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DIY: The perfect study timetable

By Lauren Condon on 10 April 2017Study tipsGeneralNSWblog

It is FINALLY holidays and not to freak you out but this is the last block of holidays this year that isn’t directly before trials or the HSC.

Yeah, yeah, holidays are all about balance and getting stuff done without going totally insane but I don’t really think any of us need advice on how to have fun so instead, we’re going to tackle study timetables.

As much as we would love to make a personalised study timetable for each one of you, we do have to go home every now and then. So here are the steps to creating a super effective, super useful study timetable that perfectly suits your life!

1. Set your goals

Not the big goals for your ATAR or uni course but what do you actually want to get done these holidays? Try and be pretty realistic, do you want to:

  • Be 100% up-to-date with your notes for every subject?
  • Pass a certain milestone in one of your major works?
  • Be able to get your goal mark in a past paper for each subject?
  • Get a head start on Term 2 topics?

Once set out your exact goals, you’ll actually be able to create a really specific timetable and make some serious progress these holidays as opposed to just “seeing how much study you can get done”.

2. Start by locking in the fun stuff

Now we draw out a chart of the two week holiday and get started. Here is an amazing one we prepared earlier for you. You're welcome.

So, we’re all pretty normal people right? Like with actual lives and friends, family, hobbies etc. It’s a given that you’re going to have things on these holidays and you’re going to want to leave some time aside for normal human activities that don’t involve study.

These are also a good way to motivate you to follow your timetable because you’ll know that you can only do the fun thing once you’ve done the scheduled work beforehand. Put those events in and also block out some decent chunks for R&R.

3. Put in the specific study steps

(Try saying that three times quickly.)

So, smashing each of your goals for these holidays is going to take a few steps.

  • If it’s note-taking, you can break that goal down by the syllabus points in each subject.

  • For major works, well, that one you’ll know pretty well. Example: for Extension II English, do you want to have your entire first draft done?

  • Got a goal subject mark in mind? Well then, you’ll need to be doing different practice questions and papers until you’re consistently hitting that goal mark (keep an eye out for a post soon on exactly how to use past papers!).

  • If you just want a head start for next term (nothing wrong with a teacher’s pet) then the steps would be jumping onto HSC Hub and watching the introductory videos for each new topic.

Once you have all of the steps laid out, start to build them into your study-timetable around the events and breaks you blocked out earlier. As you’re putting them in, remember these few tips:

  • Be realistic about what you can do in one day
  • Vary between different subjects so you’re constantly consolidating your knowledge and keeping it interesting
  • Obviously, make sure the tasks for each subject are in order. You probably want to lock down your thesis before you start drafting an essay introduction.

4. Use it properly

So the thing with study timetables is that they’ll only help you if you actually follow them and do the work. Bummer, right?

If you have a very clear, specific timetable then you don’t need much advice here - just keep up with the tasks you assigned each day and enjoy the ‘off periods’ from study as a well-deserved reward.

A study timetable will only be too hard to use if you haven’t been specific with your goals and the tasks you need to do to reach them, so no excuses!

The other thing to remember is to actually cross things off the timetable as you complete each step. That way, you’ll know how well you’re tracking and get that sweet satisfaction of knowing you’re making some serious progress these holidays. Yay for you.

The real secret to enjoying these holidays and smashing a serious amount of study really is an effective and super specific study timetable - so get on it!

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