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Start creating your study plan

April 19, 2018 — 

The 2018-19 Academic Calendar is now available to help you start planning your next school year.

A good study plan can help you avoid procrastinating, getting behind in your classes and needing to pull an all-nighter.

Here are some steps you can take to create an effective study plan:

  • Choose your day planner – pick something with enough space to plan out your days for the upcoming term. Whether you pick a book you can carry with you or an online option, choose something you will actually use and keep it somewhere you can always see it. UMSU hands out free day planners at the beginning of the school year.
  • Once your day planner is in hand, mark down all of the dates published by the University: check Important Dates and Deadlines and the 2018-19 Academic Calendar.
  • Once registered into your courses you will receive the course outlines (syllabi) either before the course starts or on the first day of classes. Start marking down all the dates for your assignments, midterms and exams.
  • After the fixed academic dates have been entered, add in your study time. Ideally, you should allow two hours of study for every one hour spent in class.
  • Build in flexibility. Make your study plan easy to change and update, conflicts and emergencies can pop up unexpectedly.
  • Add in recreation time! Social and physical activities must be included to help create balance. Also plan to eat well-balanced meals every day. Poor eating habits can lead to fatigue, an inability to concentrate, and consequently less effective study time. It is important to note that if a schedule is too intense and offers little down time, you may find it too difficult to keep up. Sometimes a short break or a good night’s sleep is more effective than a last minute study session.

It seems easy enough to create a study plan, but sticking to your plan can be challenging. Setting goals is an important part of managing your time affectively; keep the STAR acronym in mind when determining your goals.

Another way to stick to a study schedule is to reward yourself for successfully and consistently adhering to your schedule. Rewards both big and small can be a great motivator.

We recommend running your plan by an academic advisor. Making the most of your study plan should help you on your way to a great school year.

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