College gave me an appreciation for reading and research and made me realise how stressful studying is.
If you are just starting university, and you have never been responsible for yourself, then you will quickly realize that setting aside time to study is now your own responsibility.
Some people have no issue whatsoever in accomplishing this challenge. If you don't know where to start then you will be feeling lost. The amount of new information when you start university can be very overwhelming.
Start Studying as Soon as Possible
Once you have your class schedule, you can start designing your timetable. The following items need to be added to you timetable.
- Commuting times
- Work hours
- Study times
- Class times
- Family time
- Volunteering times
- Assignment times
Studying is a big part of going to university. Each course has different starting and finishing times. Some classes could start very early in the morning at 9:00am while others don't start till the afternoon. Your classes might not finish till 6:00pm that day.
If you have to travel a long distance to university then this cuts into the number of available hours you will have in a day.
It's important that you start planning a study schedule as early as possible.
While you might think you will have loads of time, a few months into university you could start to regret not doing any studying sooner.
Study Timetable Tips
Before you start planning your timetable, here are some things you need to consider.
- Check your class schedule for the semester
- Note the start and finish times of your classes
- Record due dates of assignments and dates of tests
- Note any upcoming family event
- Record your volunteering hours
- Record your work hours
- Record your commute times
- Record any breaks and meal times
Once you have a record of the hours you are unavailable you can put them into your schedule.
- Plan out your schedule on a large whiteboard wall planner which allows you to change your schedule as the week’s progress.
- Next create a seven day timetable with your available hours listed.
- Once you have filled in what you are doing for each hour for the whole week, you can see what hours you have available.
- Now use your free hours for studying.
- Don't forget to include breaks for lunch and dinner.
Designing Your Timetable
- When designing your timetable set out blocks of time. This could be thirty minutes, fifty minutes or sixty minutes.
- Use coloured markers to colour in the blocks of times you will be unavailable.
- Block out 2 or 3 hour intervals for each module.
- Take 5 or 10 minutes breaks between each block of time.
- Leave the periods you are free in white.
- Don't study continuously for five hours without a break; it won't do you any good because you will get tired and frustrated.
- Take 5 or 10 minute breaks before you start into the next block of study time. This will help refresh your brain.
Study Timetable Template
Moods Impacts Studying Time
Some of us will really need to push ourselves to sit down and study. If you aren't in the right frame of mind, then you will waste your time procrastinating. Here is how you can get motivated to focus on your studying.
- Find a room, close the door, sit down and focus on the task at hand.
- Don't spend 20 minutes wasting your time at the start of studying trying to figure out what it is you need to study.
- Check your course booklet to see what areas you need to focus on.
- Focus on your long term goal to help encourage you to get motivated
- Change a negative attitude to a positive.
Take a Record of the Areas you Have Studied
The study timetable is important to help kick start your studying. But don't forget to take account of the areas that you have studied each day.
One method that worked for me was to divide a notepad into sections for each class in my course. Here is what you can do.
- Get a notepad and divide it up into sections so each class has its own section. Each day record the date and the area you have studied for a class in it. This way you can see at a glance what it is you studied at any time for any module.
- Another method you could use is to put a number of sheets of paper in the front of each folder that holds your class notes and course work. Record here the date and topics you studied each day.
Whatever method you decide to use, they will both let you know what it is you have studied at any time.
If you record what you have studied by date, it will be harder to cross reference what you studied in each module.
Giant White Board Planner
Don't Forget to Include Deadlines for Assignments
If you have class assignments due a few weeks into university, it's important that you account for these when designing your timetable. Set aside hours as soon as you get the assignment into your weekly study timetable. Don't forget to include into this the following areas.
- Account for research hours
- Account for draft rewrites
- Account for any meetings if it is a group assignment
- If you are in charge of editing it, you need to account for the hours it will take you to edit it
Persistents is the Key
Studying is a skill you will not learn overnight. You need to be constantly doing it to get good at it. But once you learn to get focused, you will find it easier.
Each person will have a different method that will work for them. The key is to find one that works for you.
If you have lots happening in your life it can be difficult to get focused at the beginning, but you will need to implement some method so you can pass your exams.
That's why a timetable can help give you direction as it allows you to focus on one thing at a time.
© 2014 Sp Greaney
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on February 08, 2016:
@Calvin Mwilima, that is great. Best of luck with the study & your future plans. ☺
Calvin Mwilima on February 07, 2016:
I went through your comments and they are helpful, thank you.
I only started studying this year after twenty years. AND I really believe you guys.
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on January 27, 2014:
mecheshier on January 27, 2014:
It had been many years since I had been in school. I really did forget how to learn even though I have always kept my brain skills active. This method worked for me. Like you said, "It's finding one that suits your style of learning that's key."
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on January 27, 2014:
Hi mecheshier, thanks for your comment.
I think that's very true too, that we all have different abilities in learning things. It's finding one that suits your style of learning that's key.
I liked your idea about saying what your were writing out loud. That's a new one to me. :)
mecheshier on January 26, 2014:
Great Hub here. You have some wonderful suggestions here and I am sure that it will help many people, not just students. You are so sight "No one is going to teach you how to study, it's up to you to find a method that will fit into your lifestyle." If I may add, it's also important to learn the best method of studying. What works for one person may not work for another. When I went back to college the second time (in my young 40's) I had to relearn how to 'learn'. I would rewrite my notes for tests and repeat out-loud while I wrote. This helped me retain the information. After a couple of turns I no longer had to do this.
Thanks for the wonderful post. Voted up for useful and awesome.
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on January 26, 2014:
Thanks ChitrangadaSharan, I think college can be hectic but getting organised, like with a timetable can make it easier. I remember what it was like. :)
Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on January 26, 2014:
Nice and useful hub!
I agree with the idea of preparing Timetable for studies. You brought out some useful and doable advice here.
Thanks for sharing! Voted up!