One of the main reasons that students put off studying is that they don’t know where to start. Building tasks into a schedule and setting up positive habits for your wellbeing can take the mental energy out of the equation, so building a revision schedule for wellbeing becomes a process to follow from one day to the next. I regularly take students through this process in my Revision Workshop, and I’ve summarised the process here.
How much time do you have each week?
The first step is to work out how much free time you actually have each week. There are 168 hours in every week, but you split them between:
- Extracurricular activities
How much time do you need to take from your 168 hours for each of those?
What is left over? Can you allocate one third of that remaining time to study? (Splitting it between work, rest, and play).
I would encourage you not to scrimp on sleep. Teenagers generally need around 9 hours of sleep each night, which is more than their parents, as they’re still growing and developing their brains. This is very important for processing everything they’ve learned in the day so still counts towards the revision plan!
What are you studying?
This is a nice and simple task. Make a list of the subjects you are studying.
For most students, this will look like:
- Maths (Foundation, Higher, Functional Skills)
- English literature
- English language
- Biology (Triple / Combined)
- Chemistry (Triple / Combined)
- Physics (Triple / Combined)
- Humanities (History / Geography / R.E.)
- Modern foreign languages (French / German / Spanish / Italian)
- Additional tech option (Design tech / graphics / food tech / computer science)
- Additional option
It would be helpful here to also note the exam board and specification. If you’re not sure, you should be able to get this from your teacher or tutor, or post it in the Facebook group and I’d be happy to help.
Set subject specific goals
Take a look at where you would like to be for each of these and how far you are from achieving that at the moment. This will help you to prioritise your time through the schedule to those that need the biggest push.
There is more on goal setting at https://greentutors.co.uk/goal-setting/.
Building a revision schedule
Now that you know how much time you have each week to study, and where you need to focus your attention, you can start to build your weekly revision schedule.
The best place to start is with a default diary. Set up a template of a weekly calendar (if you already use a weekly calendar online or in a diary you can use this, but you’ll need to have enough room to add detail). Fill into this calendar the weekly commitments you already have. This is for an average week, so don’t worry too much about ad hoc events.
Remember to add in time you give to:
- Extracurricular activities
Then you can fit in your revision schedule around the default diary, being mindful of the times when you have energy, the times when you are able to work well, and the times when you will need rest. For example, if you have a sports club and after school study on Monday night, will you be getting up early to study physics on Tuesday? Be kind to future you and you will be more likely to stick to the plan.
ADHD and revision schedules
Students with ADHD often find it much harder to make and stick to these revision schedules. They may struggle to sleep, and it will be difficult to switch focus from one activity to the next. It is much better to focus on one task per day, and allow time for plenty of rest before bedtime.
Design a diary for holiday studies too, but be kind to yourself!
Everything becomes much less daunting with a plan, and if you’re able to follow through these steps with your child they should start to feel more in control of their workload. You can also get a copy of a free eBook to take you through these steps at subscribepage.io/greentutors. And there is lots of guidance and schedule examples in the supportive parent community at https://www.facebook.com/groups/turnstresstosuccess.