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Study Tips: How to plan your study schedule

Planning your study schedule can become overwhelming when it seems you have many big tasks to complete. Rather than trying to handle big homework assignments or studying tasks all at once, break them down into more manageable chunks. For example, if you have a research essay to write, rather than just writing “Research Essay” on your to-do list, include all the components of the essay as individual tasks, such as: 

Research essay

  • Read article 1
  • Read article 2
  • Read article 3
  • Write Introductory paragraph 
  • Write paragraph 1
  • Write paragraph 2 
  • Etc.

Breaking big assignments down into manageable chunks will not only show you the task is more manageable than it appears, but it will also give you the satisfaction of ticking more things off your to-do list, motivating you to keep going.

You can also note next to each task how long you think it will take, and then determine when during the day/week you’ll complete it based on when it will fit into your schedule. When doing this, it is recommended to overestimate the amount of time a task will take, to avoid being overwhelmed if a task takes you longer than expected to complete. Breaking down your assignments by the time you plan to spend on each task will also help you learn to think critically and logically about your tasks, reducing the anxiety that often comes with such big assignments. Following the same example:

Research essay (total – 4 hours)

  • Read article 1 (45 minutes)
  • Read article 2 (1 hour)
  • Read article 3 (30 minutes)
  • Writing introductory paragraph (25 minutes)
  • Writing paragraph 1 (40 minutes)
  • Writing paragraph 2 (40 minutes)
  • Etc.

Find more study tips and tools on the study strategies page and access free tutoring or academic coaching via the Academic Achievement Center

April 1, 2022
Sydney Borsellino, AAC Academic Coach and Lead Tutor