Teaching & Learning: A look at Study Planning
Juggling your classes, homework, and other commitments such as extracurricular activities and sport, managing your time to study can be challenging. An effective way to achieve your own learning goals to implement a study plan. There are many ways to plan your study, from monthly to weekly to daily timetables, priority lists, and checklists. However, do not get overwhelmed in trying to perfect the ideal plan! One key advantage of a study plan is that it will help you to avoid stress in that you will have a clear plan of what you will be doing each week.
Two useful approaches include:
A Weekly Study Timetable will outline specific times for study and when you need to take time off.
A Subject Planner will provide you with an overview of what is needed in a particular subject.
Weekly Study Timetable
Creating a weekly study timetable is one of the most important things you can do to study effectively. With the aid of a template:
Shade-in times for extracurricular activities such as sport, music lessons, gym etc.
Shade-in the times you really don't want to study!
Pick the times you will study
Write in the subjects you will study in each available time slot.
There are many templates and even apps available online, however, we have placed an editable MS Word Version below.
Downloadable Weekly Study Plan - Click the pop-out button on top right of each version to download. This will open the document in a new window. Then use the download arrow to save to your own device.
MS Word version 👇👇
The subject planner will contain a list of all the topics in that subject and will provide you with a broad outline of what needs to be done. Your teacher may provide this list and in some subjects, the chapters of your textbook are also useful.
Alternatively, many of the exam papers contain ready-made topic lists. You might also add a column in your plan to rate the difficulty of each topic in order to identify topics requiring further revision.
Downloadable Subject Planner: Click the pop-out button on top right of each version to download. This will open the document in a new window. Then use the download arrow to save to your own device.
MS Word version 👇👇
Some further points to note:
Creating a lovely colour-coded plan in an Excel spreadsheet or MS Word document is all well and good, but if you can’t see it on a daily basis, it can easily start to slip your mind. Either write or print it out and stick it up on the wall at home or around your desk to remind you what you are due to cover each week.
Discover what works for you. Keep your plan flexible. If you have scheduled an hour of study at 8 pm every evening but find you are not being productive, then make a change. For example, try getting up an hour earlier to see if morning-study works better for you.
Break subjects/topics down into small chunks. Assess how familiar you are with each topic and focus on your weak areas.
Wellbeing: It is important to take regular breaks when you are studying to ensure you don’t burn out. Include 5- or 10-minute breaks in your study plan; It is also important to make time for the things you like to do such as meeting with friends, going for walks, running, cycling, etc. Ultimately, this will better prepare you mentally to achieve your study goals. Well-balanced meals and adequate sleep are also vital.
….. And finally, don’t get disheartened if you break the timetable! Forget about it and focus on the plan for the following day.
A look at some Study Planning Apps
Teaching and Learning: A look at Study Planning Apps
In addition to our Study Plan templates referred to in last week’s newsletter, many student study planning apps are becoming increasingly popular.
As well as saving on paper, many student planner apps also send reminders and alerts straight to your phone or device. Three such apps include ‘Timetable’, “iStudiez” and ‘Todoist’
‘Timetable’ is an intuitive app on Google Play for managing your study planning. Students can save their timetable and all tasks from homework to exams. You only need to enter them once because Timetable syncs across all your Android devices.
iStudiez allows students not only to create a study timetable but also tracking of daily tasks, upcoming homework assignments and project deadlines. It is available for iOS, Android and Windows platforms.
Todoist is a planner and to-do list all in one, and is widely used by business executives as a project planner, Todoist is an app that can carry you through school and beyond.
Although you can pay to upgrade, the free version offers more than most students are likely to need. Todoist includes several student friendly features:
Jot down important details or things to do before you forget them
Set up projects for each class and any other activities or extracurricular activities you partake in.
Add "next action" items, so you can always be looking ahead to your next assignment
Check item off your list without losing them for good