Creating a study plan gives you greater confidence and improves your organization. Mapping out the different subjects you have to learn, and their deadlines, also enables you to study more thoroughly for exams, as you can prepare for each test in advance rather than trying to cram all the information in at the last minute.
Each student has their own way of studying, so each individual’s study plan will be slightly different. Here are a few tips to help you create a study plan that is tailored to your needs and will help you achieve the results you want in your exams.
Make a list
Write down all the subjects you need to study, as well as the date of the relevant exam. If your exams are close together, you should aim to have done all your studying by the time the first exam arrives; otherwise you can afford to start studying for the some exams now, and leave others until a later date.
Having made your list, you might be tempted to simply start studying for your upcoming exams in order of test date. To gain the best results, however, you should order the subjects starting with those that leave you feeling least confident, and save those feel most comfortable until last. You should also think about what grade you want or need to achieve for each exam. If you need all As, you’re going to have to put in more study time than if you just need a pass, so this will affect your study plan.
Take a calendar and map out times you’re available to study. Try not to over commit yourself as this will be stressful in the run-up to your exams. Instead, be realistic and include any existing commitments in your scheduling. Depending on how many exams you have and how much time you have to study, you should aim for around 2-4 hours of studying per day.
As well as starting your studying well before the exam period, you should also try to get as much studying done as possible early in the day. It is much better for your motivation levels if you can fit in 2-3 hours of study by lunchtime, rather than leaving it all until the evening.
Use the iFlipTips app to create study notes that work. These digital flashcards help you memorize information in bite-sized pieces, improving memory retention and your ability to recall information. The more you break information down into smaller chunks, the more likely you are to remember what you’ve learned.
Every study plan should include time for breaks. We can only concentrate for around 30 minutes at a time, so if you carry on studying beyond this you’re unlikely to remember what you’re learning as thoroughly as you would if you took a break. Schedule in five to 10 minute breaks every half an hour to give you a chance to get a drink, stretch and relax.
If you’re finding it difficult to stick to your study plan, be gentle with yourself. This can be frustrating, especially if you’re under a lot of time pressure to learn what you need to know quickly. Try not to beat yourself up about slipping from the plan, and instead think about why you slipped. Are you trying to make yourself learn too much in a short time period, or are you giving yourself enough breaks? Go back to your study plan, make adjustments then start again.