How to Make a Study Schedule Based on the 168 Hours Method

Hello Snarklings,

Ok so my sophomore year of university is well underway (I start on the 5th of September!) and I was hoping to give you an idea on how I plan out my study schedule for college. This is based on my personal experience so it may or may not work for you but planning ahead is one key factor that ties in success for anyone who wants to do well in school.

Okay, so this is going to require some basic math. Don’t worry it’s not that scary and pretty straightforward. So in one week, we have 168 hours and we do a lot of stuff like eating, sleeping, doing chores, working out, going to classes, and of course studying. So the question is how many hours do I have left after doing these things? The saying is that for every hour of class we need to commit 2 to 3 hours of study. In most universities (but not all so check with your school’s system) in North America, a “half course” is usually 3 units while a “full course” is 6 units which you can use to log in your hours needed to study.

They say that if you’re taking a full load (usually 5 courses for one semester) you should hit a minimum of 35 hours of study per week. You can find out this number by using this formula: Hours in a Week (168 Hours) — Used Hours = Time Remaining to Study 

  • If you have more than 35 hours of study than you have extra time (which you can either use for free time or use them to get ahead and study some more).
  • If you have less than 45 hours of study per week then you need to manipulate the other activities in your life to make room for that minimum of 35 hours of study

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Here’s my hand written version of the above and I get a total of 115 hours used out of the 168 hours per week which gives me 53 hours of study which is good enough for me to keep up and manage (I break up the 53 hours into manageable chunks and log them on my timetable):

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Just an extra tip, if you were to theoretically study every day (even on a Saturday and a Sunday), you can divide the remaining hours by 7 to see the approximate hours you should study each day to hit that. So the minimum is 35 hours to study so if you divide that by 7 you get 5 hours to study each day of the week to do revision and complete assignments. Since I have 53 hours, 53 hours divided by 7 gives 7.5 hours each day which is of course if I want to use those hours. Obviously, I want a life and need balance so I’ll just stick to 5-6 hours a day and use the rest for spending time with my friends. Like I said, it’s all up to you. Some days I will study 7.5 hours to get ahead since I have 53 hours. At other times I just want to hit the minimum 35 by increasing any of the other activities listed on that time activity sheet (I usually increase sleeping and/or exercising haha.)

Like I said, it’s all up to you. Some days I will study 7.5 hours to get ahead since I have 53 hours. At other times I just want to hit the minimum 35 by increasing any of the other activities listed on that time activity sheet. I usually increase sleeping and/or exercising to give me 35 hours. I can even get a part time job however, I don’t like unexpected shifts that can meddle in my study time.

In the end, you get a basic study schedule that you can use to keep yourself on track like this, which I made for my first semester of 2nd year: I LOVE COLOUR CODING!Weekly Study Schedule PDF_0

Just for review

  1. Approximate a number of hours that you do a certain activity for the whole week
  2. Add them up then subtract 168 hours from that number to give a number of hours remaining to study
  3. Adjust the hours of certain activities to hit the minimum 35 hours of study per week or use those extra hours to either study more or have fun (it’s your decision since you’re an adult right?)
  4. Log those activities on a designated time table and you’re good to go.
  5. Try to stick to this plan as much as possible. If not then looks like you have to face the consequences or compromise (another part of being an adult).

 

If you have any questions please email me or leave a comment below and remember to follow my blog for more updates! Ciao for now and stay flossy guys!

 

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My Take on the MCAT

Hello, Snarklings!

So, I’m currently on Summer vacation between my first year and second year of undergrad and I want to spend some time letting you guys know how I plan on studying for the MCAT.

What is covered in the MCAT and how do they relate to your pre-req classes?

As you all know that bulk of the MCAT is divided into 4 sections that overlap each other so it’s important to note that many of these sections are related to your medical school pre-requisite courses like:

  • First-year biology, general chemistry, English
  • Second-year organic chemistry (and Psychology/Sociology courses)
  • Third-year biochemistry

How do you revise for the MCAT?

So what I prefer to do is to annotate and make review notes with whatever review books that you’re using. For me, I’m using the Princeton review (however, my other friends use Kaplan; Kaplan is also a great review book too). Although that I do not plan on taking the MCAT anytime soon, I believe that revision during the Summer for the courses or classes that you took in your academic year is great for retention! Let’s face it, in three years from now, you won’t really remember that much of what happened in your first or second year pre-req courses heck, you probably won’t remember anything after you take the final exam for that course (Like me haha). As I review the Princeton Review for the MCAT, I start re-calling what I learned and it’s been helping tremendously and by the time I take the MCAT I will be more than ready.

Taking some notes on the MCAT from the Princeton Review subject books

How do you practice and improve?

I also advise practicing since reviewing the concepts are not good enough… So the short little quizzes at the end of each section help to reinforce the concepts reviewed. I also suggest that you buy a work book like Examcrackers or the AAMC question packets for practice! In addition to that, I suggest buying the AAMC’s practice exams as well or the UWorld MCAT Qbank to mimic the exam conditions of the MCAT. Currently, I’m using the Princeton Review Science Workbook (I got a used one from amazon and had it shipped!)

The Princeton Review Science Workbook
I like using tabs to show which sections I need to work on based on what I learned in the year

 

So I hope that this is informative and that it gives you a rough idea of one way of studying (since everyone is different and you should find something that works for you). Since I just started this process, I will continue to find new ways and I’ll keep you guys updated so remember to follow/subscribe to my blog and if you want to ask me about the study resources that I’m using, just comment or email me (you can find my email on my about me page).