Exam study planner - example

Let’s say you’re a 1st year student studying Environmental Planning.

For your B semester, you have an exam for each of the four papers you’re taking:

ENVP106 – Introduction to Environmental Planning
ENVS101 – Environmental Science
BIOL102 – The Biology of Organisms
POLS105 – People and Policy
Most people find it easiest to study for an exam in the days directly leading up to it. However, you will probably have exams for different papers quite close together (e.g. 1 day apart from each other). Therefore, it is important to plan out your exam study so that you can maximise your time.

Planning questions:

You can help do such planning by considering the following questions:

  • What topics do you need to study for each subject? Old exam papers are very useful in this regard: these can be sourced through iWaikato.
  • Will some subjects require more study than others? e.g. science subjects may require student to know lots of facts, whereas arts subjects may require less factual knowledge but more ability in critical thinking. Science may therefore require more study in order to learn all the facts involved.
  • Do you find some subjects harder than others? If so, you’ll probably have to do more study for them.
  • What sorts of questions might you expect for each subject? e.g. science subjects may be more focused on multi-choice/short answer/problem solving questions, whereas arts subjects may be more focused on short answer and essay questions. If you are expecting essay-based exam questions, these may well require more intensive study preparation – thinking of potential essay arguments, structures, and examples - than swotting up facts for multi-choice questions.
  • How much time do you have to study? e.g. if  you work and/or have children or other dependents to help care for, you will probably need to plan your study time around these responsibilities.

In the sample table below, you would plan your study around some of these factors:

  • In the time available on this example, you might try to allocate about 4 days study for each paper.
  • Because biology is your hardest subject (maybe), you would prioritise studying solely for that in the 4 days building up to the BIOL102 exam.
  • In the meantime, you use the study week to study mostly for the ENVP106 and ENVS101 papers, because there are only limited study days available directly before the exams for these papers.
  • If you have found POLS105 your easiest paper, and you know that the exam for it is mostly essay questions (which you might be confident about writing) you won't spend as many days studying for the POLS exam.

Have a look at the example table below (based on the explanation directly above) and then use your Google calendar, or a piece of paper to plot out your exam preparation strategy. (Link to little template below)

Exam study planner - example

Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thurs Fri
    1 2 3 4 5
  Begin exam study - get notes ready          
6 7 8 9 10 11 13
Last week of classes Try and do some early exam study          
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Study week ENVP106 study ENVP106 study ENVP106 study ENVS101 study ENVS101 study BIOL102 study
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
BIOL102 study BIOL102 study BIOL102 study BIOL102 exam ENVP106 study ENVP106 exam POLS105 study
27 28 29 30 31 1 2
POLS105 study POLS105 study POLS105 exam ENVS101 study ENVS101 study ENVS101 exam  


Fill your own:

Here are some MS word exam preparation planners that we've made for you. (They're similar to the one above but provide room for more detail). They're MS Word documents so that you can type on them if you prefer not to print.

Exam prep planner template (portrait 13kb)

Exam prep planner template (landscape 13Kb)