I’ve mentioned it before in my other posts: I wasn’t good at studying in the sense that I approached exam time as though I was in the Wild West. Chaos. Lawlessness. Lack of structure. I went in with all guns blazing, with no study plan to boot. I want you to learn from my mistakes, so I’m here to tell you to create a study plan! And if you’re at a loss on how to start one, that’s alright because StudySmarter has your back. Let’s saddle up and get your new, structured studying routine going.
Wait, Hold Your Horses: What Is a Study Plan?
I’ll give you three guesses about what a study plan is 😉. OK, but in all seriousness, a study plan is a way to structure your studying time (including homework and assignments), set your learning goals, and hold yourself accountable. A plan will also help you figure out how much time you have each day.
Your study plan should consider all your subjects and include important dates, deadlines, and goals. Having a well-defined and structured plan will hold you accountable and ensure that you prepare adequately and timeously for your assignments and exams. Ideally, it should also prevent you from procrastinating and leaving everything until the last minute.
And don’t forget: You don’t always need to plan study/homework sessions for a quiet place. If you have free time on the train to school, you can block this time to study small things, like flashcards, or do some quizzes.
Galloping Ahead with Study Plan Apps
Now, there are plenty of apps out there that can help you set routines and plan your studying schedule. Some of these apps include Egenda, MyStudyLife, Power Planner, Easy Study, and School Planner.
But these apps are limited because they’re ONLY about planning your learning time. StudySmarter, on the other hand, is your one-stop, all-in-one learning platform where you can keep all your notes, create flashcards and summaries, and quiz yourself to see how much you know and what you still need to focus on. And then, on top of all these awesome features, we have our StudySmarter intelligent planner that automatically creates a study plan for you. So you see, we’re all about helping you be smarter about your studies and how you plan them!
Learning the Ropes (Lasso?!): How to Create a Study Plan
You may be asking why you need to create a study plan. I’m sure there are a lot of you who, like me, just wing it and hope for the best. But when you’re a student, your time is eaten by many things – social activities, sports, homework and assignments, parties, doctor’s appointments, etc. You’re super busy, and it’s easy for the days to blend into each other. Then, before you know it, test or exam season is upon you, and you’ve found you haven’t got enough time to study all you need to (and don’t even get me started on those times when universities schedule three exams in one day?!).
This is why it’s essential to structure and monitor your time. If you’re not the biggest fan of planning, that’s all good. You don’t need to draw up a meticulous schedule of your daily activities. But you need to find blocks of time each day (or every few days) for your exam/test prep. Ideally, you should draw up your plan as soon as you can – you know that exams are at the end of each semester, so start structuring your study plan accordingly. Even dedicating 30 minutes a day to revising your notes from class will make a difference and prevent you from that infamous last-minute cramming. Also, studying (or doing your assignments) earlier rather than later will help you identify areas of weakness, and this will give you time to ask your teachers/lecturers for help.
To create a study plan, you need to plan which days are optimal for studying. Maybe it’s Tuesdays and Thursdays for one hour each day (make sure you add breaks in!). List which subjects you will study and when, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, set your study goals and intention for each study session. Remember that your goals must be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound). Don’t go into a study session with the goal of, “I’ll learn three chapters by midnight.” This is too overwhelming and not very realistic, and you’ll likely procrastinate.
Creating a Smart Study Plan with StudySmarter
Over 90% of StudySmarter users report feeling more structured and motivated in their studies.
Of course, you can always use old-fashioned pen and paper (and a paper calendar) to plan your studies. If that’s what works for you, go for it! BUT you should consider using an app that can track your progress and goals and give you reminders.
As we said above, we’re all about making your studies, including creating your study plan, smarter. All you need to do is enter your exam or test dates for your study sets (which you create by uploading your learning materials), and the StudySmarter app will do the rest for you. Easy peasy!
Here’s what our smart study plan offers:
You can set goals for each week in the app. When you click on the “Set goal” button, you’ll be asked, “This week, I want to study ____ hours.” You then choose how many hours (REASONABLE hours!) you want to study for, and the StudySmarter app will then track your progress. You can always adjust this goal as your week progresses. The same applies to flashcards and slides.
You can choose a time to receive your study notifications. For example, you can set the app to remind you to study every day at 5pm.
Set Focus Timer
With our focus timer, you can set how long you’d like to study for during your study session. This way, you can factor breaks into your study time, and you’ll be reminded when your session is over so that you don’t overdo it! I advise you to make good use of this focus timer by getting rid of any distractions – put that phone away, sit in a quiet, comfortable space, and use site blockers if you’ll be using the internet to study.
The StudySmarter planner dynamically adapts to your goals, study style, and preferences.
StudySmarter gives you your very own personalized analytics dashboard. On the dashboard, you can see:
- Your overall study time.
- An average of how many hours you study per day.
- What’s the maximum number of hours you’ve studied on a specific day.
- How many flashcards you’ve studied (including how many you’re confident in, not confident in, or don’t know).
- How many slides you’ve studied (including how many you’re confident in, not confident in, or don’t know).
You can also set your dashboard to daily, weekly, and monthly views.
Collect trophies and earn badges. We even have mini-challenges for you! For example, if you study for one hour, you unlock a new achievement.
For each study set (whether you’ve created it yourself or you’re accessing ones created by our subject-matter experts), you have access to the following trackers/plans: assignment tracker (for assignments and exams), course syllabus, semester planner, and weekly planner. You can print these out or fill them in on your laptop!
No Horsing Around 🐎! You Need a Study Plan For Your Exams
As I said in the intro, please don’t approach your exams the way I did (like it was the Wild West with chaos everywhere!). So, I hope I’ve convinced you to get the StudySmarter app! You will have access to an awesome study planner AND thousands of study sets (created by our subject-matter experts as well as other students – you can share your study materials, too!) and millions of flashcards!
To recap, the StudySmarter app will help you set goals, track your progress, and give you those much-needed reminders to study when motivation is lacking and procrastination is calling.
So, what are you waiting for? Download and start studying smarter right now! We’re available as a web app and mobile app for Android and iOS. And best of all? IT’S ALL FREE!