A Study Schedule for Adult Learners

Study Schedule

Basic Principles

Setting a study schedule can be an effective way for adult learners to stay organised, focused, and on track. Here are some tips for creating a schedule:

  1. Assess your current commitments: Before you start creating a schedule, take stock of your current commitments, including work, family, and personal responsibilities. Consider how much time you realistically have available for studying each week.
  2. Set specific goals: Identify the specific goals you want to achieve during the program. This could be completing a certain number of lessons or modules or preparing for the exam. Having clear goals will help you structure your study schedule around them.
  3. Plan for regular study sessions: Schedule regular study sessions at consistent times each week. This will help you establish a routine and make studying a habit. Be realistic about the amount of time you can dedicate to studying each session, considering your other commitments.
  4. Prioritise tasks: Break down your goals into smaller, manageable tasks and prioritise them based on their importance and deadlines. Create a to-do list for each study session, outlining the tasks you need to complete during that time.
  5. Be flexible: Allow for flexibility in your study schedule to accommodate unexpected events or changes in your routine. Life can be unpredictable, so be prepared to adjust your study schedule as needed.
  6. Eliminate distractions: Minimise distractions during your study sessions by finding a quiet and comfortable study environment. Turn off notifications on your devices, and let others know that you are unavailable during your designated study times.
  7. Take breaks: Avoid cramming for long periods of time without breaks. Studies have shown that taking regular breaks during study sessions can actually improve focus and retention. Plan for short breaks during your study schedule to rest and recharge.
  8. Stay motivated: Stay motivated by reminding yourself of the reasons why you enrolled in the program and the benefits you will gain from completing it. Keep a positive mindset and celebrate your progress along the way.
  9. Review and adjust: Regularly review your study schedule to track your progress and make adjustments as needed. If you find that you are struggling to keep up with your schedule, consider reevaluating your goals or making changes to your routine.
  10. Take care of yourself: Remember to prioritise self-care during the program. Get enough sleep, eat well, and engage in physical activity to maintain your physical and mental well-being, as it can greatly impact your ability to study effectively.

Example Study Schedule

Here’s an example schedule that would allow 60 hours of study over 4 weeks, that includes wake up times and bed times, taking into consideration work hours from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, commute, family time, exercise, self-care, as well as recommended hours of sleep for adults:

Monday to Friday:

  • 6:30 AM – 7:00 AM: Wake up
  • 7:00 AM – 7:30 AM: Morning routine and breakfast
  • 7:30 AM – 8:00 AM: Commute to work
  • 8:00 AM – 8:30 AM: Settle in at work
  • 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM: Work
  • 5:00 PM – 5:30 PM: Commute back home
  • 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM: Exercise and self-care
  • 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM: Dinner
  • 7:30 PM – 8:00 PM: Family time
  • 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM: Study
  • 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM: Wind down for bedtime
  • 10:00 PM: Bedtime

Saturday and Sunday:

  • 7:00 AM – 8:00 AM: Wake up
  • 8:00 AM – 8:30 AM: Morning routine and breakfast
  • 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM: Exercise and self-care
  • 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM: Family time
  • 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM: Study
  • 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM: Lunch break
  • 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM: Study
  • 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Study
  • 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM: Wind down for bedtime
  • 10:00 PM: Bedtime

Remember to adjust the schedule as needed to suit your specific circumstances and preferences, and make sure to prioritise sufficient sleep for optimal cognitive function during your exam preparation.

Other Commitments

The schedule includes time for work, commute, family time, exercise, self-care, and study. However, it’s important to also consider other commitments or activities that may be relevant to your daily routine. Here are some additional items that you may want to include in your schedule, if applicable:

  1. Meals and snacks: Make sure to allocate time for regular meals and healthy snacks throughout the day to maintain your energy levels and well-being.
  2. Breaks: It’s important to take short breaks during your study sessions to avoid burnout and maintain focus. You can include short breaks (e.g., 5-10 minutes) in between study sessions or longer breaks (e.g., 30 minutes) for relaxation or other activities.
  3. Personal appointments: If you have any personal appointments or commitments, such as doctor appointments, social engagements, or other important tasks, be sure to allocate time for them in your schedule.
  4. Flexibility: It’s important to have some flexibility in your schedule to account for unexpected events or changes in your routine. Leave some buffer time to accommodate unforeseen circumstances.
  5. Hobbies or leisure activities: It’s important to take time for yourself and engage in activities that you enjoy to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Include time for hobbies, leisure activities, or relaxation techniques in your schedule to help you relax and de-stress.

Remember, it’s crucial to strike a balance between work, study, family time, self-care, and other commitments to ensure optimal productivity and well-being during your exam preparation. Customise the schedule to fit your specific needs and priorities, and make sure to practice good time management to effectively utilise your study time.