How to Create a Study Plan that Works

How to create a study plan that works

When revising, it takes a lot of self-discipline to sit hour after hour, day after day, doing something you might not be overly excited about.

Some people can just get on with it, but a lot of people need to work at it and creating a study plan can help.

A study plan consists of when you study, what you study, where you study it and for how long. The study plan aims to ensure that you are organised and do enough work.

Some people print out a plan and put it on their wall, and whatever that plan says, then they do it!

Another option is to print out your plan and give it to your parents or a friend so they can ensure you are studying when you are supposed to be.

When Do I Study?

If you are on exam leave, then the answer is every day. And it should be for most of the day too. I’d estimate that around 6 hours per day is required. You have to be honest with yourself; if you need to do more, then do more. Also, be careful not to go crazy and do too much.

If you are not on study leave and have to revise, then a plan is even more important as you try to juggle revision around your daily life. It’s impossible to advise someone in this situation as everyone will have different commitments etc. But it would help if you aimed to study on a regular basis.

What Do I Study?

Imagine that you are about to start your revision and have several subjects and tons of material and books to get through. It is easy to become overwhelmed, which will hinder your productivity greatly.

Back to the good old tip of breaking things down. You need structure. Break your subjects down into sections, and then break these sections down further if you want to.

Doing this will relieve some of the mental load.

If you break a topic into four sections, you will know how much you have left to do. You can also assess what areas you are ok with and where you may need to put your focus. It’s much easier than looking at a subject as one big thing.

This, in turn, can boost confidence. You might find that you are good at three out of the four sections rather than thinking you are struggling with a subject.

When studying a section, completely forget about all the other parts of that topic or subject. This is being single-minded and is similar to what you will have to do in an exam where you have to focus on one question at a time and completely forget the others.

Where Do I Study?

Where you study is important. Generally, students study at home or in the library, although staying at home all day can be distracting. It really is up to you. Any place that makes you consistently productive is all you need.

But it would be best if you avoided distractions. For example, do not sit outside in a park on a summer’s day. Do not sit with your friends as a group at a table and go for breaks together every twenty minutes. I would recommend sitting alone. Of course, having friends in the same room is fine if they are used sparingly and productively.

How Long to Study For

How Long Should I Study For?

I mentioned above that around six hours a day is ideal, but that was an overall estimate. You will have to split up your subjects and topics within those six hours as you can’t do the same thing all day long.

You must use your discretion here. If you are struggling with one subject, maybe more time is required than for others. Even within subjects, you need to look at how much time individual topics need. You will soon become a master of time management.

Tip: A good idea is to eventually study for however long the exam is without a break. If it lasts 90 minutes, do 90 minutes; if it’s 2 hours, do 2 hours.

Recovery Time

Just as important as the study sessions is the recovery time. It’s like going to the gym and doing weights; you must give the muscles time to recover. So, within your day of study, please take a break in the morning, a lunch break and a break in the evening.

Also, don’t neglect your hobbies and pastimes. You might not be doing them as much as normal, but doing something enjoyable a few times a week will help you enormously. It’s all about recovery.

I mentioned above that some people go over the top with their revision, which is probably down to a bit of anxiety. There is no need to go crazy. You must have time to recover, but doing other things will only help your next study session. You will have more enthusiasm and desire to do it. If you are constantly just studying, you will soon lose any drive, and probably, the effectiveness of your actions will diminish.

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