Creating a Study Plan for your Exams

Once you’ve secured your GED diploma, you can go to college and any college student can tell you that if you do not have a solid study plan, getting through college with passing grades can be tough. If you try to just squeeze in studying whenever you can, without having a study plan, you will find that you will always be working against deadlines and exams can creep up on you. Last minute assignments are never your best work; stop waiting until the last minute and learn to study without stress by creating a study plan.

Your college study plan is like a guideline of how you are going to accomplish your college goals. Too many students start college and end up dropping out because they find that they are overwhelmed with the entire college process.

Once you start what next? Having a study plan that encompasses all of your classes is a necessity. You cannot overlook the “easy” classes because they need attention too. Setting a study plan will take a lot of the burden of college off your shoulders, because you will have a study plan that you can always refer back to and follow, making it easy to not get overwhelmed or fall behind in your classes.

You will need to include both long-term and daily planning in your study plan. You will need a calendar and/or a day planner. Your class syllabus will give you your semester schedule for each class; such as wall calendar that you can hang on the wall, so it is in clear sight. You should put down every test, exam, and assignment due date on the calendar that is on the wall. You can now tell, at a single glance, what is going on for the next week and month. Do not put anything other than due dates, assignments, and tests on this calendar. This is your freedom to arrange your studying your way. Just do it right.

Now, the question of technology comes into play. Can you just program everything into your calendar on your phone or computer? Yes, and you actually should but the wall calendar, while decidedly low tech, allows you to instantly glance at it and see what is coming up. Now, by combining the calendar plus using your electronic calendar, you will be making double sure that you do not miss due dates. The benefit of using the calendar on your phone and computer is that you can set reminders for these due dates, so always set up a reminder a few days before and the day before every due date.

That solves the problem of not missing any due dates, when you know ahead of time, what is coming due, you can be better prepared to allocate time. You are now ready to set up your study plan for any study direction you wish in class or online. Once you set up your study plan, you need to stick to it. It only works when you follow it every day. This can be hard for students who lack discipline but because they lack discipline, this study plan will ensure they graduate.

Creating your Study Plan

Okay, now comes the hard part, but the good news is that you only need to do this once at the beginning of each semester. You only do it once because you will follow this plan daily until the semester ends, or unless you have a major change in your schedule. You can also apply these principles when studying for your GED exam be it in a classroom setting or through an online course. Online learning allows you to study at times that are best for you but keep in mind that it requires well-rounded self-discipline!

Make a daily chart of how your day goes. Using a daily calendar that is broken out with times is useful for setting this up. When do you get up, when are your classes, and more importantly, when is your free time; you need to know when your free time is because that is when you will be scheduling your studying. This especially applies to online study programs where more self-discipline is required than courses offered at brick and mortar schools.

The best way to do this is to block out the times that you are unavailable, such as sleeping, classes, working, and eating. Do not forget to schedule in some time daily for three meals a day and some downtown. Too many students try to pack in too much studying and they burn out, avoid that by scheduling in time for yourself daily on top of your meals. Usually, the hour to half an hour before bed should be used for relaxation; it will help you get a restful sleep to do this.

Once you know what your available times are, you can now set up a schedule for the week. It will not be possible to include every class in every day’s schedule, so you break it up throughout the week to try to get an even amount of time for all classes that you have.

Keep in mind that you will, from time to time, have projects that take up more time than normal, so you should always keep at least 2-4 hours of open study time in your schedule during the week; broken up into at least two sessions of either an hour or an hour and a half at a time. These blocks of time should be used for these extra projects or for extra studying for any subject that you might need to spend the extra attention on. Now, what classes do you have to work harder in? Allocate more time weekly to the classes that you need to spend extra time on.

You can now block out chunks of time to dedicate to a specific online class on certain days. For example, you can study math on Wednesday and Friday afternoons, English on Wednesday and Friday Evenings; and then spread out study time Monday, Tuesday and Thursday for your other classes. This will ensure that you have at least two sections of time, or if you need to, daily time for each class. Only you know your schedule and your study needs best.

Now that you have your study schedule, stick to it! Do not blow it off for other things because you should have already scheduled time for yourself in your study plan. Do not forget to give yourself time a few days a week to hang out with friends or do the things that you love; it will help you prevent burnout. You now have a study plan to help you get through your semester.