how to make a study plan and stick to it

Learning and working hard aside, there are two other significant rules to get a high score or achieve your study goal; planning and executing. And if you follow both steps religiously with an order, then the chances of failing will be minor. Both need to be done because you cannot execute without a plan, so you need to execute. So, if your exams are near or you have wasted so much time in procrastination already, then stop worrying your head as study plans have got your back. All you need to do is weight off your shoulders and understand that there is no right or wrong study plan, schedule, or routine. Everyone has their learning style and timings. So, grab a paper and pen, read this article, and learn everything related to the study plan. Then make one for yourself and score high!

Firstly, understand that the Study plan is not just setting a routine of the days or weeks. As mentioned above, it is not the same for all. You need to analyze and organize everything before making a study timetable and managing your other tasks. Study plans come with pressure, but the healthy one keeps you organized, committed, and motivated to your work. And once you achieve the goal, followed by your schedule, it encourages you to be more disciplined and committed.

Why do you need a study plan

This world is filled with distractions, and to keep yourself aware of the task that needs to be done, you need a timetable. Study plans are a way of managing your time of the day so that nothing lacks behind you. Once you acknowledge that such tasks need to be done first, set priorities, and know your goals, things get more accessible, and you don’t feel burdened or lose interest in the midst of doing something.

It takes more than 20 days to build a habit. Making a plan is easy, but sticking to it is a bit hard. Still, once you adopt the habit of doing things as planned, managing the routine task, taking time for yourself and family or friends, accomplishing goals in their duration, you will get addicted to it. And that’s what is essential at the end of the day.

In this article, you will learn many things like;

  • Know your learning style
  • How to make a study plan
  • How to create a study timetable for exams
  • How to stick to a study schedule.

Know your learning style

First things, so to learn efficiently, it is essential to know your learning style first. Humans are born to learn, and to know what one’s learning style is, makes the process easy and better. This self-acknowledgement makes one’s learning fast. There are multiple learning styles: visual, verbal, aural, logical, physical, social, naturalistic, and solitary.

After understanding the learning style, you can achieve your academic goals fast. Then you will be more realistic when it comes to making a study plan for yourself or scheduling the whole day’s activities and study techniques for exams and self-study.

Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
— Malcolm X

How to make a study plan

To make a Study plan, sit in your study zone, be focused, and follow the rules mentioned below.

Grab a pen and paper

First of all, write down all the activities and time spent on them on a paper. In other words, analyze your whole day routine and the patterns you follow to study, make a list of goals you want to achieve so far, and write down the time you have to make them happen. Furthermore, analyze your learning style, too, as mentioned above. This will make things easy for you.

Categorize your academic goals

Now categorize the goals you have already written into two parts; short-term goals and long-term goals. Breaking your goals into parts will make things easy for you, don’t rush. Categorize them into week, month, or day goals. It could be anything related to your academic tasks. Lastly, write the maximum time you have to accomplish each goal.

how to make a study plan

Don’t forget your non-academic activities

As of now, you are done with prioritizing your essential academic tasks. Now, list other activities you do daily other than studying and how much time you spend on them. It will give you a better view of your daily activities. This list must have the time durations, like, how many hours you spend with friends, sleeping, watching movies or entertainment, school or college, and work (if you have a job). Till now, you must have acknowledged how you make use of 24hours daily.

Reschedule your day

Done with all the steps mentioned above? Now it’s time to reschedule your whole day’s activities. Start from an effortless daily routine, make a whole day plan from waking up to bedtime. When the study time comes, list down the subjects that need to be studied first. Create study blocks with 5 minutes break in between each subject revision.

Choose your good time

Don’t compromise on your sleep hour, which is 8hours per day. Take at least 2hours for yourself daily and do what helps you grow, work on your hobbies and character building. And while creating a timetable for self-study, keep the study time the same for each day. Note which time of the day you’re more efficient in learning and profitable. It could be morning time, evening time, in the beginning, or end of the afternoon. Each time has its specialty, categorized by people like;

Morning time: if you want to learn and practice digits or theory, studying in the early morning, right after having a sound sleep, is good for you. However, some people do agree with it.

Afternoon time: if you have research work pending, the beginning of the afternoon is the best time to do so, as it is a less demanding time and lets you concentrate better.

End of Afternoon time: most people agree to study during this time, as they feel more mentally and active at the end of the afternoon. Choose it if it suits you.

Evening time: If you have studied something in the early morning, take a break. Relax for a while and make most of the evening time to revise the subjects.

Set a time limit

Here comes the significant part of scheduling a study plan: the division of subjects. You have already listed the short and long-term goals. Now, divide the subjects according to your knowledge, like how much time you invest in particular subjects or courses. Don’t forget to add break time after each subject to relax or mentally prepare yourself for the next subject. While adjusting time, keep the time of following things in mind;

  • Review time (to see what needs to be done)
  • Reading or memorizing time
  • Practice time (if the subjects need practice like mathematics)
  • Reviewing and making notes time
  • Revision time

Get yourself a calendar or monthly planner.

