1.7: Prepare Your Schedule
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We now see that applying an effective study cycle takes time and effort. Most students find that college academics requires significantly more time and effort than high school academics. The difference in time and effort expectations between new students and instructors sometimes creates a barrier to success. Avoid this barrier by talking with your instructor about their expectations. Then follow the numbered instructions below to create a schedule to help you determine what time you have available to study. Your school may use an online learning management system (LMS) such as CANVAS or Blackboard, which probably has a scheduling feature that automatically populates your courses so all you have to do is add in your other commitments and study time. Otherwise, just use your favorite calendar app or planner, or print off a free weekly planner, or ask your instructor for help creating your schedule using a spreadsheet, or try one of these free online schedulers designed for college students:
1) First enter the obligations you already have, such as work, other classes, family obligations, athletic practices, and any others into your planner.
2) Next, find out how much time you will be expected to spend on each course outside of the classroom. The time will depend on the class level (number), the course credits, and your preparation and familiarity with the subject matter. Your instructor will be able to help you estimate this time.
3) Finally, incorporate your effective study cycle into your schedule. Identify time in your schedule to complete each part of your study cycle.
4) Also schedule time for other things that may be important to you, such as exercise or time with friends. If there isn’t enough time for everything, you will need to prioritize. Simply neglecting some of your obligations is not a good strategy and will not lead to success.
5) If you discover that you are short on time and some prioritization is necessary, work with your instructor and your advisor, as well as family and work, to ensure that you have enough time to meet all of your obligations.