Have you ever found it hard to stay focused while studying? Maybe you want to be able to study more but can’t seem to find the time to do so. If this sounds like you, then this is the article for you. We’ll be breaking down why you should make a study schedule, how to make a study schedule, and some tips and tricks to help you stick to your new study schedule.
This article will help you out if you are a student or a parent of a student. These tips and tricks will work best when the environment around you or you student is conducive to studying. There is no one magic study trick that will help everyone, but we hope that at least a few of these work for you.
What is a Study Schedule?
A study schedule can be done in a variety of ways, but, in general, it is a way to plan out a general idea of how much time you will be spending studying each subject or topic. They can be as general or as detailed as you want them to be and can be made for a variety of classes or just for breaking down the chapters or topics from one class. They are a way of prioritizing and organizing when you plan on studying each thing.
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This is a great example of a study schedule made using an online calendar program. Many people already use a program like Google Calendar, so using an existing program is a great option for creating a study schedule. Programs like Google Calendar also allow you to let others know when you are busy, so having your study schedule in your online calendar can make scheduling other events and meetings easier if that is a program you like to use.
Why Create a Study Schedule?
There’s a variety of reasons why creating a study schedule, either written out or online, can be really beneficial to your study habits. Generally, writing things down helps you to remember them, so having a plan of all the topics or courses that you need to make sure you study is a good way to not forget to study something.
Another great benefit of creating a study schedule is that you are more likely to feel an obligation to finish the study schedule. This is the same idea as writing a to-do list. You feel a sense of satisfaction each time you cross something off of your list, making you more likely to want to complete the next thing on the list. This same idea works with a study schedule, which is why it is important to have it written down in some way, although in the modern world, this could also be online and have a similar effect.
Study plans are becoming more and more important with the increase in online schooling. Since online schooling is much more of an individual feeling face of education, it can be hard to find the same motivation that you might have if you are around others. Creating a study schedule can help you find a lockdown study routine that is good for your schooling but also good for your mental, emotional, and physical well-being.
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Here is another study schedule sample.
How Many Hours a Day Should You Study?
Determining how many hours a day to study can be a challenge, but the best way to do this is to take a hint from your existing routine. If you naturally find it really challenging to focus for a long period of time, try studying for only a few hours or even an hour or two a day, but do this every day. If you are someone who prefers doing one thing for a long time, maybe try studying for three, four, or even five hours one day and then taking the next day off. It’s all about creating a routine that’ll work for you.
As you get closer to a big exam or test, you can also add in hours to dedicate to general review in preparation of the test or exam. Make sure that you still leave yourself enough time to enjoy life and not get too bogged down in studying. For high school, we recommend studying for no more than two or maybe three hours a day. In college, you might be expected to study more, but you will likely have fewer classes and, thus, more time outside of classes to study.
How to Make a Study Plan for Exams?
Creating a study plan for exams is easy if you already have a good study routine or start early. Starting the week before exams is likely to leave you feeling unprepared, stressed, and burnt out. If you start your study routine a month or so before exams come around, you’ll have more time to study, feel less stressed and more prepared, and likely feel less burnt out by the end.
Start with your general study schedule and slowly add in more time dedicated to general review for your exam. If you have kept up with your studying and have studied well for each quiz or test that you’ve had throughout the course, studying for your exams shouldn’t be too stressful at all. You’ve already done all the heavy lifting; now it’s just time to do some final reviewing before the exams.
7 Tips on Creating a Study Schedule
1. Evaluate your current study habits
If you are trying to create a study schedule because your current study habits are really bad, take note of that. Maybe you’re trying to create a study schedule because you really like to be organized but like the amount of time that you already study. Understanding what you like about what you already are doing and what you don’t like will help you craft a personalized study schedule that fits with your life.
2. Figure out key components of how you learn best
Figuring out how you learn best can help you plan when you study. For example, some people find that they are the most productive first thing in the morning or after exercise. If you are able to find a time that makes you feel the most focused, that can help you make a study schedule that you are more likely to stick to. If you feel like your schedule is helping you and working well for you, then you are much more likely to stick to it and see results.
