Study Schedule Examples
This is a blank Study Schedule: It is very simple. If you are an early riser, you could start at 6 or 7 AM. You can have a small chart like this taped into each notebook or make it larger and post it on your bulletin board.
The Blank Weekly Schedule
This is the schedule with classes filled in (for someone taking 5 classes)
It isn’t necessary to color code each class, but I find it easier to understand this way. It is already clear that this is an extremely heavy schedule.
1. This student is taking five classes when many only take four.
2. This student is taking two classes with labs.
3. This student is taking Calculus five days a class when most classes are scheduled 3 days a week.
Note that no study time is marked yet.
The schedule already looks full, and it still doesn’t show time for studying.
This is the same Class Schedule with MINIMUM STUDY TIME filled in:
Notice the spaces filled with orange. These are the flexible study hours. Flexible time is important. This student will need them especially for writing papers and preparing for tests. For a lighter schedule, flexible study hours will usually fit in during the week.
Keep in mind that, for the average student, these study times are minimal. Most schools suggest that you study 2-3 hours for each hour in class. This shows only 2 hours…. therefore a minimum. If you use your study time well, this is usually adequate. If you need more time to study than is allowed here, you should begin with a lighter schedule or expect weekends filled with study.
Notice that I added one hour to do laundry at one on Thursday. Most students do laundry on weekends. The laundry room should be fairly empty on a weekday at this time. But don’t think you can wash and dry your clothes in one hour. Here, however, you can put clothes in the washing machine before lunch. You should be able to finish lunch in time to take them out and put them in the drier. Then, if it takes longer than expected to dry clothes, you can always do your Calculus homework in or near the laundry room. In fact, that hour of doing laundry has a lot of time free for doing homework.
There are only 5 hours, 1 each day, scheduled for Calculus. I hope this student had Calculus in high school. If not, the student will need some of the flex time for extra time on Calculus.
There are six hours each for English, Biology, Humanities and French. I think this student will need at least 3-4 more hours for French unless he or she took French in high school, and at least another hour or two for biology.
Perhaps the student can study during meals. No, don’t try doing Calculus homework while you eat. But you might have some flashcards handy (maybe for new vocabulary and labeled diagrams from biology – or new words in French.) Having four of five flash cards to check as you eat works. I’ve done it many times.
One way this student could fit more in is to eat breakfast at 7 AM (waking up a 6 or 6:30. That adds five hours a week. This could make space for joining an organization or getting exercise. Another way to add another five hours would be ending the day at 11 PM. Since you need eight hours of sleep, it is best to do one or the other. You can also work in some extra time if you don’t need an hour for meals.
This is probably too heavy a schedule for a typical first semester freshman unless they took both Calculus and French in high school. (If they did, this might be just right.) It’s smart to start with a lighter schedule for the first semester, and add an extra class the second semester if you feel you can handle it.
There are several things I didn’t include on this schedule. You should add time for one or several organizations. You should also add time for regular exercise.
And what about a social life? You can always schedule time to talk to friends, both old and new, over meals. Lunch and Dinner dates are common. You might even try a breakfast date. Another popular way to combine study and dating is to plan study dates. This doesn’t mean that you pretend to study. Study hard for an hour or two and then take a 20-30 minute study break and get to know each other better. If you are serious about keeping up with your studies, it’s always good to date someone who feels the same way. Try meeting people who spend a lot of time studying in the library.
But this schedule should make one thing very clear. Some students are amazed at all the FREE time they have. They aren’t in class all day like they were in high school. That FREE time is NOT FREE. It is STUDY TIME. Do NOT waste your study time.
If this students participates one or two activities first semester, they will need to spend a lot of time studying on the weekend. I didn’t mind using my weekends to study, but some people think that’s terrible. This is your life. Decide what works for you.
Here is the same schedule when the student chose not to take French. Notice how much easier it is to get everything done. It includes time for one – maybe two organizations, exercise 3 times a week, and more free time.
With this schedule, their is much more free time for dates, spending time with friends, or just relaxing. But, except for the hour before dinner, the schedule is still very full. Yes, if there’s something exciting happening on Tuesday night, you can go, but you need to add that night’s study to some of the flex times.
After your first semester, you will know if you can and want to manage another class. If you found that you could get all your homework and study done in three or four hours a week instead of the usual six hours a week for a class that meets for three hour, then you should well.
I had a few classes where I managed well with less than that. I often took at least six classes each semester and sat in on another (and did all the homework) but I confess that I really love a challenge and I had no problem studying from morning till bedtime plus much of the weekend. I know of several students who did more than that. One managed to graduate in two years but regretted that he hadn’t taken time for making friends and participating in campus activities.