“Study to show yourself approved to God…” II Tim. 2:15
A few of my friends have bitterly asked. Why do they spend time studying and end up forgetting during the examinations? How do they deal with the pressing needs of assignments, practical reports, long course outlines and approaching examinations without crashing?
I wish to ask, Do you have a study timetable?
A study timetable is as important to a student as the rainy season is to a farmer, or as a compass is to an unknown-land traveler. In other words, without a study timetable, a student is likely to be uncertain about his academic results or worse still, he could feel completely lost.
The best way to learn in an organized manner and to prepare for examinations is to use a study timetable.
At the beginning of every new semester, it is imperative to prepare a fresh timetable that will cover the work for that semester.
This timetable must be PRIORITIZED. It is more important than your assignments schedule, your surprise tests or other unforeseen contingencies that may arise as the days roll past. Stick to the plan!
Here are a few tips for successfully preparing a study timetable:
- List out all your subjects for the semester
- Rearrange these subjects in order of importance (credit load/units) and difficulty (some subjects are more difficult than others).
- Prepare a template. This should run through the days in a week (Sunday through Saturday)
|7.30pm – 9.00 pm|
|3.00 am – 6.00 am|
- Examine your “academic body chemistry”. This is very important.
You must know the best way and the best time that your brain can assimilate information. Lack of this understanding is the reason why many students give many hours to intense reading but in the examination halls, they forget or perform below their limits.
Do not feel discouraged about this.
Instead, study yourself and master yourself. Then, you can master your courses.
Some students understand at any time of the day. Some understand when they read in the evenings. Others prefer the early hours of the morning.
Some students simply read and they understand. Some read and jot down key points before they can remember. Others have to read, write and discuss aloud before what they read sticks in their memories.
Know your unique academic body chemistry. Read more here.
Armed with this information, then you are ready to draw your study timetable.
For example, if John understands best early in the morning, then he can fix his most demanding courses at that time and the easier courses in the other periods of the day.
- Fix demanding courses on the days of the week when you are usually less busy.
- Every day, briefly go through everything that you were taught on that day. Do this as a personal development habit. It aids memory retention.
Experts say that the key to move information stored in your brain from your short term memory to your long term memory bank is to go back to the information within about 24 hours of learning them.
Do not bother to study it deeply. Simply skim through the notes and calculations. This works like miracle. Your mind will draw back scenes from the lecture period as you go through your book. After this is done, you can then go to the subject on your timetable for in-depth study.
The implication of this is that you have to allocate about 30 minutes or less for an overview of each day’s lessons.
- Beware of academic time killers. There are some academic activities that will require your attention but are not on your timetable. Deal with these with wisdom.
If you do not take care, you may spend four hours solving an assignment or reporting a practical that you could complete in less than an hour. As important as these may be, they do not weigh heavy on your Grade-Point (GP) and you know it.
- Stick to your timetable. Make your timetable Priority Class A. If laziness, boredom or pressure from friends tempt you towards another subject, receive grace to say NO! Do not be discouraged also when you do not complete the schedule for any day. Remember, it gets better. You will get better by God’s grace.
- Prepare an interim timetable for Test Weeks and Examination. This will depend on your level of preparedness for each course and the exam’s timetable.
- Pray before and after your study every day. Engage the help of the Holy Spirit as you read. He is available to teach you and remind you (John 14:26). Read your Bible everyday too. This will make you wise, wiser than your colleagues, your teachers and the elders (Psalms 119:99).
If you have any further questions about any point listed above, do not hesitate to raise them. The action point is to make a study timetable. Make yours today. We anticipate great news of your resounding success.
With much love, Excellerblog