How to Make your Study Timetable for the HSC

Do you find yourself procrastinating when you’re trying to study?

Are you struggling to free yourself from the Netflix tab of your browser?

Maybe you find yourself walking to the fridge for the eleventh time this hour…

You’re not alone. Procrastination is extremely common, with 87% of high school students admitting they leave things to the last minute.

A weekly study timetable is critical in eliminating distractions and smashing your HSC to achieve the career of your dreams!

Luckily for you, this article provides 4 easy steps to create a HSC study timetable that works!

What is a study timetable and why is it important?

A study timetable enables you to create a schedule where certain days and times are allocated to study and revision. Not only does a study timetable help you to remain organised, it identifies how much time you have available for study and can significantly improve your productivity. Sounds great right?!

To create a study timetable, a good starting point is to reflect on how your time is spent and prioritise what is most important. A personalised timetable reflects your very own study methods and lifestyle. Allocating study time around leisure and extracurricular activities is critical in maintaining a balanced lifestyle and healthy headspace. You should also aim to study when you are well rested and mentally alert.

Being realistic with your study goals is also important. Allocating large chunks of time to study can be mentally draining and unproductive. Instead, include lots of breaks during long study sessions to remain fresh and alert. Your study timetable requires balance. Rewarding yourself with free time to catch up on the latest episode of Stranger Things can act as motivation to crush that last English practice essay!

We suggest you use the timetable template available for download here (or something similar) to help organise your week.

4 steps to create your personalised study timetable

1. Assess your current schedule

A good starting point is to assess your current schedule and analyse how you currently spend your time. Most students mistakenly fill their schedule with large study blocks. More often than not, they overcommit themselves to hours that are unrealistic and that cannot be achieved. This causes unnecessary stress on students, leaving them overwhelmed and neglecting their study routine altogether.

2. Identify important commitments and set aside time for leisure

By listing important commitments and activities you most enjoy and incorporating them into your timetable, you not only achieve balance in your schedule but identify time in which you can allocate to your studies. Your list may look something like this;

Soccer Training: Wednesdays 6:30pm-7:30 pm
PlayStation: Tuesdays and Thursdays 8pm-9pm
Netflix: Mondays and Wednesdays 8pm-9pm
Social Media: Daily 5pm-6pm
Work Shift: Sundays 10am-4pm
Socialising: Weekends 6pm-10pm

It simply isn’t possible to plan each and every day to the exact minute. Unexpected events arise which may require you to adjust your schedule to adapt to changing circumstances. However, a rough estimation is a great way to start planning!

3. Add study in the gaps!

Once you have slotted in all your weekly activities, you will hopefully notice many blank spaces. These times can be dedicated to brushing up your mathematics skills or revising those ancient history notes. If your timetable is full and you don’t have any blank spaces available, it might be worth scrapping the 3 hour time slot dedicated to watching funny cat videos on a Monday evening!

By organising your HSC study timetable around fun, leisure and other commitments aside from study, we transform the perception of a study-timetable into a life-timetable that revolves around the things you love and enjoy. This means you will be more inclined to study during those blank periods as you are not sacrificing the things you most want to do!

4. Consistency is key!

A study timetable works more effectively if it is followed consistently. Establishing good habits and self-discipline early on will help you through periods where you lack motivation and struggle to open your English text. It is important to remember that your timetable should be used as a guide, not a rule book.

If you manage to stick to your timetable 60% of the time, that’s great! Sometimes you will get to a study timeslot and just feel like kicking back and watching Netflix – that’s totally fine! Equally, you might spend only 10 minutes scrolling through your socials to realise it’s time to hit the books. Either way, flexibility is an important skill to develop throughout your HSC and for your future career.

Additional Tips

Create your own study space

Studies show that having an inviting, quiet study space can improve productivity and mental efficiency. Besides, who wouldn’t choose to study in a nicely decorated space over a cluttered tiny desk in the corner of the bedroom you share with your younger brother, who has a passion for shouting loudly into the microphone headset whilst playing his beloved Fortnite.

Find a quiet, well-lit space and eliminate distractions by removing unnecessary books, papers, cables, headphones, magazines, phones and all other distractions that have the potential to put you off your game. A cluttered desk leads to a cluttered mind.

Don’t forget to recharge!

Many students make the mistake of chugging through Red bulls and pulling all-nighters to cram in every last bit of study before their HSC exams. However, not getting enough sleep can negatively affect your performance and increase your stress levels.

Spending sleepless nights cramming can actually defeat the purpose of why you stayed up in the first place! Since your memory can be affected by fatigue and lack of sleep, chances are you probably will not be able to remember those economic frameworks you revised at 4 in the morning! Try to incorporate at least 8 hours of sleep each night into your timetable to score better grades and achieve the ATAR you hoped for!

Remember to exercise and eat right

During exam periods, students often forget the importance of exercise and nutrition. A walk around the block will not only help your brain and blood flow but can re-energise you if you are struggling to remain focused.

Do not be tempted to skip meals or rely on takeaway while studying for your exams. The wrong dietary choices can make you feel sluggish and affect your mental efficiency. A balanced diet with plenty of fruit and veggies will keep you feeling energised and improve your alertness to get you through long exam hours.

If even with these tips you find yourself struggling to establish an effective study routine or stick to your personalised HSC study timetable, consider getting a tutor at C3 Education. Our team of dedicated tutors can assist you with developing time management skills and effective study techniques. You can learn more about our Sydney tutoring services here.