Make A (Realistic) Study Schedule

By Trilby Goouch
Blogs Editor

Summer seems just steps away but before you’re able to get to that you still to have to get through a little thing called exams. The exam experience can seriously vary depending on your study approach; I know first hand the power of planning ahead. As a schedule-fiend, I signed myself up for Learning Commons’ workshop on making a study schedule. Here are some tips I took away from the workshop that I found really helpful during my December exams.

1. Get your hands on a calendar; you can make your own or pick one up from Learning Commons in Stauffer Library
2. Split into 3 rows; each row signifies 3 hours of studying, typically divided up from 9-12, 2-5 and 7-10. Personally, I can’t fathom studying for 9 hours each day, so I typically pick 2 time slots; if you’re an early riser you might choose to study from 8-11 in the morning, or if you’re a night-time studier then 9-12 might work better for you. Obviously everyone’s schedule is different so you need to work around your own courses.
3. Begin by filling in your calendar with plans you know you’ve got in the future, whether it be a birthday, wedding, family dinner etc.
4. Next, come up with rough estimates of how much time you plan on studying for each subject; if you’re choosing to study in 3 hour chunks, 1 week away from the exam, this would constitute roughly 21 hours of studying. Or if you’re attention span stops after 2 hours, you’ll want to study 10 or 11 days in advance (for a total of 20-21 hours). Make sure you tack on an extra time slot for general review; at that point all material should be learned.
5. Remember to go through a review of previously studied material before you sit down for each study session! This will help with recall.
6. If you can, go over a final review by talking about the content out loud.

Other tips
• Try to study a subject at the same time each day, preferably correlating with when you’ll be writing the exam.
• Switching around locations can be helpful with memory recall; for example, study marketing at Starbucks, social psychology at Stauffer Library.
• When you take your breaks, make sure you’ve fully let go of your study mindset; this time is crucial for information to sink in and process.
• If you’re a visual learner, mind-maps are a great way to make connections and look at the big picture; the Cornell format is also a great study tool for memorization as it allows you to take notes, summarize and memorize with the aid of one sheet.
• If you’re studying and can’t focus or find yourself falling asleep, take a break and return to it later.
• Make use of online study resources that come with your textbooks; they are a great indicator of multiple choice questions (especially for psychology exams!).

For additional study resources go to the Learning Commons website!

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