Done with the whole month, week study plan? Now it’s time to grab a calendar and tick mark the essential occasions you will have during the study plan. There must be 2 or 3 days that might disturb your study plan routine. Don’t worry; create a new study planner for those days. And this is how you balance your academic, social and personal life.

To measure your efforts, get a new calendar or monthly planner, keep marking the days before going to sleep. If not, you can get a simple notebook and design your blocks on it. This will help you stay committed, and you will learn how much you have achieved so far.

“There are a few things to do when making a successful study schedule. The first is to visualize yourself being successful and what that looks and feels like. Once you can identify the emotions you will experience and see and feel yourself actually having the success you are ready for the next step which is to work backward. Identify all the steps you will have to do starting from writing the exam or handing in the essay/project. Once you’ve outlined all the steps (studying for exam example steps: write the exam, test me on the material, make new notes from my notes, etc) assign dates and times to do each step (again starting from end date and working your way to the present time). Next, identify all the materials you’ll need to execute and make note of your emotions when this will all be finished. Finally, make it visual by color-coding it in a monthly, weekly, and daily schedule where you keep seeing what you have to do in your schedule.”

Joy Gandell, a critical life skill, parenting, and learning coach / Setacoaching

How to create a study timetable for exams

If you are already following a study plan, creating a new exam timetable isn’t a big deal. You have to add the exam dates to your daily schedule and organize yourself according to them. And if not, follow the steps below and learn how to create a study timetable for exams:

  • Grab a paper and pen, or a traditional calendar, or use a digital device and calculate the number of days left in your exams. Mark the days you are not free if you have a work meeting or a family gathering to attend.
  • Choose the time of the day you want to study. Balance the study time in a way that you get a little break after an hour or two. Don’t pressure yourself!
  • Now divide the number of lessons, pages, or lectures you need to learn or revise before the exam, start preparing for your first exam first and then follow the exam sheet. Divide the work of each exam in a way that you get enough days or time for the revision of the exam.
how to create a study time table for exams

“Just as a good college essay will get you into college, so a good study plan ensures student success. Here are suggestions about a better study plan: plan enough time for studying each subject and keep carefully organized notes on lectures.”

Ema Flores from Study Crumbs
  • Ideally, 9hour of a day is a must to make notes and study for an exam. Make sure you get most of it. Keep reviewing and revising your notes. Make sure to study 1 subject per day. It will help you learn and focus more.
  • Dedicate the primary week of exams to the essential topics, then use the second week to review the syllabus.
  • Don’t compromise on your healthy activities and sleep hours. You will learn if your body’s energy level is good. Take care of your diet and be a part of the games or activities that keeps your mind healthy and active.
  • Lastly, keep a strict note of your schedule, mark the work you have done. It will encourage you to do better.

How to stick to a study schedule

As a student, managing time and other activities, setting new priorities, or creating a study plan might be easy but sticking to it is the real struggle. And to accomplish the goals, you need to be consistent and stick to the plan.

  • Before going to bed, list down all the things you have to do another day. Make notes of it and stick it to the place you study.
  • Keep a reward for yourself at the end. Like if you finish the whole day’s work, you will go out and spend some time with friends, or after completing a specific goal, you will play a video game. It will keep you motivated because you deserve it.
  • Take maximum breaks between the lessons and think of the end goals of sticking to the study plan. It will keep your mind away from distractions.
  • Keep a water bottle on your study table. Keep yourself hydrated throughout the study time. Drinking water more often will keep your concentration.
  • Study at the same time and area the same each day. Keep your phone on silent. And if you have to study from a laptop or other digital tool, use it wisely.
  • Set a timer for each break, so you don’t have to glance at the clock for the break.
  • Don’t worry your head; if you are unable to do any task, be realistic. Switch to other tasks and continue the unfinished work tomorrow.
  • Tick off the things you have done. Enjoy your little success and reward yourself.

“In general, though, my advice is to know when you do your best work and can be your most focused, then try to build in some scheduled time to study with some predictability so you don’t have to overcome the lack of motivation to “choose” to study. Generally, I recommend “committing” to this time somewhere, like your Google calendar, planner, or whatever way you track your time.”

― James Bacon/ Edficiency
how to stick to a study schedule


Know that you are halfway to success if you have managed time to make a study plan for yourself. Make a study plan right now because The earlier you start working on something, the earlier you will see results. And if any unexpected event happens, make sure to catch up on the spare time for study. Once you achieve the grades or goals, you make a plan. Don’t forget to share it with your friends and family, and cherish yourself.

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