You don’t want to be like this the night before your exam…. Use a study timetable to get everything done.


Just having study plan isn’t sufficient. In an experiment where students were tested on their maths abilities,the more that students reported actually putting their plans into action, the higher their grade. (They also reported lower test anxiety and higher control over their grades in the treatment group!

1. Space out your studying

Think about how you study. Are you the type of person who studies by cramming all the information in during one long study session, or are you the type of person who spaces out their studying? Research has shown that when it comes to studying material, spaced out studying is better than massed studying (cramming); this is called the spacing effect. [1]

2. Draw up a timetable

So, you know you are going to have breaks during your revision. Try using a revision timetable, it can be helpful. At least it can help you keep track of how much revision you have done, which can be a confidence-booster.

Here is a timetable that you can edit and fill in.  It has slots for before school, during school and the weekend.  There are two versions of it, one with everything together on the same page, the other where it is more spaced out.

Think about what’s possible for you. Think what’s realistic. Put in your other commitments on the timetable and work out how you can get the most out of your day.  If you write it on your timetable, to help you stick to it.

Tips on making a revision timetable[i]:

  • When compiling a schedule try to be as realistic as possible. Do not try to overburden your day with an agenda that you have no real chance of completing.
  • Make a list of the subjects that you need to revise for between now and your exams.
  • Work out which subjects have the most content that needs to be revised.
  • Concentrate on those specific topics or modules that you are weak on.
  • Break down major revision subjects into smaller parts, this can help you make your studying more precise.
  • Ensure that you include break times during the day, these are important to help you unwind and to make sure you don’t burn yourself out.
  • Work out when you ‘study best’, for instance some people are able to concentrate better in the morning. Then use these times to study those topics that require the most effort and energy.
  • Do not leave your most difficult or hardest subjects till the end of the day. Instead try to get these out of the way early on.
  • After completing a revision period cross it off from your timetable. This will help to instil a sense of accomplishment.
  • At the end of each day assess your performance and change your plans accordingly.
  • Consider using different coloured pens to highlight specific classes or rank subjects according to importance. However if you feel you may be changing things around then use a simple pencil.
  • Keep your timetable flexible and be ready to change it if circumstances change.
  • Try not to spend the whole day revising one subject.
  • Most experts suggest studying in slots of 30-40 minutes and then taking a small break before your next session.