How to Maximize your Study Time – in 4 Easy Ways

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Posted on : 18-03-2010 | By : My Study Coach | In : study skills
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The key to maximizing your study time is using your time as efficiently and effectively as possible. This really breaks down to learning time management skills. There are only so many hours in a day that we have available for us to complete certain tasks. Just like you schedule a doctor’s appointment or a trip to the grocery store, it is important that you schedule your study time also. Whether you choose to use a big wall calendar that shows your whole year at one glance or whether you prefer a pocket calendar, use one!

Schedule Your Time

Sit down with your class schedule, your syllabus for each class and your work schedule, if applicable. First mark all the deadlines on your calendar for when projects and papers are due, when your exams are, and any other important dates. Now that you know what has to be completed and when, it is time for you to create a study schedule that will allow you to meet your deadlines and complete your tasks.

To-do Lists

Everyday you should have a to-do list of tasks that must be completed in order to keep you on schedule. Your to-do lists should be realistic. If you try to cram 30 things on a to-do, the odds of you completing 30 things in one day is probably not going to happen. So you should also attempt to prioritize your list somehow so the tasks that absolutely have to get done today are at the top. As you complete a task, cross it out or put a checkmark by it so you know that it has been done.

Schedule & To-Do List Example:

For example, let’s say that you have big exam next week in your international marketing class. The test covers 7 chapters of your textbook and 3 class lectures that you have class notes for, as well as having the lectures on tape.

The schedule for the two weeks leading up to your test may look something like this:

8 Days Before Exam: Read Chapters 1&2 of textbook. Review Chapter 1 notes from class while following along with the teachers lecture on tape.

7 Days Before Exam: Read Chapters 2&3 from textbook. Take notes. No class notes or teacher lectures to review.

6 Days Before Exam: Read Chapters 4&5 of textbook. Review Chapter 4&5 notes from class while following along with the teachers lectures on tape.

5 Days before the Exam: Read Chapters 6&7 from textbook. Take notes. No class notes or teacher lectures to review.

4 Days before Exam: Review all notes for all chapters.

3 days before Exam: Take sample test at the end of each chapter.

2 Days before the Exam: Review all questions on the sample tests, paying special attention to those I got wrong.

1 day before the Exam: Final review of notes for Chapters 1-7.

Location, Location, Location

While one key to successful study skills is planning and organizing your time, key number two is your study environment. Everyone feels comfortable studying in different places. While some students feel comfortable studying at the library, others prefer a more private environment like their bedroom or dorm. Find a place where you feel comfortable studying.

Make sure that your study environment doesn’t have any distractions. Distractions include music, TV, telephones. Minimize your distractions as much as possible so that you can focus and give your full attention to your coursework

Study Time

Another way to maximize your study time is the time of day that you choose to study. Nobody knows you like you know you. If you are a morning person, then this is the time of the day that you are most alert. This is the time of day when you are most focused. This is the time of day that you should be studying! Arrange your schedule for school and work around as much as you possibly can so that you can maximize your study time at your optimal time of day.

By using a combination of these study tips, you should fast be on your way to successful study habits. As you are ironing out your study habit kinks, you may need to make some adjustments along the way. But with a study plan in place you can’t possibly go wrong.

Kristie Lorette is a frequent contributor to CareersandEducation.com. Kristie Lorette is a feature writer that covers topics relating to MBA Programs and online colleges.

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