Exam period is a difficult time; it’s emotional and often pretty stressful. It’s almost the end of semester and many students (myself included) ask themselves where the last 10 weeks have gone. You’re left with tonnes of lectures to catch up on, maybe even a couple final assignments to finish up before you can even think of exams.
So what is the solution? Do you watch Netflix under the covers and hide away from the stress or write out one long list of all the things you still have left to do? No!
The answer is to plan your time, break all the work up into smaller bite-sized pieces. The old study plan will be a stress-reliever. Every semester I draw up a study plan. It takes about 15 minutes the first time, and about 5 minutes every few days thereafter. Here is the process I use;
1. Download or draw up a study plan.
Include Monday through to Sunday, preferably from the earliest time you have can wake up to the latest time you’d generally get to bed.
2. Write in your “must-do” commitments.
These are the things you have to do that aren’t flexible. Your “must-dos” may include work, family commitments, appointments, walking the dog and social events.
3. Write in the work you have to do for university a week in advance.
Once you have blocked out the time that you have “must do” commitments, put in the work you have to do, but make sure it is in reasonable chunks. I personally don’t concentrate well for more than a couple hours, so there’s no point writing down 6 hours of study in one day. I will take a snack break every hour and a genuine break (or 30 mins or more) every 2 hours.
4. Block out time for relaxation/ outings/ free time for whatever you want.
You need time to unwind and have fun. For me, that’s generally indulging in some Netflix or some cheeky bevs toward the end of the week. Make sure you allow for this time because, if you don’t, you’ll blow off the study plan and do it anyway.
5. Keep amending the study plan throughout the week.
Don’t be shy to cross things out, rearrange and amend your study plan. Things change, life gets in the way, so it’s okay to alter the study plan. Even if you don’t stick to the plan 100% of the time you’re still better off for having one.
**Bonus tip: Use a whiteboard so that you can change and update throughout the week easily – also markers come in lots of colours so you can colour code the tasks you’re completing**
Jo Rattray-Wood is a travel enthusiast and a lover of all things dog related. Currently studying a Double Bachelor of Law/Psychological Science while trying to save money for future adventures. You can find her on Instagram @jorattraywood or Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/joannerattraywood