A study plan is an effective way to help you navigate through your college education in an organized way. Every student will develop a different study plan; there is no correct study plan for everyone.
Create a time chart of your current activities. Creating a time chart will allow you to see how you spend your time from day to day. For a one-week period, take notes about your daily activities. Record things like when you are at work, school, or home with family. Even note when you eat and sleep. Once you have done this for a week, look for times that you can slip in an hour of dedicated studying. This chart can be helpful for determining days and times that are consistent each week that you can devote to studying.
Develop a schedule – Now that you have determined available days and times for studying, make a mark in your planner or calendar. Use detailed notes to block out times on your calendar so that you are reminded every time you look at it. It is best to have a schedule written down so you don’t forget. Seeing it written down can make it seem more important, like a doctor’s appointment you cannot miss.
Determine your study goals – At the beginning of each week, determine why you need to study and what you plan to accomplish in each class. Do you want to raise your average in a particular class in order to maintain a certain GPA? Are you preparing for a big exam? For example, if you are studying for an important midterm exam, alter your study plan two weeks prior to the test to incorporate review of old tests and notes in your sessions. On the other hand, when you do not have an upcoming test, use your study time to read ahead one chapter in order to grasp the next lecture. You will need to tailor your study plan depending on your weekly goals, so be sure to analyze what you plan to get out of each study session. While it is tempting to skip your study session when there is not a test looming over your head, you will reduce your future test preparation time by reading ahead and preparing for lectures.
Stick to your schedule – A study plan works best if it is followed on a consistent basis. You should try to develop a study plan that you can follow for the length of each semester of college. Since most students enrol in different classes each semester, you will have to re-evaluate your plan and fine-tune it each term. Remember, the most important thing is sticking to your plan.