How to Draft an Effective Study Plan for Tests

Drafting and Effective Study Plan plays a vital role in mastering tests. How to make the study plan? is a very common question asked by many students. An effective plan is very crucial in determining the success of your exams. Check out these 9 key points to make a perfect study plan.

How to make a study plan infographic

Start Early

  • As the syllabus is a road map of a subject, so it is better to start as soon as the syllabus of the subject is received.
  • Set a realistic study schedule and begin studying early. Short study sessions should be marked in the calendar. These short sessions are far better than one long study session.
  • Little learning daily can be helpful before time completion of syllabus, allowing plenty of time for repeated reviews.
  • Identify the most important topics.

Prepare Schedule

  • Prepare summaries of chapters, vocabulary and formulas etc.
  • Organize your study material to take the test e.g. notes, pen, pencil, calculator etc.
  • If a previous strategy has worked for you in past test, you can also stick on it.
  • Seek help for those areas where you find difficulties.
  • Set some deadlines for your various tasks like creating outline for important topics, practicing different exercises and review of lecture notes.
  • Review the schedule and revisit the deadlines.

Maximum Focus on Studies

  • To get maximum out of your study plan, your maximum focus on studies is required.
  • You can improve your focus by improving your study room environment, develop a routine and stick on it and switch off your electronic devices.
  • You should more than familiar with your subject topics, concentrate on it, write it down and analyze it so that you may be able to easily grab the main points.

Choose a Study Style

Break down your studies in one of two ways: Study the most critical material first or Study the material in the chronological sequence that you learned it.

  • Most critical first: Study the highest priority material first, then the secondary material, which happens to have been taught earlier, etc. As you master one level, move down to the next. This method works well if the concepts you are learning in class are not closely interrelated.
  • Chronological sequence. If the material is interrelated and continually builds on previous knowledge, then it makes more sense to take a chronological approach. Begin your studies with the material from the first class and move forward in chronological order, spending only small amounts of time in low priority areas and more time in higher priority areas. This review will give you a stronger basis from which to master the more important material when you get to it. If you choose to study in chronological order, be careful to pace yourself so that you do not leave a critical block to do the night before the exam simply because it occurs last on your checklist.
  • For both styles, spend the most time on your highest priority work, a medium-amount of time on your second-priority work, and the least time on your lowest priority work (usually by skimming it).
    Before moving on, the question of whether or not to memorize often comes up when preparing for tests.  MIT students learn early that they aren’t supposed to rely on their memories when they approach their coursework.  While this information can help students to break habits learned in high school, it is not good to apply an all or nothing approach to this subject.

Read also: Ten Study Tips for Exam Preparation

Review Past Tests/Papers

Past tests can be very helpful in the preparation of your tests. In this way, you will become familiar with paper style and question asked in previous tests. Practicing past tests will enhance your chances to obtain good marks. For each subject integrate information from your lecture notes, presentations and past tests. You may also prepare a summary sheet for each major having diagrams, charts, outlinesinand categorized tables and also writing summary paragraphs. This will help in quick review of a major.

Set Priorities

Highlight the areas in which you are stronger as well as the subject areas in which you are weaker and feel difficulty in preparation, separately. In this way you can set priorities and can easily distribute your time depending upon the topics. If you feel comfortable in study groups, try to find friends which have strong grip in the areas in which you are least confident.

Controlling Test Anxiety

Prepare yourself emotionally as well as physically because both mental and physical health also play vital role in any activity. A mind having no fear can perform better than confusing one.  Take healthy meals, proper night rest and be relaxed.

During the Test

Preview the whole best before you start answering questions. Read all the questions carefully. Start with the question which you can answer perfectly and quickly. Allocate your time to the the questions according to their solutions. Time saved from one question can be allocated to the question which you
It is much better to move on and complete the questions that you can answer and then to come back later to solve the problematic questions. Sometimes the answer will occur to you simply because you are more relaxed after having answered other questions.

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After the Test

From this test you can learn more for future tests. If you have a great test day, this will also increase your confidence level. However, you should mainly focus on errors and reasons by overcoming which you can perform better in future tests. Identify why you might have missed a question. Was this test more difficult and you were prepared for it well? Did you run out of time? Did you have any problem which you were not expecting?

Find out the errors and ask yourself questions which areas you could not focus. Try next test in the light of errors and go ahead confidently. It will surely make your preparation better and better.

Have a good luck!

Download Free Study Plan Sample in Excel