minute cramming.
STEP 3: Assess the workload required for each deadline and subject
From the list in step 2 break it down further by listing down the steps required to achieve your goal and meeting your deadlines.
- Reserve time for reading.
- Reserve time for reviewing your notes.
- Reserve time to create exam study guides.
- Reserve time for research
- Reserve time for group study sessions if a group presentation is required.
STEP 4: Set priorities
After you have made a list of all the subjects or exams you need to study for and what is required for each subject, prioritize the list. Ranking each subject in importance will help you figure out what subjects you need to devote the most time to and which subjects should get your best time slots.
- Put a number, starting with one, next to all of your subjects or exams. If you need the most time for math, give it a one. If you need the least time for history (and you have five subjects to study for), give it a five.
- Take into account the difficulty of the subject or exam or the lessons you need to cover.
- Take into account the amount of reading you will need to do.
- Take into account the amount of reviewing you will need to do.
STEP 5: Create your weekly study plan
Whether it’s a physical paper study planner or a digital planner on your phone – make sure it works for your lifestyle and personality. Will the digital planner be forgotten amongst the other apps or will a physical paper hung up around the house work better? Whatever works for you, start to fill in your commitments, deadlines and social events.
From your list in Step 3 and 4, fill your study planner with the required study blocks needed for each subject and exams to achieve your goal. It’s best to schedule in your study time at the same time every day. Allow time for breaks, social activities, exercise and extra-curricular learning. It’s best to work on a weekly planner to start with, soon you will build a consistent study routine that works for you.
Our tips for creating your ideal study planner:
- Write your academic goal on your study planner, on post-it notes, tell your family members.
- Keep your study planner hung up where you can see and access every day.
- Keep your study blocks to 1 hour with a ten-minute break.
- Block out time for meals, sleeping and travel time, this is often forgotten or goes over the time that was allowed for. Don’t be deterred – try to stick to your planner and refer back to your priority list to move some items around.
- Share your study planner with family members so they can provide a gentle nudge when required.
Do you want to start your own study planner now?
Download our printable study planner and start creating your ideal study routine!