My Test Prep Tip – Make a Study Plan

2017 – 2018 Scholarship Entry – Test Preparation Essay
Test Preparation Inc. Scholarship

Shaily Turner
Ottawa, Ontario

As a nursing student right out of high school, I felt overwhelmed and extremely unprepared for the amount of reading required of me. It was vital that I learned effective ways to divide and conquer material in the most effective manner.  After attending multiple “learning strategy” classes and with the help of a learning strategist at my school, I gathered the information given to me and created a personalized study success plan.

My first plan of action was to create a weekly planner. Every week I inserted my mandatory commitments such as doctor’s appointments, lectures, and meal breaks. In between the mandatory items, I scheduled 1 hour of study time per hour of the course, for example, if one course is 3 hours per week, 3 hours of study time would also be scheduled in. With this calendar plan, it allows me to schedule in breaks, mealtimes, and other necessary pauses from my school work.
How to make a study plan  

Planning Ahead
I retain information very well if I understand the material thoroughly. With this being said, I can read through a whole chapter from my textbook without retaining a single bit of information. I learnt that if I read one paragraph at a time, and rewrite the main ideas in my words onto another piece of paper, I retain the information one-hundred percent of the time; however, this solution is not time friendly. It can sometimes take quite a lot of time to fully understand one paragraph, which can become frustrating after a while. Unfortunately, I have not yet come up with a solution for this problem, however, I hope in the upcoming school year I can work with my learning strategist more to come up with another strategy to better manage my time.

Separation between working space and relaxation space is one of my keys to staying focused. As a student that lives in residence, space in my room is often limited. In my room there is only my bed and my desk, so when it comes to separating relaxation and work spaces, it can often time be quite challenging. At the beginning of the school year I purposefully made an effort in keeping the desk for studying only, however, as the year progressed it became growingly difficult to do so. It took some time to understand why I was losing focus so quickly sitting at my desk while not so long ago, it was so easy to focus there.  I realized it was because my space for relaxation in my mind had taken over, making it nearly impossible to study there. I quickly had to seek other places to study, and I learnt that the residence building had conference rooms available for students to study.   Once I was able to determine these spaces and work spaces, I regained focus once again.
Tips on creating a productive study space

With all these strategies in place, I secured a spot on the dean’s list for my first year of college, indicating a GPA over 3.60.  I look forward to my next academic year, and creating even more strategies to be able to succeed.

 

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