How to Create a Study Plan for Your Next Exam – A Step-By-Step Guide for a Relaxed Exam Phase
(STL.News) Want a better preparation system for your exams? In that case, you should consider creating an effective studying plan in order to make your studying efficient and agile. Stop slacking off and use the tips below!
Step 1: Select Exam
First, you determine what your learning plan should aim for or which exam preparation you want to plan exactly. Therefore, determine whether you want to create a learning plan for exam A or oral exam B. Depending on the module, lecturer, or type of examination, the strategic planning and orientation differ significantly from one another, so a clear distinction must be made at this point.
I, therefore, recommend creating a separate study plan for each exam. The content and structure can be very similar or partially identical. Structure, frequency, and objectives can be very different. More on that later.
Step 2: Set a Goal
No matter what you want to tackle in life: You should always have a clear goal in mind! It’s no different when you’re studying – and especially when you’re learning. Therefore, it is important that you are clear at the beginning of your learning period what you want to achieve in the first place.
To do this, answer the following questions:
- What is the purpose of my learning plan?
- How do I want to feel while studying?
- How do I NOT want to feel?
- What mistakes have I made in the past?
- What should the time look like during my exam preparation?
- How should the subsequent exam go?
- What grade do I want to achieve in the exam?
- How many points do I want to collect in the exam?
- What is more important to me: a sustainable understanding or short-term service provision?
Step 3: Collect, View, and Structure Material
As soon as your goals are clear, you get to work: You collect all the documents that have appeared or have arisen for your exam so far. If you’re still early in the semester, gather what you already have and note the sources you need to consult regularly to keep your learning fresh.
The aim is to get a precise idea of the structure of the content relevant to the exam in order to be able to process it and then learn it as needed. Tables of contents, lecture overviews, literature lists, and collections of old examination tasks are particularly helpful.
Gather this material and review it. Skim it and get a solid idea of what might be important for the later exam. You then sort these documents and structure the learning content so that it follows a logical structure.
Step 4: Determine Topic Blocks
After the entire exam material (or at least its structure) is in front of you, you analyze this content and define thematic blocks. You can summarize the content of your lecture, chapters from textbooks, exercises, or seminar documents into “topics.”
The idea behind it is as follows: By bundling the various teaching content into subject blocks, you simplify your later learning work. You prepare your future learning units, so to speak, by assembling thematically appropriate information and arranging it accordingly. In practice, you can create a simple list and mark your original learning material.
It can look like this, for example:
Theme block A
- Lecture #1
- Lecture #2
- Lecture #3 (first part)
- Exercises #1-9
- Chapters 1-2 from the textbook
- Slides #1-62
- Old exam paper #1 from WS 2016/2017
Theme Block B
- Lecture #3 (second part)
- Lecture #4
- Exercises #10-14
- Chapter 3 from the textbook
- Slides #63-97
Determining topic blocks is a helpful technique that simplifies the structure of your exam preparation. Thinking in blocks makes it easier for you to assign the individual topics and serves as a guide.
You don’t have to commit yourself to three, four, or five topic blocks: If it is necessary and no further summary is possible, your list can later consist of 20, 30, or 100 blocks. The only important thing is that you know your topics because concrete measures will be assigned to them in the next step.
To Sum Up
It might not look like it, however, these tips will make a big difference in your preparations. Instead of winging it, you should really try to assess the information you need for the exam and smartly allocate your time and energy. Also, you might want to go easy on assignments and use an essay writing service to get more time for studying.