• Christian Paul

Creating a study timetable

Updated: Oct 25, 2019

Getting a study timetable organised can be one of the hardest things to master in VCE.

Sure, everyone tells you to study. But does anybody mention how, what, how much, or when? All of a sudden it becomes much harder to plan out when you’re not even sure what you are supposed to be planning.

You don’t know what to study. So you want to make a plan. But you don’t know what to study so you can’t make a good plan.

It’s a vicious circle.

Fortunately, the only thing you really need is a guideline to get you started. After that, you just need to make it suit you (and not the guy you copied it from)

Think about your best and worst time of day for study

Are you a morning person? Or an afternoon person? Do you thrive first thing in the morning, or are you more focused later in the day?

Knowing when your most productive time is can be crucial to making sure you’re getting the most out of your study time. It’s not a magic bullet that can fix everything (especially seeing as your exams will be at very specific times of the day), but it’s a great opportunity to power through some of your tougher work.

Block your days into segments

A big slog of several hours won’t end up doing you any good. Segment every day in your study timetable into 1.5-2 hour blocks, and work solely on a particular subject during that time.

If you have a number of science-based subjects or other subjects that have longer exams (such as English), you can lengthen these blocks out for the purpose of getting through a practice exam.

Try to place 3 blocks into your day of study each day. That way, you can make sure you cover a few different subjects each day without overloading on any one subject.

Plan how you will study before you start studying

Every subject has a different style and composition, and that usually means you need to study a little differently for each one. Maths subjects (for example) rely heavily on practice.

So practice exams, practice questions, and short sharp videos are great ways to go.

English subjects rely more on knowledge of texts and exam techniques. Biology and Psychology are two subjects that favour memory techniques like posters on the walls and flashcards.

Practice Exams are your bread and butter but don’t neglect the other tools that you can use.

Give yourself a bit of a mix

Aside from the obvious mix of different subjects, you should also mix the intensity at which you are studying. Focus those tasks hardest (like practice exams and summaries) into the blocks that you think will be most productive.

Also, give yourself a bit of breathing room. Factor in low-intensity activities like re-reading your English text, watching the film, revising flashcards, etc. These are a great way to “wind down” while still being productive.

Create a physical study timetable

Once you’ve had a think about all these things, consider making an actual day-by-day study timetable that you can follow.

Fill out a calendar with your planned activities and stick with them. This is an easy way to keep yourself accountable, plus it’s fun to cross stuff off the list.

It’s much easier once you have a plan

Everything else will be much easier to coordinate once you’ve got a plan in motion. Trust me!

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