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Tutoring Service: Managing Study Time

Overview of the Avondale University Tutoring Service.



Organising and managing your study time is an essential skill towards developing student academic autonomy and achieving study success. The following steps and examples are designed to help get you started.


1. Identify Study Workload

  • Read over your course materials, lecture times, assessment tasks for your units and identify compulsory learning activities (i.e. practical labs, presentations, tutorials).
  • This information will help you identity the work-load and task requirements for each unit. 

2. Identify Available Time to Study

  • Determine when you can or would ideally like to study.
  • Planning should consider the study work-load of each unit as well as any personal
  • commitments that may impact your availability.

3. Colour Code Units

  • Select a separate colour for each unit to use as a quick visual code in a timetable.
  • Lectures/compulsory learning activities can be indicated in a dark hue of selected colour.
  • Pre-lecture preparation (i.e. engaging with required readings, Moodle materials, textbooks quizzes or journaling) and note preparation can be indicated in a lighter hue of selected colour.
  • Assessments can be indicated with an additional code (i.e. highlighted or symbolised).

4. Allocate Time General Study

Allocate time for general unit study in three ways:

  • Lectures and compulsory learning activities.
  • Pre-lecture preparation.
  • Post-lecture/tutorial note creation or reviewing lecture notes.

5. Allocate Time to Assignments

It is very important to allocate sufficient time to complete the assignment tasks for each unit. To do this you should:

  • review all assignment tasks for each unit and make a rough calculation of how much time you will need to allocate to complete each task;
  • pre-schedule time slots into your study timetable to allow you to complete the tasks on time;
  • and note due dates and assessment weighting in your timetable. 

6. Create Your Timetable

You are now ready to create your study timetable.

  • Block out times when you will not be free to study (i.e. work, family, exercise, church, and personal commitments).
  • Insert lecture and tutorial/lab times in the dark hues of your selected colours indicating these are fixed times.
  • Insert pre/post lecture times in the lighter hues of your selected colours indicating these are more flexible times.
  • Insert time for assignments for each subject - you may also wish to note due dates, assessment weighting, and insert an additional visual marker (i.e. highlighted or symbolised).

Example Scenario

You read your subject course outline and identify you have a 2-hour lecture each week. You schedule the following: two hours for pre-lecture readings; the 2-hour lecture; and 1 hour for note-making after the lecture. You also note that the subject has three assessment tasks—a journal, an essay, and an exam.

  • Your reflective journal is due in Week 13. You calculate you will need to spend 1 hour/week to keep on top of your journal so you schedule a weekly 1-hour slot at the end of each work to work on your journal following completion of your weekly required readings and lecture. This time slot ensures your journaling remains synchronised with your in-lecture learning.

  • Your essay is due in Week 10. You calculate that you will need about 30 hours to unpackage the question, brainstorm, research, draft, and edit your essay. You schedule 3 hours each week in your study timetable so that you can progressively work on your essay. This approach allows you to keep on track and complete your essay on time without feeling a last-minute sense of pressure before the due date.

  • Your exam is also in Week 13. Each week you schedule 2 hours of pre-lecture reading and 1 hour for note-making after the lecture. This will help you feel more prepared for your exam.

How much time do you need?


Use the assignment calculator to work out when you need to get started on your assignment!