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Time Management Guide


Our Exam Experts have a proven track record in getting the best results in Ireland. Their Time Management Guide will help you gain the required confidence needed to reach your maximum potential.

They include members of the Irish State Examinations Board along with Irish Educational Authors and know how to get results.

Coláiste Naomh Eoin’s Top Ten Time Tips

Time management is a key to exam success. Students around the world learn this sooner or later. The best students are not necessarily those who are “smarter”, but those who use their time effectively. When you plan your days and weeks in advance, time can be your friend rather than your enemy. And although time management can seem like a pain, once you have mastered this skill, it will enable you to get the most out of life which will result in better results. It can free you to live more effectively, calmly and enjoyably. It can help you get more done with less stress, disorganization and frustration. It can also give you higher marks throughout the school year, as well as on your quizzes, tests, and exams.

Think about it. Have you ever heard of an athlete, even one who is paid millions of dollars a year, playing in a game without showing up for practice? Have you heard of a musician delivering a concert without taking time daily to rehearse? Have you heard of a scientist proclaiming a grand discovery without hundreds of failed trials? All these professionals know that in order to succeed in their professional areas, they have to put in their time.


1. Organize your time

Life improves when you decide to do things differently. In this case, the goal is to gain control over time, rather than letting it control you. It is about taking ownership of time, which is the essence of your life. The main objective of time management is for you to have a clear picture of your upcoming days, weeks, and months. It is a way for you to discover what time you have available to devote to study, recreation, or other activities. Make the decision to be the master of your life, rather than its suffering slave.

2. Assess your time

Many students genuinely believe that they study a lot. Some even protest that they study all the time! In reality, this is far from the truth. The only way you will discover how many hours of your busy day you actually study is by completing a personal time assessment. The method requires you to keep track of everything you do for an entire week, from the time you wake up to the time you fall asleep. That means recording every single detail.

At the end of the week, add up the totals. For example, count the number of hours spent on eating, traveling, studying, talking on the phone, shopping, exercising, watching TV, being online, etc, until you have a complete picture of where your time goes. If you find you are losing a lot of time to activities other than studying, try to balance your schedule. Start eliminating the time bandits by making small adjustments in your habits and behavior in order to get better control of your precious time.

3. Set your priorities

The objective of time management is to allocate time wisely, so you can achieve your goals. If you wanted to be an inter-county GAA player, you would have to practice several days for years. In the same way, to be a top student you must have a good idea of the study requirements. Studying Irish places different demands on you – reading, writing, research, assignments, essays, projects, papers, tests, and exams. Decide how to complete all required tasks, over a weekly, monthly, and even a yearly basis. This advance planning will increase your awareness, making it less likely for you to squander time away meaninglessly.

4. Make a schedule

After establishing your priorities, set up a schedule for your priorities. Many students select weekly planners that enable them to see the big picture more easily. Make sure your system is something you are very comfortable with, as you will be referring to it often. Then, set up your schedule in this order:

  • Mark in all your fixed commitments such as classes, sport, social events, and part-time jobs. These are the givens, which you cannot change.
  • Add in study time. Block off large sections of your day, reserved for studying alone, as well as shorter review periods. Organize your peak study times to coincide with the times of day when you are most awake and alert.

5. Use a calendar

In addition to your weekly planner, invest in a large monthly wall calendar. Write down all the important due dates, deadlines, exams, etc so they are in front of you as a visual reminder. This will make you more aware of important dates and allow you to adjust or rearrange plans if you are behind schedule.

6. Use review cards

Always keep some review cards with you to read over when you are waiting for something else to happen. This could include when you are traveling or waiting in line at the bus stop, getting a lift in the car or even in work. You could also place review cards in common locations, which you pass frequently in your house, such as on the fridge door, bathroom mirror, etc. Frequent repetition and review is one of the keys to remembering information easily and effectively.

7. Plan activities logically

Get to know your bodily cycle; then, schedule activities around it as much as possible. If you always feel sleepy after dinner or when you come in from school, for example, use that time to get in your daily walk, instead of fighting to keep your eyes open over a while looking over your Irish notes.

8. Do not get frustrated or stressed.

Sometimes you just need to step away from the books.

9. Set out your goals

It is vital that you know what you want to achieve. You may not have decided what you would like to do when finished school but you may have a number of preferences. Think how your study will help you get to the goal or help you be in a position to decide on which option you want to take. Understand what you value and want from school. Turn this into a personal mission statement including career goals.

10. Plan some down time.

You are not a robot! Schedule some time to relax so you can rest and refresh your mind and body. This will enable you to study more effectively. Get enough sleep as well. A sleep-deprived student is not going to be able to perform at his or her best.

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