What are the secrets to creating a strong study plan?

It’s very easy to become flustered and overwhelmed when looking at a big pile of books, pads full of notes, a blank stash of flash cards and a long list of subjects to master. When that happens, it’s incredibly hard to study productively or systematically as it can feel like a huge, daunting pressure and almost impossible to know where to start.

Students beginning to study for exams and parents of teens with exams looming will know this feeling all too well but fortunately, there is a way to rein it all in and take back control. The good news is that it’s quite simple to do too – you just need to create a strong study plan.

Use our secrets to create a useful plan and within an hour or so you’ll feel cool, calm and in control … and ready to ace your study sessions with a clear head.

Step one: list your subjects

The very first step is to get organised. List out all of the subjects you need to study. This will give you a clear idea of what you need to make time for and how many different subjects your study plan needs to be divided into. An easy way to do this is to have a blank piece of paper for each subject. Right the name of the subject at the top and spread them out across the table.

Step two: list what you need to study

Taking each piece of paper in turn, write a list of topics and techniques you need to study or practise for each of those subjects. This list of topics and techniques should all be tied to the exam or assessment you’re studying for. What you’ll end up with is a page for each subject, then a list of things you need to study for that subject below. This is a simple technique but it means that you can tick things off as you go.

Step three: decide on your priorities

When you’re looking at the things you need to study, some will have a higher priority than others. For this step, you need to figure out what your priorities are. If there are topics that you find particularly difficult or lack confidence with, make them a priority.

Step four: create a calendar

Now you know exactly what you need to study, you just need to allocate chunks of your week to doing so. Get a calendar or diary and figure out when your available study time is. Don’t forget to factor in down time too, such as football practise or music classes.

Step five: Move your subjects and topics into the study blocks

All done! You should now be feeling a lot more organised and a lot clearer and exactly what you need to focus your study time on and when you should be hitting the books each day or week.