How to Create an Effective Study Schedule

By Alyssa Laffitte on March 22, 2019

Creating a study schedule is a good way to have an effective study session. A study schedule will allow you to set goals for your study session and accomplish them. We will discuss how to create an effective study session.

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Give yourself plenty of time

One of the biggest study mistakes students make is that they don’t give themselves enough time to create the study schedules and to do their assignments. They cram and pull all-nighters, and these are generally not effective ways to study. Instead, give yourself a good amount of time to finish your work. A good general guideline is to start your assignments the day they are assigned (or if it is a longer assignment, create a plan to finish it). After all, it’s better to finish early than to scramble to finish your assignment because you started it too late.

Figure out what you need to accomplish during your study session

Another study mistake is that students are unproductive because they don’t know what they need to accomplish during a study session. A productive study session begins with a specific “to do” list. This way, you won’t waste time trying to figure this out. It will also show you how much you accomplished during your study session, since you will be able to cross things off as you go. It’s a great feeling to see a to-do list with everything crossed off!

To create this list, go through each of your class syllabi and look at what is due in the next few days. Write them down in your list, and indicate which class they are for. While you are writing your list, be specific. Don’t just write “finish the reading and answer questions for X class”; write, “finish reading chapter 3.1-3.3 and answer odd numbered questions from #1-30 for X class”. When you are more specific, it is clearer what you need to do. Also, you will understand what the assignment is. You will know exactly which chapters you need to read or which questions you need to answer (it would not be fun if you answered all the even numbered questions rather than the odd ones!). It’s easy to forget minor details like that, and those details can make a big difference.

Once you finish your list, post it where you can see it. You can use it to monitor your progress as you go through your study session.

Assign realistic time limits for your tasks… and set alarms!

You should also include time limits in your list. Time limits will prevent you from spending an entire day on something that should have taken two hours. It will encourage you to focus and get the work done within the given time frame.

To assign your time limits, you must be realistic. Think about how much time you have in your study session, and how long it should take you to complete each assignment. Can you complete everything on your list in the amount of time you have? If not, eliminate unnecessary items from your list and postpone them for the next study session. Yes, you want to be productive, but you also don’t want to put extra pressure on yourself to complete a ton of assignments in a short time frame.

If you can complete everything in your time frame, assign a realistic time limit for each task. Write this limit down on the to-do list, and set an alarm on your phone. You will know when to move on to the next task. This will help you avoid spending too much time on one assignment and ensuring you get everything done.

Think about the materials you will need

Your study session will definitely be delayed if you realize you are missing something you need. Before you start, think about the materials you will need and pack them. This way, you can be sure you have everything you need.

Assign a certain amount of time to get set up

In addition to your to-do list, you should assign a few minutes of your study schedule to get set up. It’s hard to start a study session as soon as you sit down. You need to set up by taking out your books, notebooks, and pens, plugging in your laptop, logging into your school’s website, and getting a glass of water to have at your side. This takes time. Make sure you plan some time for setup so that setting up doesn’t cut into your study time.

Plan your breaks

You should also include breaks in your study schedule. It is easier to stay focused when you know you will have a break in a few minutes. This will prevent you from working nonstop for hours or the other extreme (taking a “break” for hours!). In other words, planning your breaks will keep you on task.

Clearly, having a good schedule is key to accomplishing your study goals.

23, ISFJ. Biology student. College lifestyle blogger. Avid reader and writer. Dog lover. Nerd. Boyband enthusiast. Superhero in training. Here to help you become the best you can be!

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