A study plan is an organized schedule that outlines study times and your learning objectives. Your plan will help you map out key assignments, tests, deadlines, and other obligations. It should help you feel more in control (for example, by breaking down tasks into more manageable parts) and encourage you to be more proactive during your term. It will also give you the opportunity to identify and celebrate your accomplishments along the way.
Create a useful study plan
1. “Chart” your course (literally).
- Put your obligations on paper to figure out what you need to do for each subject or exam.
- Assign the time required for reading, reviewing your notes, researching/planning essays and assignments, etc. Don’t forget to take into account the difficulty of each subject or exam.
2. Create a ranking system.
- Rank each class in importance. For example, you may want to rank your prerequisite courses for majors and minors higher than your electives. Put a number ranking, starting with one, next to all of your subjects or exams. If you need the least time for history (and you have five subjects to study for), give it a five.
3. Divide and conquer.
- Divide your available time during the week into study blocks. Plan to study during the same time every day so you are familiar with your schedule.
- Schedule study sessions in 30-45 minute blocks. Shorter time blocks are easier to schedule than longer blocks.
- Remember to reserve time for non-academic activities too!
4. Fill in your study blocks.
- Buy a daily planner or something similar.
- Take advantage of study planner apps, like My Study Planner, U of T’s Assignment Calculator. Or check out this list of study planner apps.
5. Reflect on your work ethic.
- If you tend to lose focus and take a lot of breaks, build in extra time into your schedule.
- If you know you procrastinate, build in extra time before any deadlines. This will provide a cushion so you don’t wind up missing a deadline.