Many students, especially at exam and delivery times, ask themselves how to organize their study time better .
Everyone assumes that improving one’s curriculum is synonymous with better academic performance, but few succeed in applying it in their daily lives.
That is why this article, in addition to helping those students who find it hardest to pass the exams, serves as an assessment of time and its importance in dealing with the educational curriculum.
The importance of proper time management
Everyone knows that the ideal is to organize the day in three bands of 8 hours each : 8 hours for sleeping, 8 hours for work/study and 8 hours for leisure. However, this magic rule of the three 8’s is very difficult to follow in practice.
That is why it is of vital importance to organize the time we devote to our obligations, and in this case, to study, either for exams or to write a paper to be submitted.
While students, unlike workers, have a certain advantage because they have some freedom to organize their time, this is sometimes more of a problem than a help. As we grow, study centre schedules are more variable , a clear example being the university, with morning and afternoon shifts.
The organization of study time is the responsibility of each individual. The problem for many is that, in spite of having a lot of time for it, they have acquired bad study habits. For this reason, and especially in the high school and university, that the stage of exams and deliveries is lived in a very distressing way . As there is no good study plan, the results of the tests are negatively affected.
How do you organize your study time?
In order to perform well in the exams and have the best possible score, it is necessary to have a meticulous study plan, properly organizing the time spent on each subject. Here are some tips to help you organize your study time better.
1. Have a calendar
This advice, which is perhaps the most basic, is vitally important to get an idea of how much time is left before facing the much-feared test or delivery of a job. Having a calendar, whether digital or paper, is the tool that can give the student the most help.
Not only can you write down exams or deliveries, you can also write down other events and make us aware of them , such as extracurricular activities, appointments or other chores.
2. Create study routine
Once this is done, it is very important to establish a study routine, preferably daily. Everyone has their own biorhythms and therefore some people are more productive in the morning while others are more productive in the afternoon or even at night.
Whenever one is most productive, one should try to study every day at the same time ; this way one gets used to the body getting to work every day.
Like any habit, studying is a matter of carrying it out until it becomes automated. Once it’s done almost instinctively, it won’t be as tiresome and unmotivating.
3. Prioritize objectives and avoid multitasking
There are tasks that have to be completed before others, and therefore they should be given higher priority . This may be because the date of the delivery or the exam is approaching.
It must be understood that, although human beings can carry out more than one task at a time, in matters of study this is not at all advisable.
For example, trying to study mathematics and language at the same time is very complicated, given that both subjects require a high degree of concentration and, if you go from one to the other constantly, you will not manage to assimilate the subject matter .
4. Set realistic short- and long-term goals
A main objective may be to pass some competitions, but this big objective has to be broken down so that it can be achieved .
A good way to achieve this is to keep in mind how many subjects you need to study, and how many are the subjects that constitute them. Once this has been seen, more realistic goals can be set, both in the short and long term.
For example, if you have three months to study 40 topics, a good way to approach them is to take care of learning 4 each week. This way, each month you will have about a third of the whole curriculum, fulfilling the final goal of seeing the whole curriculum.
5. Planning breaks and leisure
Studying is good, but doing it constantly leads to inevitable exhaustion . Everyone needs to rest and disconnect while having fun. However, these breaks can be very risky, making you decide to stop studying and move on to the next day.
That is why, in the same way that you plan the times when you open the lirbo, you must decide when to take a break, and that this break should always last the same amount of time.
6. Will power
The attitude with which one faces the study is something fundamental if one wants to succeed. Motivation when studying and willpower are aspects that influence the way we learn.
If it is seen as something tedious and boring, it will always be seen as something undesirable and will not succeed in acquiring the habit of study properly.
7. Planning ahead
You will only be successful if you are well prepared, which is why it is so important to plan your study session in advance.
Whether you are studying at home or going to the library, you should prepare all the material well in advance , preferably the day before, since this will avoid improvising at the last minute and forgetting any important notes or books.
It is also advisable to write down on a piece of paper what you are going to study. One may think that he has a good memory, but if he leaves in writing what he should do he makes sure that he doesn’t forget .
8. Study in the right space
The place where it is studied can be a source of concentration or, on the other hand, an environment full of distractors.
But the most suitable place will always be the library, preferably alone . If you decide to study with friends, you should make a joint effort and not entertain each other.
9. Avoiding interruptions
If you decide to study at home, you should be careful with interruptions from family members or flatmates , as well as making sure that your mobile phone is silent or, better still, switched off.
Also, if you are studying with a computer, avoid social networks or sites that may provide some form of entertainment.
If you listen to music, it is best to choose either ambient sound, such as rain with thunder, or melodic music, rather than sung . If it is a song, you may run the risk of being more aware of what is being sung.
10. Coherence in the distribution of tasks
Not all subjects require the same amount of study time, given their different difficulty and length. It may also be the case that one subject costs more.
First you must classify the subjects according to their difficulty , and decide to spend more time on the more difficult ones to leave the easier ones for the end of the day or week.
The time to be devoted to each subject will depend on the proximity of the examination or delivery dates.
11. Going from more complex matters to simpler ones
The brain, just like muscles, gets tired after an activity. That is why it is better to go downhill, from the most exhausting to the least, since doing it the other way around runs a greater risk of not getting to the end.
If you are a person who is productive both in the morning and at night, the best thing to do is to leave the hard stuff for the beginning of the day and the easy stuff for before you go to sleep.
If this is not the case and you are more productive at certain times of the day, it is best to start with the most complicated agenda and leave the easiest for the end of the session.
12. Review, revision and revision
And, of course, the final advice of this article is to go over and over what has been studied.
The review does not only serve to record the new knowledge , but also makes one more aware of its details and, if there are any, to detect possible mistakes that have been made when preparing the notes.
- Ausubel, D. P. (2002). Knowledge acquisition and retention. A cognitive perspective. Barcelona: Paidós.
- Martín, E. & Onrubia, J. (Coords.) (2011). Educational orientation and processes of innovation and improvement of teaching. Barcelona: Graó.
- Mayer, R.E. (2002). Educational psychology: learning in the areas of knowledge. Pearson/Prentice Hall.