A Study plan is a scheduled learning routine created and followed by students, that can help them to achieve their learning related objectives. A study plan simply outlines the times that students set apart for studies. Thus, students develop a ‘study schedule’, in which they will be keeping some days (or times) blocked off particularly for studies.
Firstly, this would assist you in being far more organized. Then, study plan management will bring out much better results in your learning. Moreover, a well-followed study plan will be an important step for academically succeeding in college, especially if you are an e-learner. In case of online learning, there will be no consistent instructions from any teacher or trainer. So a greater determination, personal discipline, and a proper routine are necessary here, which is possible only with a good study plan.
Need for a study plan
As become an adult, you might find a lot of things to do aside studies. There could be friends, fun, responsibilities, games, and other activities. Managing them appropriately through a schedule will get you organized. And, as stated earlier, a study plan would ultimately help you succeed smoothly throughout your college education.
Now for having a good study plan, you first have to analyze the routine that you currently follow. You need to find the times or days when you are free and can schedule your studies for those free times. The study plan schedule might be different for every student since activities and personal commitments that each individual have varies. The time you allot for your studies must be done carefully. Each student has diverse learning abilities. Some may learn things quickly, while some might need longer time. You must know the amount of time and frequency that you need to understand your course and should set the study plan accordingly.
Another important thing that you must have for succeeding with a study plan is determined. Be determined to achieve your study goals. Being clear about your learning goals for each of the scheduled study time will be helpful. You must also consider any tests and projects that are due and need attention. Additionally, keep in mind your average in particular courses.
Finally, you need to check the reasonability of your study plan. The time and goals you set with your study plan must be reasonable and achievable. The plan must be realistic and able to be followed. For e.g., if you plan to block off 5 hours straight without breaks to study math, the study plan schedule is not reasonable. An unachievable study plan will only demotivate you. By developing an achievable plan, the whole process of learning and studying will become much easier to deal with.
Following procedure will enable you to draft the next study plan in an improved manner:
The 4 steps for creating a perfect personalized study plan
Step 1- Structure a time chart that reflects your present routine and activities: This would give you an insight of how you are spending time presently. You can do this by noting your activities over a period of one week. Note down your school or work time, eating routines, family time, hobby classes, nap hours etc. After you have noted your routine over a week, find the times when you are relatively free so you can fit the study times in there. So start with your study plan management by noting your present routine.
Step 2- Form a schedule eventually: once you find out the days and times available for studies, note them on your calendar or on your study planner. You can detail out the notes so that there is something that frequently reminds you of your schedule.
A properly written down schedule will be far too helpful. It would simply increase the importance of your study plan. So start writing your study plan. You can also include the subjects or lessons you want to study in the schedule details. It will enable you to determine the time you need for each subject. For instance, you can block Mondays for English and Thursdays for Math. Fixing such schedules can be according to the time available to you on those days. For example, if you have more time available on Mondays, you can keep a tougher subject for Mondays, as it would need more of your time and attention.
Step 3- Figure out the learning goals: You must outline your study plan goals on weekly basis. Spend a few minutes every Sunday planning and noting what you need to study that week and the objectives that you have for the week. Is your goal to increase your average for reaching the GPA you target? Is there any important exam due? If for example, any main exam is due, you can include revising some old test questions or sample paper and going through the notes etc. in study schedule. On the contrast, if there is no test due, you can keep a schedule for reading a chapter ahead. For many students, it might sound boring to study consistently even when there is no exams close. But remind yourself that it will only reduce the study burden and tension during exams. Thus, fix your weekly learning goals and alter the study plan accordingly.
Step 4- Make sure you are keeping up with your schedule: A plan without action is an absolute waste. Following the study plan consistently is the core when it comes to achieving your targets. You might have to alter and tune your study plan each semester since the subjects you study would be changing from semester to semester. But most basically, stick to study plan management over anything and strictly follow the schedule throughout your semester.
Strategies helpful in keeping up with study plan schedules
One basic thing you can do for sticking to your study plan is scheduling out other activities along with studies. This will organize your study further. Including other activities in your schedule indicates having a balanced schedule. You can be clearer with your study time. You can even include non-academic activities in your schedule as well, like working out, hobby classes, socializing etc. If you think you need breaks or naps amid your study plan, don’t hesitate to schedule it out too!
In case of some students, having a study partner is found often helpful since it means having somebody discuss the topics and doubts. If you find yourself being able to study more properly when you are studying with someone, you can start making study plans with other students who you are comfortable with. Anyway, this can turn out to be a wholly wrong idea if you are habitual to socializing more than studying when you are with fellow students! If such is the case with you, keep going with your individual study plan. Moreover, you need to choose the right student if you are looking for a study partner. He or she must be willing to study as well, so you can stick to your plan.
Leverage tools for a proper study plan? Here are they!
For some, just having a pen and paper schedule might not simply be enough and helpful practically for following a proper study plan. In some cases, one may forget the study plan paper somewhere and mess up the whole schedule. For such circumstances, there are the alternative ways available so as to keep your plans and learning on the proper track. There are study planner applications available for tablets and smartphones that are sure to help you. My Study Planner is a popular study planner app. With the help of such apps, you will be able to create and manage your study plans easily and comfortably. There are also websites like Mystudylife.com offering similar functions.
Summing up the steps to create an ideal study plan:
Let us give you a brief picture of the steps you can follow for a proper study plan management.
- The basic initial step is forming a list of all the subjects that you are supposed to study.
- Visualize everything that you need to do with each subject for exams. It can include reading texts and guides, going through tutorials, reviewing old sessions and tests etc.
- You now need to prioritize your list on the basis of the time required of the subject, its difficulty level etc.
- Now it is time to analyze your present routine. You need to find out the time that is free and available for your studies.
- The next step is analyzing you and understanding your learning style. Figure out the best ways for you to understand and learn your lessons. You can consider multimedia learning or reading reference materials etc.
- You are now all set to divide the available time among different subjects. This forms your study schedule. You can also include non-academic activities, rest and break times in the schedule.
- Now it comes to following the study plan schedule you created. For this, it is important that you stay committed to the schedule.
- Taking short breaks will prevent you from being overwhelmed during studying.
- You can try studying with other students if you find that helpful.
- It is a good idea to tell your friends and family about your schedule so that they don’t distract you while you are studying.
- Lastly, stick to your plan, no matter what.