Facing the Final: Tip #3 For Exam Success – Set a Schedule

Tip #3: Set a Revision Schedule
Go ahead. Be a geek and create a study schedule. It’s a bit of work to set one up, but it’s worth it for sure.

Planning Your Schedule
If you have a number of exams coming up, especially if they are scheduled fairly close together, it can be hard to figure out what to revise and when. Since you can’t always just study for one exam, write the exam, and then move on to the next, you might need to be juggling a lot of material in your head all at once, and a schedule can help you keep that clear.

Start by looking at your exams. There may be some that you can’t really study for (ie, an essay exam for English with a topic you will find out on the date). There may be some that are not cumulative, and so you will not have as much material to study for them. There may be some that you can count on as being fairly simple and straightforward; others will be complicated and require a lot of studying.

Once you have filled in the dates of your exams on a blank calendar page, look back to today’s date. Then begin to set your schedule. How many hours do you have each day to study? Which exams are most important? Which ones do you need more time to study for? Fill in a schedule with blocks of time for different subjects. Some people can’t study for more than one subject on one day; but it is possible, especially if you give yourself a break in between or choose to study one topic in the morning and one in the evening, for example.

Once you’ve filled out a revision schedule that makes sense, considering all the factors, you’re good to go! You can make it as pretty as you want with colour-coding and highlighters, or set one up on an Excel spreadsheet or use an Iphone application for it – it doesn’t matter as long as you have a schedule.

Keep To The Schedule
There will be days that you don’t follow your schedule exactly, sure. Who can predict what’s going to happen? But do your best to stick to the schedule once you have it down on paper. One reason we procrastinate is that we don’t even know where to start. This schedule takes that issue away. You know what you need to work on and when you can work on it. You’ll get a lot more accomplished by sticking to your plan. Cross off or check off each day when you finish it. Satisfying!

Be Realistic
You don’t want your schedule to assume that you suddenly have superhuman powers of concentration. Be realistic. If there is a day where you have classes and then work late, it may not be possible to study all three of your exam subjects that day, even if you schedule yourself to stay up till 3 a.m. Make sure you include time to eat and sleep, as well as other breaks. If your schedule is do-able, you’ll be more likely to stick to it than if you overestimate your own abilities.


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