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Composing a Schedule Based on Your Needs

DIRECTIONS: Read all of these directions before you make up your weekly schedule. Check off each direction as you complete it.

  • 1st  Record class and lab times in appropriate day/hour blocks on a time schedule sheet.

  • 2nd  Record meal times.

  • 3rd  Record all regularly scheduled personal activities such as meetings, employment and athletics.

  • 4th  Record any special activities you need to do or want to do on a regular basis.

  • 5th  Plan study time in chunks: 20-50 minute time periods followed by a brief break (5-10 minutes) for the most effective way to study.

  • 6th  Schedule a preview time (5-30 minutes) immediately before each class whenever possible. During the preview, review all or some of your notes in preparation for the upcoming class. If you have two or three classes in a row, preview from last to first class. Thus, if you have Chemistry and Art  at 10 and 11, you might write "P: Art/Chem"  in the block before your 10 o'clock class. 

  • 7th  Schedule a review time immediately after your classes (5-30 minutes) whenever possible. Use this time to edit and summarize your notes. You could also look over any assignments that were given and begin to plan when and how you will do them. Thus for the schedule described above, you might write "R: Art/Chem" in the 12 noon block.

  • 8th  Schedule your intensive study/ review time for each class. Try to schedule some study time  each day for each class. Learning is more effectively and efficiently accomplished in  shorter regular sessions than in longer irregular sessions. Also, use more of the day  (i.e. morning, afternoon) for studying. Evening is often an ineffective time to study. When you schedule study time, be task-oriented rather than time-oriented. Think in terms of "blocks of time" and what specifically needs to be accomplished, not hours of study time. Start your study period with the courses you like least or that you're not doing well in. Try  to study the same subjects at the same time each study day. Although this seems to be a  mechanical way of scheduling, you will find that such a routine can help you develop a pattern for efficient and effective learning 

  • 9th  Schedule a weekly review (WR) for each course. Do it at the end of the week if possible. This weekly review gives you an opportunity to spread out all of the past week's notes along with the reading assignments to see what you have been learning in the past week during class and study time for each course. You can also look ahead to plan the next week and determine how much reading you need to do, what projects are due, and if any tests are scheduled.

  • 10th Keep open some day or evening time for daily physical activity. Remember, research indicates that regular exercise will not only give you a general sense of well-being, but can reduce tension and help you accomplish a tough class, study, and work schedule.

  • 11th  Label some empty blocks of time as OPEN for academic or personal needs.

  • 12th Schedule some time during Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for you to play, relax, or do whatever you want to do.  This is your reward for sticking to your schedule. In addition, you'll enjoy your free time more.     

Academic Skills Center, Dartmouth College 2001