When moving up to sixth form or college, you will often find yourself with a lot more free time than you are expected to use for studying. For some students, this may be an exciting prospect because it means you can have a little more control over your studies. However, if you’re a student that finds it difficult to structure your work, then it may be a little daunting to have to spend more time studying on your own. Here are three tips you can follow to create a great timetable.

1. Balance the key

The key to a good timetable at A level is having balance. When making a study timetable you need to make sure that you don’t spend all of your time on one subject and neglect the others. Although, you also need to prioritise at the same time and this is what can be difficult for some students to put together. If you find yourself struggling with a subject then you obviously need to spend more hours on it than you typically would with an easier subject. If a subject gives you a lot of work then you will need to allow more time for that work to be done than for subjects where you only get a little bit of homework.

2. Find the best time for studying

You also need to figure out how you work best. If you don’t wake up early in the morning then don’t schedule an 8 AM study session for your least favourite subject. You’re unlikely to achieve it and then you will just get behind in your work for the day. For people that often sleep in, then it may be easier to work later into the day and start around lunchtime. If you are usually tired by early evening then waking up earlier to get your work done could help you to be more productive.

3. Set realistic goals

When creating an A level timetable you should be realistic. Planning to complete two past papers, revise three topics and then read and annotate an entire chapter in your textbook is unlikely to be achievable unless you’re a fast worker. If you aren’t able to complete your checklist for the day then you’ll feel like you didn’t work hard enough, even if you did. Writing down three main tasks that you need to do is a good way to make sure that you get everything done on your list. If you finish any other tasks during the day then you should see them as a bonus!

When creating a timetable the first thing we would do is write down our subjects in order of difficulty and then write approximately how much homework we get per week for each subject. Dedicate the most hours to subjects that are harder and have more work, then fit the others around it. Remember to also leave free time! Studying is important, but so is socialising and relaxing; taking a few hours off every week will be useful as well.

If you struggle with planning, you might find our revision calendar template helpful - you can find that here!