How to use a study timetable (and stick to it!)
This article was written by Yasmin McGarva, a current VCE English tutor. Yasmin currently is accepting students, so if you’re interested in her services, please go here.
VCE can be exhausting and so it’s important to have a good study plan that allows you to keep on track and get what you want out of your studies.
So here is a step-by-step guide to making a study ‘timetable’ and making the most out of your time:
Take time to sit down and organize your thoughts. This may sound unnecessary, because you are using time to do this, but trust me it is saving you plenty of time in the long run. I suggest taking some time once a week to brainstorm all the things you need/want to complete for the week, as well as any responsibilities. Now that you have done this, you can see all that you need to do laid out for you. For some reason this can make you feel a lot calmer and you are already beginning to think about how you are going to approach this, which leads us to the next step…
This may not sound very exciting, but it is extremely beneficial and may even eventually become enjoyable (the horror!). The important thing with making a study timetable is the order you put everything in.
- First: Add in all your classes, responsibilities, etc. –basically everything with a fixed time.
- Second: Make sure to include social activities, hobbies, ‘me’ time etc. –studying is generally done at home, so it is the most flexible part of your timetable!
- Third: This is where the magic happens… Ideally allow yourself a 2-3 hour time period for your studies each day (that way if you fall short, you still have time for any last minute or urgent work) with a general idea of what subjects or work you would like to cover.
The key with this is to make sure that you are using your time effectively, so that instead of wasting time feeling bad that you haven’t done any work, you are instead maintaining a healthy lifestyle, enjoying year 12 and keeping up with your responsibilities. Therefore, when it is time to study, you will feel more satisfied and less stressed about your schoolwork (which you are hopefully keeping on top of!). It often becomes very easy to give up and do something requiring less energy, like watching TV or using your phone, when you have an overwhelming amount of work to do. However, by giving yourself ‘study’ periods where you chip away at assignments or homework, you are going to get more done and enjoy your social or ‘me’ time so much more.
Much like the words of the wise philosopher Nike (just to clarify, I’m kidding) “Just Do It.” When it comes down to it, even the prettiest of all the study timetables cannot replace actually studying. Knowing that you have specific times just for studying can be helpful, but it really is up to you. I find that doing a mini plan (I know, more plans) before you start is the best way to get everything you need done. Priorities should always go first (e.g. that SAC you haven’t studied for!), followed by any homework or studying/note taking that you want to do. Try to stick to THREE goals or pieces of work per study session, as any more becomes overwhelming, and you can always add more if you finish the other three early! It is also good to give yourself five minute breaks every now and then (think going for a walk or eating a piece of fruit) during your study time.
So to sum up, planning is an extremely useful tool to help you achieve your goals (for today or the future!). Make sure to schedule ‘enjoyment’ time and give yourself study periods that you stick to, in order to prevent mindless Facebook scrolling! Try not to overload yourself with too much work (remember the ‘three goals’) and look after yourself (sleep, exercise and healthy eating are more important than you think!)
Good luck with your studies and know that you have the power to make the most of VCE – it just takes a bit of planning!
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