3. Look closely at the time you have available
If you have events that happen every week, make sure you keep that time free from studying for your other commitments. Having a good study schedule doesn’t mean neglecting other commitments you have going on in your life. Make sure you plan time in for family commitments as well and allow some time in your schedule for free time. Having some freedom in your schedule is a great way to make each week feel different and give you time for spontaneous meals with friends or other spur-of-the-moment adventures.
4. Decide how much time you need to spend studying
Figure out how much time per week, you need to complete your homework and how much time you need to be studying to be well prepared for any tests or quizzes that come your way. Be realistic here since you don’t want to get burned out on studying. This amount of time can always change too. For example, as finals get closer, you can take away some of your free time and add in more time to study for finals.
5. Create a plan that combines your commitments and your studying
You can find blank templates of study schedules online or create your own. Just make sure that you take into account the amount of time you need to spend studying as well as all of your other commitments. We recommend investing in a planner of some sort to keep your study schedule in and to be able to make adjustments at the start of each week if something comes up. You can get a premade planner, or just use a blank notebook, or even just your phone. It’s all about what works best for you.
6. Have accountability
Making sure you have some way to be held accountable for sticking to your study schedule is a great way to see results. Some people like to have a buddy to either also have a study schedule with or to just check in with for some level of personal accountability. Some people find that they feel accountable to themselves enough to complete the study schedule on their own, but if this doesn’t sound like you, then find someone else to help keep you accountable.
7. Reassess as needed
A study schedule isn’t set in stone. It is a general idea of what you would like to be doing, but remember, sometimes life throws curve balls towards us, and we have to be ok with adapting to those. If you find that you aren’t spending enough time studying, just add in more time. If you need more time with your friends or a relative, make sure to plan that in too. If you don’t feel comfortable with the schedule, there is no way you will be able to stick to it and be happy about it.
How to Stick with Your Study Plan: 3 Strategies
1. Be realistic
Don’t tell yourself that you’re going to spend 10 hours studying every Saturday, because that’s not realistic. Having a vastly unrealistic study schedule will make it harder for you to stick to your study schedule, and you may find yourself detesting the schedule that you made for yourself. Creating a realistic study schedule that doesn’t overexert you will make it much easier for you to stick to your plan and actually see real results.
2. Don’t forget to take breaks
The best way to stay motivated and focused is to break up your studying with short breaks. A good timeline to follow is study for 45 minutes and then take 15 minutes off. Use your breaks to get the blood flowing, get a snack, drink some water, whatever you need to help you feel refreshed. Remember to not take too long of a break, though, as that can make it harder for you to get back into the studying mindset at the end of your break.
You still have to live life, even if you are dedicating a lot of your time to studying. Plan in activities like going out for lunch with friends or going to see a movie, maybe going for a hike or bike ride. All of these will help break up any potential monotony and ultimately help to keep you more focused and engaged for a longer amount of time.
If you make your study schedule exactly the same each week, you give yourself nothing to look forward to. Try planning in at least one random fun activity each week, maybe even more if you have time. That way, you have something positive to look forward to and motivate you to complete your study plan for that week.
This is especially important as you get towards the holidays or even when creating a study schedule for the holidays or any school break. You want to plan in time to let yourself enjoy the break and have fun. It’ll help you stay motivated and get more out of your study schedule.
Here are a few tips for if you are studying online. Some of these are the same as above, but some are slightly more specific to online studying.
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Wrapping Things Up: How to Make a Study Schedule
Sitting down and evaluating your current study routine is a great place to start to determine how to create your new study schedule. This isn’t something that can be done overnight and does take a good amount of time and effort to create a totally personalized study schedule. Feel free to find online study schedule templates and just modify them to create your own routine. Just make sure that your study schedule is realistic, so you are able to stick to it and see results.