Let me tell you a secret of how straight-A students achieve their stellar results.
They almost always have a study schedule.
Now, you may ask how is it possible that a study schedule is so powerful?
Don’t fret! In this article, I will be telling you why you need it and how to create one.
First and foremost, why do you need a study schedule?
1. A schedule to complete all your assignments punctually.
A study schedule is often used to plan when an assignment can be done and how long will it take.
This way, you can ensure that all assignments are done within their stipulated time.
Not only that, you can also easily see which tasks you will be doing and have done.
This gives a bird’s eye view of how you go about completing your to-do list.
2. A schedule to plan your revision of every topic when your exam comes.
Furthermore, a study schedule can be used to plan your revision when your exams are around the corner.
With a rough estimation of how long you will take to revise each topic sufficiently, you can gauge how long it will take for you to be prepared for the exams.
With this information, you can then plan when you need to start your exam revision.
Also, a schedule helps you track your revision progress to ensure you are working sufficiently hard for your exams.
In the event that you are unable to complete a few tasks on a particular day, this may show that you are slightly behind schedule and may need to find some time to finish those tasks.
3. For a more efficient and productive day of studying.
Since a study schedule provides you with a bird’s eye view of your daily tasks and progress, you will be able to tune the schedule to make every day more efficient and productive.
What do I mean by that?
Assuming you have already scheduled a task for 1 hour. The day before, you did the same task too and found out that you take only 30 mins to complete it.
With your study schedule, you can then choose to add another task into this remaining 30 mins so that you can make your day more productive.
Moreover, if you use your study schedule to account for every hour of the day, you may be able to find time gaps where you can slot further tasks into.
4. To plan your breaks and rewards.
Lastly, your study schedule helps you plan your breaks and rewards.
It is always healthy to take regular breaks and be rewarded in between study sessions. This ensures that you remain happy, energized, and inspired to continue studying.
Depending on how long you usually study in one setting, you can then set breaks and reward yourself in between these settings.
Having talked about the purpose of a study schedule, you may be wondering how to create one. Here’s how:
1. Create a To-Do list every day.
Before you can have a study schedule, you need to have a compilation of all the tasks and assignments you need to do.
A To-Do list does exactly that.
It can be as simple as writing down all your outstanding tasks in bullet points.
You have your To-Do list.
Simple isn’t it?
2. Create your schedule.
And…of course! You also need a schedule so that you can assign tasks.
This is also flexible like your To-Do list. You can use any method that you like.
You can use an online timetable or you can create a physical timetable like me.
I used an A4 paper, divided it into 7 columns for 7 days in a week.
Then, I further divided each day into 3 rows, representing morning, afternoon, and night.
3. Block out times that you have other activities.
Now that you have your schedule, you can finally work on planning your time.
Before assigning each task to a time, you need to know when you are free.
This is why you block out the times that you have other commitments or activities.
They can be music lessons, curricular activities, pre-planned outings with your friends, and more!
The essence is to block out anytime you won’t be able to study or complete your tasks.
This allows you to easily and clearly see the time slots where you can assign tasks to.
4. Estimate how long it takes to do each task on your To-Do list.
Next, you need to estimate how long it takes to complete each task on your To-Do list.
Without this estimation, you may give yourself 1 hour to do a task that takes only 30 mins. As a result, you will not be able to assign any task to your timetable efficiently and productively.
To complete this step, start by thinking how long it takes to complete each task. Give some buffer time but do not be too generous or stingy.
Afterward, write the time beside each task for easy reference.
5. Insert the task into your schedule based on priority and urgency.
With everything prepared, you can now start assigning tasks to your schedule.
To do so, insert tasks into your schedule based on priority and urgency.
This ensures you complete the important and urgent tasks first and hand in assignments on time.
If you find it helpful, you may even put the deadline for each task beside the time.
6. Schedule sufficient breaks in between each study session.
As mentioned above, one of the purposes of using a study schedule is so that you can plan your breaks and rewards.
Therefore, this step is all about your breaks and rewards.
I usually have a 15 to 30 mins break in between every 2 hours.
Yours can be every 1 hour, 1.5 hours, or more. It is all up to you!
An important thing to take note of is that your breaks should be sufficiently long.
If you will be studying very intensely or revising a topic that you may not like, it is understandable to feel more tired or procrastinate more after the study session.
As such, in this case, I would likely give myself a 30 mins break so that I can rest more and recharge.
Try it out yourself and feel how long you need to recharge.
However, limit it to 15 to 30 mins so that you don’t get carried away with resting and relaxing. You want to keep yourself in the study momentum or ‘study zone’.
7. For revision.
If you are, then there are a few extra steps to take.
a) Estimate how long it takes to revise each topic sufficiently.
On top of estimating how long each assignment takes, you also have to estimate how long you will likely take to revise each topic.
This ensures that you have sufficient time to revise all the topics for your exams when you complete your study schedule.
Again, you need to schedule buffers for the time to revise each topic. This is especially important given that revising each topic sufficiently is crucial to how well you score in exams.
If your revision is too short or rushed, you may not be able to get a good grasp of the topics tested, resulting in possible poor grades.
To estimate how long it takes to revise each topic sufficiently, look through each topic. Look at what you understand and what you don’t.
If you feel lost in a topic, it is a warning sign that you should dedicate more time to revise this topic.
If you feel confident, that is great! You may want to dedicate more time to revise other topics that you are weaker in.
b) With whatever time you have left each day, schedule to revise a certain number of topics.
There are bound to be homework, practices, and more when the exams are near.
Not only do you have to make time for doing these assignments, but you also have to make time for revision.
So with the remaining time you have left each day after scheduling your assignments, dedicate this time to revise a certain number of topics.
It is good to revise a few topics each day so that you remain consistent.
A study schedule helps you manage your time efficiently and productively.
It would hugely benefit how you go about each day, be it completing assignments, revising, or taking breaks.
If you want to be organized, focused, and productive, a study schedule is a must for you.