Get Organized for Success
Planners and To Do Lists
The examples below are all great tips to start your own method of organization. Don't go overboard and attempt to try all of these though. Find the strategies that work for you.
- Buy a planner and write in all of your classes and assignments (including reading assignments).
- Make a weekly list of reading assignments and keep it somewhere you will see it.
- Buy a separate notebook for each class. Write out the assignments and readings in the front and use the rest for notes and studying.
- Write the dates and reading assignments on the inside cover of your textbooks. Every day you can open your book to see what needs to be done.
- The syllabus you receive on the first day of class includes your semester to do list. Don't lose it and please READ it.
The 60 Hour Principle
The number of hours you spend working, studying and attending class should be less than 60 hours per week for you to have the best chance of success.
Scheduling Study Time
- How much time do you need to study? You will hear that you need between two and three hours of study time for each hour you spend in class. You will find that the actual time you need to be successful will vary depending on the course and the types of assignments given.
- Expect to have an assignment every time you have class. This may be a graded assignment or it may be reading and preparing for class. Make sure you give yourself time to do this work.
- Also expect that there will be key points in the term where you will have even more homework and tests. The middle and end of each term typically include exams and large projects for most courses.
- You can better plan for study time when you use one of the organization tips above to map out your project and exam dates. This will allow you to plan ahead for busy parts of the term.
- You do not have to study at the same time or location each week. You do need to have short review sessions several times a week.
- Know what percent of your final grade each assignment or test is worth and spend an appropriate amount of time on the assignment. For example, you better be sure to do a great job on something that is worth 50 percent of your final grade in a course.