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Preparing for the exam is an ongoing, almost daily task. (note here that I said “almost daily” so that means if you are consistent then take days off as a reward to yourself and a break to your brain). This time of year is busy for most of us with holidays, obligations, and activities packed into an already hectic schedule.

We all have other obligations that can make fitting in the time to study difficult. Below are some methods to help manage your time so that you can study as much as you need to, despite life getting in the way. 

Find the Time to Study: To help manage your time effectively, we suggest that you begin by developing your study schedule by recording your obligations on a wall calendar. Doing so will give you a “snapshot” of your life so that you can develop a realistic study schedule.

  • Begin by listing all of the work, family, and other non-exam related demands on your time.
  • Prioritize these demands and decide which ones are “mandatory” and which ones can be eliminated, postponed, or delegated to someone else.
  • Record all the mandatory demands on your wall calendar and include an estimate of how much time each demand will require.
  • Determine the amount of time that is available for studying. Notice which days are free for studying and how many hours are available on those days for studying. Does the amount of time you have seem appropriate for the amount of material you will need to study? If your schedule does not allow adequate time for studying, see if there are additional non-exam related obligations you can eliminate, postpone, or delegate. Also, try to find additional times that might be available for studying (while waiting for that next appointment, while taking the bus or subway to work, instead of scrolling social media).
  • Record the times you will study (your study sessions) on your wall calendar. Even highlight these times with a colored marker.