How to Design an Effective Study Schedule for the HSC or VCE
With the HSC and VCE fast approaching, senior students are preparing to knuckle down and focus on study. This is a busy time with assessment tasks to finish and trial exams to prepare for.
Good time management will minimise stress and help you make the most of this crucial period.
Follow these tips to design a study schedule that works for you.
When creating your exam study schedule, you’ll need to determine how many hours per week you want to devote to each subject, then block out time each day for study.
It’s important to be realistic when planning your schedule. Make sure you leave plenty of time for relaxation to avoid burn out. Experts advise that study sessions should be no longer than 45 minutes without a break.
Once you have a basic timetable for study, you need to fill in the details based on your priorities. It’s helpful to brainstorm a to-do list of everything you want to achieve at the start of the week, then number each task based on what’s most urgent.
You can also use a matrix of four boxes outlining what needs to be done immediately in the first box, what needs to be completed within days and weeks in the second and third box, and finally, additional tasks you’d like to complete if time permits.
Visual aids, like a wall planner near your study area, will remind you of what needs to be done. This will help you stay on track and give you a sense of achievement as you cross items off.
A whiteboard is ideal because it allows you to add things and change them as needed. While visual aids are important, be careful not to waste time designing elaborate charts and wall planners to avoid studying.
One of the main reasons students find schedules hard to maintain is because they try to adhere to them too rigidly. Your schedule and to-do list are guides only. If you feel like studying for another subject, or at a different time, do it and make up any missed time later.
Circumstances change so be ready to adapt and tweak your schedule as you get closer to exams.
Completing previous exam papers is one of the best ways to prepare for the HSC or VCE. Practice exams give you firsthand experience of the type of questions you’ll be asked and the timeframe you have to answer each section.
Even if you’re already doing practice exams in class, you should schedule time for this at home too. You can find previous papers online.
If your schedule consists only of reading and copying notes, you’re going to get bored very fast. To stay inspired, mix things up by using a range of study methods.
Create a quiz to share with classmates or come up with some rhymes to help you remember facts and figures. There are many fun ways to make study interesting if you put a little thought into it when planning your study schedule.
To maintain concentration, it’s important to work somewhere quiet and distraction-free. Keep a drink and snacks at your desk so you don’t have an excuse to get up.
It’s a good idea to turn off any devices not in use while you’re studying so you don’t lose focus.
An effective study schedule will help you achieve your best in the HSC and VCE.