How to write a study timetable

Every study guide on the planet will say 'organise your time' and 'make a study timetable'. But what the flip does this actually look like and how do you do it?

Check this out if:

  • You want to see what an effective study timetable looks like
  • You want steps for making a study timetable.

a guy using his laptop outside in the park

What an awesome study timetable should look like

Check out a snippet of the study timetable of a year 12 student:

handwritten study timetable

Step-by-step plan 

  1. Start early. In one term or semester, you cover a lot of material. Start your timetable waaaaaay in advance so you have enough time to revise everything. You might even need to make a few different timetables.

  2. Assign each subject a colour. It will be easier to navigate your timetable this way and you will be able to see more easily if you have a fair balance between all of your subjects. Also it looks fancy,

  3. Plan first. Don’t just dive straight into it. Think things through first.

  4. Break it down. On a separate piece of paper, under each subject list all of the things that you need to know. This might be all the topic areas for that subject, what you covered each week in class or the different sections of the exam. 

  5. Be precise. What exactly do you need to do in order to feel confident in all of the areas you listed in step 3? For example, if one of the topic areas is ‘trigonometry,’ list the exact page numbers and exercises that you will do to practice trigonometry. Then think about how excellent it will feel when you reach the end of your timetable and you never have to do trigonometry ever again.

  6. Start with filling in one subject at a time. This way you can be sure you’ve covered everything. Take all of the information from step 4 and start to slot it into the timetable making sure that you are realistic with how long each exercise is going to take.

  7. Factor in time for BREAKS. And other fairly important things like food and sleep. Everyone works differently but generally speaking, a 5 minute break every hour is a good amount. Give yourself the night off every once in a while as well.

  8. Practice exams probably shouldn’t go right at the start of the timetable. The idea is that when you do the practice exams, you have already revised everything. This way you will get a realistic idea of how you can expect to perform in the real exam, and the areas that need further practice. That said, don’t do the practice exam the day before the real exam because you may not have enough time to revise the areas that need work. 

  9. Mix it up. No one likes studying maths for 6 straight hours. Give yourself a mix of subjects each day so that you decrease your chances of losing interest really quickly.  Most people are more productive in the morning, so try mixing up the time of day you tackle different subjects as well.  

  10. Make alterations as you go. A study timetable is not set in stone. You might find ways to improve it as you go. Be flexible with what you’ve written and be prepared to move things around if you find that your estimations of time were a bit off. It’s a good idea to use pencil...

  11. You got this. Goodluck!

What can I do now?


Last reviewed: 24 August, 2015
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