Feeling overwhelmed by the looming shadow of exams and assignments? Don't worry, you're not alone! The struggle to create a study schedule that actually works is real.

A young woman studying in front of a laptop while chewing on a pencil in frustration. Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

But fear not! Equip yourself with the knowledge and tools to slay the study monster and conquer your academic goals.

Step 1: Know Thyself

Before you dive headfirst into your study schedule, take a moment to introspect. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • When am I most productive? Are you a morning lark or a night owl? Understanding your natural energy levels will help you schedule study sessions when you're most likely to be focused and efficient. Adequate sleep, exercise, and healthy eating are also contributors to energy levels.

Woman asleep with Physics book in hand Photo by Sumeet B on Unsplash

  • How do you like to learn? Identifying your learning preference will help you choose study methods that maximize your retention. If you prefer visuals, you might benefit from tools like flashcards and diagrams, or you might prefer listening to lectures or recordings while walking between classes if auditory methods are your thing.

  • How much time do I realistically have? Be honest with yourself about your commitments outside of academics. Jobs, hobbies, and social life can be hard to juggle as a student. Don't try to cram too much into your schedule, as this will only lead to stress and burnout.

A woman stating she doesn't have enough time to eat, sleep, brush her hair, but she will make it work.


Sandra is a high school student who is an overachiever. It's her senior year and she needs to prepare for college entrance exam. What steps can she take to help achieve her goals and maintain her grades at school? Select all that apply:

Step 2: Tame the Time Beast

Now that you're armed with self-awareness, it's time to tackle the beast that is time. Here are some tips:

  • Schedule realistic chunks of time: Aim for focused sessions of 30-60 minutes, with breaks in between to prevent burnout. Refer to the optional

    Pomodoro Technique video for further guidance. Remember, quality over quantity!

  • Block out time for specific tasks: Don't just write "study" in your schedule. Be specific about what you'll be tackling, whether it's reviewing lecture notes, completing practice problems, or working on a group project.

A woman stating

Step 3: Make it Fun and Engaging

A vendor at an outdoor market saying,

Studying doesn't have to be a chore! Here are some ways to make it more enjoyable:

  • Find a study buddy: Studying with a friend can be motivating and help keep you accountable. You can quiz each other, discuss concepts, and offer support. This can also be an invaluable towards networking.

  • Change your study environment: Mix things up by studying in different locations, such as the library, a coffee shop, or a park. This can help you stay fresh and avoid boredom. Just be sure to avoid environments that are distracting to you.

  • Reward yourself: Set small goals and reward yourself for achieving them. Take a quick walk around the block, play a quick mobile game, or grab some coffee. This will help you stay motivated and positive throughout the study process.

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  • Use technology to your advantage: There are countless apps and websites that can make studying more interactive and engaging. From flashcards and mind maps to online quizzes and educational games, there's something for everyone. Here are The 10 Best Free Study Apps for Students.


Martin is a first-year student at a university. He just started a part-time job to help pay for tuition costs. He enjoys sports and is also a night owl. What can he do to manage his time and stay successful at school? Select all that apply:

Take Action

Remember, your ideal study schedule isn't a static entity. Be flexible and willing to adjust it as needed. Don't be afraid to experiment and find what works best for you.

Students studying in a library. Photo by Ilia Bronskiy on Unsplash

By following these tips and embracing a growth mindset, you can create a study schedule that works for you and helps you conquer your academic goals. Remember, the key is to be organized, realistic, and flexible.

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