Using Time Management to Improve Study Skills

1Step 1. Prepare a Term Calendar
At the start of each new term, before you get heavily involved in your studies or other activities, prepare a calendar that covers the entire term. Your term calendar can look like a regular monthly calendar, or it can employ a different format. Whichever format you choose, your term calendar should outline the following:

Assignments with their due dates
Tests with their dates
All school activities
All out-of-school and extra-curricular activies

Step 2. Prepare a Weekly Schedule
Unlike your term calendar, which is planned out in it entirety at the beginning of each term, your weekly schedule is prepared at beginning of each new week. Each Sunday sit down and prepare your weekly schedule. Although you’ll prepare your weekly schedule each Sunday, you should update your schedule as the week progresses and new items arrise. To prepare your weekly schedule do the following:

Write down on your calendar each class you have for each day of the week
Take a look at your term calendar and write down on your weekly calendar items that need to be completed, or are occuring that week (i.e. assignments, tests, events, etc.)
Go back and review all your class notes and your schedule from the prior week to see if there is anything you need to add to this weeks schedule that is carrying over.
Add to your weekly schedule any out-of-school and extra-curricular activities you’ll be participating in during the upcoming week.
Note down the day and time for each assignment, study session, work group or project you’ll be completing during the week. These may be occuring in the evening, after school, or during school.

Step 3. Prepare a Daily Schedule
You’d think a term calendar and weekly schedule would be sufficient to effectively manage your time, but they aren’t. You also need to prepare a daily schedule. Each evening, prepare a daily schedule for the next school day. Place a check mark next to each item to be completed as it is completed. To prepare your daily schedule do the following:

Jot down everything from your weekly schedule that you need to do for the coming day.
Write down everything from your previous daily schedule that wasn’t completed and needs to be completed the next day.
Check your daily schedule for the current day to see if there are any other school activities that you need to include for the following day.
Include any other activities from your weekly schedule that need to be included in your next day’s schedule

You’ll notice that one of the keys to effectively managing your study time is to start with the big picture and then work down to the detail. Your term calendar provides direction and instruction for accomplishing the big picture. Your weekly and daily schedules provide the detail required to accomplishing everything in your term calendar, whereby enabling you to accomplish your term goals one day and week at a time.

10 Study Tips to Achieve your Goals in 2016

7This is particularly true of students that are looking to make the most of their study time and get better grades at school. That’s why we’ve put together a list of study tips to help you develop a learning strategy that will allow you to achieve your study goals in 2016.

1. Set Study Goals

There is lots of credible research suggesting that goal setting can be used as part of a strategy to help people successfully effect positive changes in their lives, so never underestimate the power of identifying to yourself the things you want to achieve. Just make sure to ask yourself some key questions: Am I setting realistic goals? Will I need to work harder to achieve those goals? If you’re happy with the goals you’ve set then you should aim to develop your study plan for the year ahead with your goals in mind. Which, as it happens, leads us to Tip #2!

2. Make a Study Plan

Time is precious. Nobody is more aware of this than the poor student who hasn’t studied a thing until the night before an exam. By then, of course, it’s too late. The key to breaking the cycle of cramming for tests is to think ahead and create an effective study plan. Not only will this help you get organised and make the most of your time, it’ll also put your mind at ease and eliminate that nasty feeling you get when you walk into an exam knowing that you’re not at all prepared. As the old saying goes, fail to prepare and be prepared to fail.

3. Take Regular Study Breaks

None of us are superhuman, so it’s important to realise that you can’t maintain an optimum level of concentration without giving yourself some time to recover from the work you’ve put in. This can take the form of a ten-minute walk, a trip to the gym, having a chat with a friend or simply fixing yourself a hot drink. If it feels like procrastination, then rest assured that it’s not: taking regular short breaks not only help improve your focus, they can boost your productivity too.

4. Embrace New Technologies

Studying no longer means jotting things down with a pen on a scrap of paper. The old handwritten method still has its place of course, it’s just that now there are more options for personalising study that ever before. Whether it’s through online tools, social media, blogs, videos or mobile apps, learning has become more fluid and user-centred. If you want to try a new learning technology, GoConqr’s free platform is a great place to start, even if we do say so ourselves!

5. Test Yourself

It’s a strange thing, but sometimes simply entering an exam environment is enough to make you forget some of the things you’ve learned. The solution is to mentally prepare for the pressure of having to remember key dates, facts, names, formulas and so on. Testing yourself with regular quizzes is a great way of doing this. And don’t worry of you don’t perform brilliantly at first – the more you practice, the better you’ll become. Don’t believe us? Then just take a peek at what the experts have to say.

6. Find a Healthy Balance

Take this opportunity to evaluate yourself both physically and mentally. Is your engine running on low? Instead of complaining “I never get enough sleep” or “I’m eating too much convenience food” take control and do something about it! Make the change and see how it positively affects your attitude and study routine. This should motivate you to maintain a healthy balance in the future.

7. Be Positive

Your attitude has a big impact on the level of study that you get done and the effectiveness of your learning process. If you keep saying that you can’t do it and won’t commit to the idea of learning, attempting to study is only likely to become more difficult. Instead, focus your mind on positive outcomes and on how you can use your own individual strengths to achieve them. When you think positively, the reward centres in your brain show greater activity, thereby making you feel less anxious and more open to new ideas.

8. Collaborate with Study Partners

At this stage of the school year, you should know your classmates pretty well. This is a good point in time to select a couple of study partners who you know you work well with and are motivated to achieve good grades also. Don’t worry if you can’t meet up too often, you can use online tools such as GoConqr’s Groups tool to communicate and share study notes with one another.

9. Turn lessons into stories

Everybody likes to read or listen to a good story, and with good reason – not only do stories entertain us, they help us to understand and memorise key details too. You can apply this to your studies by weaving important details or facts into a story – the more outlandish and ridiculous you can make it, the better (since you’ll be more likely to remember a particularly crazy story).

10. Establish a Study Routine

Your study routine is comprised of more than planning what to learn and when. One of the main concerns is your study environment.