You may have heard teachers and guidance counsellors talking about Study Timetables and wonder what’s the thinking behind them? Isn’t it enough to go home from school and complete a few hours of study in the evening? Do I really need a timetable to stick to??? My answer is YES!
The hardest part of studying is getting into a routine. The easiest way to get into a routine is to have a study timetable. Apart from helping you to develop a routine, a study timetable also ensures that you give an adequate amount of time over to study ever week and you study all of your subjects.
How to create a study timetable
Starting with a blank canvas of your week, the first step you need to take is timetable the commitments you have during the week e.g. school, football training, dance class etc.
It is a really good idea to have your main meal at the same time everyday if possible as it makes your day more predictable and this makes it easier to timetable study periods.
Timetable homework. This can be a tricky one because some nights you may get 3 hours of homework, other nights you may get only 1 hour. Try timetabling 2 hours for homework on every school day.
Now that you have all your commitments and homework timetabled you need to make room for study. You should study in 50 minute blocks. Try to change the subject every hour to keep your focus and maintain motivation. After completing a full day at school and 2 hours of homework it is realistic to timetable 1 or 2 study sessions. See example below. Aim for 14 study sessions, this means you will be able to study every subject twice (if you are taking 7 Leaving Cert subjects.)
You need to assign subjects to a study period. It is ideal to study the same subjects on the same day every week. It is a good idea to grade your subjects depending on how difficult you find them. I suggest you grade them as follows: 1 – easy, 2 – medium, 3 – difficult. You now need to assign your subjects to a study period. You should avoid doing two grade 3 subjects on the same day. Try to mix a 3 with a 1 etc. See the example below.
It is a good idea to study every subject twice a week. However adapt the timetable to suit your needs; you may find that you are struggling with a particular subject, if so you could devote 3 study periods over to that subject and likewise you may find another subject easy and feel there is no need to spend 2 study periods a week studying it – so be flexible with your study plan but ensure that all subjects are studied at least once every week.
Print off your study timetable and post it near your study desk. Now all that remains is to implement the timetable and put it to use. Good Luck!