As finals season approaches for you, or for your kids, it’s important to iron out your study schedule. Without study methods in place, it can be easy to feel burnt out by all of the items on your plate. The rest of your responsibilities don’t go away just because it’s time for finals, so you should use that to your advantage. Study breaks are just as important as the studying itself, as the way you recharge can help you retain information better.
Read on to learn about different study schedules and their benefits so you can choose the best routine for you.
1. The Pomodoro technique (1)
The Pomodoro method has been around since the 1990s, and has been a popular time management technique since. This technique is extremely helpful for those that need help focusing, and do better when they know there will be a reward for their concentration. To do this technique, you will choose your task, set a timer for 25 minutes, and focus on the task for this entire time. This means you should eliminate all distractions - whether that be your phone, friends, or your latest Netflix binge. After the timer goes off, you have earned a five minute break. After going through this cycle four times, you then get a longer break, which should be about twenty minutes. This method helps you stay focused, while also allowing you time to relax and recharge. The longer, twenty minute breaks are a perfect time to get exercise in, make a meal, shower, or do some light cleaning. By working for those breaks, you’ll be more likely to be productive with your breaks from studying.
2. Make a study calendar
Creating a study calendar is great for people who like to hold themselves accountable, but don’t have consecutive hours to dedicate to their studying. Particularly, this method is great for people who love to plan and organize. To make a study calendar, you’ll want to consider all of the materials you need to cover before a future exam, as well as the amount of time that you have before the exam date. Once you have this figured out, you can create your calendar. You will want to make a note on each day leading up to the exam that outlines what should be reviewed and studied during that day. Maybe you are looking to cover one chapter per day, or if you are pressed for time, you may need to cover more material. Then, it’s on you to hold yourself accountable for covering the information each day. If you have a friend with a similar exam schedule, you can chat at the end of each day to make sure you’ve completed what you set out to do. This is a great method for someone with a job or other responsibilities that require a flexible study schedule. If you know you have work on Tuesday, you can plan for less material to be covered.
3. Be proactive
Studying early for exams isn’t for everyone, but some students rely on constant review to get the grades they desire. If you are someone who retains information better after seeing the content over and over, it may be important for you to be consistently “studying” rather than leaving it until exam week. If you want to be proactive, you should set aside time each week to cover the information you learned that week. Many teachers and professors offer tutoring or office hours, and this may be a crucial part of your study plan. To be proactive, you should look to review your notes each week, as well as allowing time to speak to your professor about any information you need assistance with. As the time until the exam decreases, you’ll need to allow for more time for review, as you’ll have covered more information. If you choose this method, you will feel extremely comfortable with the information as you go into the exam because you gave your mind so much time to absorb. It may not be possible for you to use this method for every class, but you can aim to do this for subjects that you tend to struggle with.