Have you always tried to make study timetables (for the holidays or during the term) but were never able to follow it? It's probably because you did not make it FLEXIBLE enough for it to adapt to changes in your everyday routine. Here are a few tips you should consider as a student when making study timetables/plans (especially for the HSC).
Leave time for breaks
As simple and obvious as this sounds, I have seen too many timetables where students literally expect to study for hours with only small 5 minute breaks in between. Let's face it, many of us end up not following this.
It's really important to leave long enough breaks for your brain to relax and unwind a little before having to concentrate again. Leave enough time for you to have small snacks as well; you're probably going to get hungry really easily when you're working hard.
It's also just as important to leave breaks between coming home from school and studying. For example, if you came home from school at 4:30pm, don't plan to start studying straight away at 4:40pm. You'll probably be tired after school, and need time to relax for a while. Also, you may come home a tad late or have some other urgent duties to do which would throw your timetable out of wack. Leaving a one hour gap may not be as lenient as it sounds.
Be flexible with your hours
You're probably not going to have dinner exactly the same time every single night and there probably will be special events or even TV shows you would want to watch on certain days. Thus, for example, instead of strictly planning to study between 6:30pm to 8:30pm, it could be much more practical to say you have to study 2 hours that night no matter what. Nevertheless, it's best to experiment to find out what works for you, as this approach may not be that suitable if you're highly prone to procrastination.
Don't constrain different times to different subjects
Most students also end up strictly allocating times between different subjects on their timetable. However, it's quite likely may not end up following this. You may have homework, exams or assignments for a particular subject that need work on immediately, and thus, you'll just end up not doing what subject you planned to study on before.
A more sensible way to allocate your time between different subjects is to only think about it the day or week before (use your school diary!). By doing this, you can better adjust to the changes in your student life and plan out your time to things that are actually important.
Go to the library!
If you're easily distracted at home and can never follow your study plans, it may be best to just to go to your local library to study (and no, don't try to invite all your friends along!).
Good luck everyone, especially if you're creating a timetable for your HSC stuvac!!!!
Jack Zheng | N° 21