Last week you’ll remember I wrote about why you need a plan. This week, we are going to look at how you develop your own semester plan.
One important point first. Don’t start planning in the middle of the semester. Start right now. You’ve already chosen all your units you are going to study for the semester. You should be able to go and see what the assessment requirements are for each. In addition, you should be able to see the weighting for each piece of assessment. This will give you an idea about how much time you are going to need to invest for each assignment or exam.
This is especially useful right now and you will probably not going to have all the detail about what is required. You might know that you are going to have an essay due in early May worth 20% but you don’t know much else.
Your semester plan will have your normal study schedule that is required of you. That is, chapters to read and self-assessment questions to answer. Work out how many hours you can devote to your assessment items. Let’s say for example you are studying one subject and you can devote an extra 2 hours per week. Work out the total number of weeks in a semester and then multiply by that for the weighting of the piece of assessment. Say for example, you have an assignment worth 20% and there are 13 weeks in the semester. This means you can spend 5.2 hours total on your assignment. Then divide that time up by the number of weeks leading up to when the assignment is due. This then gives you how much time you need to invest in your assignment each week.
Repeat this process for each one of your assessment items to develop your own semester plan. This will help you stay on track from day one.
Remember, things don’t always go to plan either (no pun intended). For instance, in the first couple of weeks there may not be much information on your assignment but you can use that time to prepare revision notes instead. Just make sure you know how much time you have per week and invest it in your assessment so you don’t leave until the last minute.