I want some help managing my time to study for exams.

It usually helps to make a detailed plan for the time between now and your exam.

  • Make your plan as accurate as possible. Remember to include the time you need for transport, eating, family, work, sleep, etc.
  • Update your plan each day.
  • Find out as soon as possible what topics you need to study, and work out how much time you have for each topic before the exam.
  • At the end of each time you study, look at your plan and consider what you have achieved. Before you leave your desk, make a list for what you will need to cover the next time you sit down to study.

Here are some tips for using your time efficiently:

  • If you can, choose the best time to study when you are naturally alert and focussed. For example, if you are a ‘morning person’, don’t try to study late at night.
  • Before each task, remind yourself of its specific purpose. For example, do you really need to read the whole chapter, or do you just need to check the paragraph about one particular topic?
  • If you lose concentration while you are reading or studying, stop. Think about how this paragraph fits into the big picture. Is it important?
  • Skim-read every article or book chapter before you read it in full. That is, first read the title, abstract, introduction, headings/topic sentences and conclusion. What is the main topic and purpose of this article, book, chapter or section? How does this fit into the big picture of what you are learning?
  • If you find that you are procrastinating (e.g. spending your time on things which are a low priority), stop and deal with it immediately. (See the Help Yourself topic on procrastination, under the heading of Using your time well, on the left.)

For more on this topic, see the links on the right...