How to plan our time? Keys to academic success

Casvi Villaviciosa > International Baccalaureate > How to plan our time? Keys to academic success
Alumna de E. Infantil del Colegio Privado Internacional Eurocolegio Casvi aprendiendo a gestionar el tiempo

Educational learning activities at Casvi do not only consist of giving information, explaining concepts and proposing exercises to check if they have been understood. We also work on the different study techniques or methods that can be used to make the effort used profitable. The question is: How can we plan our time? Starting from the premise that our IB methodology favours it, it is a fact that the teaching of study skills has a marked effect on students’ learning.

Our Guidance Department at Casvi, as well as our teachers and students, offer us these keys to plan our time:

General guidelines for planning our time

 “One hour of class equals one hour of study”. In addition:

Before classes

Pre-read what is to be taught and prepare the material that will be needed.

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During the lessons

Be attentive and concentrated. Take notes, annotations, clarifications. Ask questions.

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After class

Understand 100% of the information. Synthesise and memorise information by making diagrams, summaries, concept maps, flow charts… 

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Spatial guidelines

To plan our time:

  1. Very important: the study space has to be fixed. The timetable should also be fixed.
  2. Also, the temperature of the room should be between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius. It should also be ventilated from time to time, as the brain’s performance is very sensitive to the level of oxygen.
  3. The study table should be clean and tidy. It should not have any distracting elements. It should be spacious, i.e. it should be able to hold all the necessary material, which will allow for active study.
  4. Finally, the chair should be comfortable but not too comfortable, as too much comfort can have a negative influence on performance.

How to avoid passivity?

These are the steps to take when planning our time in order to achieve educational success. To be successful, it is necessary to distribute the time correctly: divide it throughout the course instead of studying the days before the exam and prepare a study calendar.


Not all students need to devote the same amount of time to study. It has to be adapted to personal possibilities and limitations.

Useful, realistic and simple

Planning should be perceived at a glance.


A buffer time should be available to avoid non-compliance with the schedule in case of unforeseen situations.


If we do it, we have advantages to plan our time : it clarifies ideas, helps to fix them in the mind, allows them to be placed in sight, reinforces personal commitment to carry them out.

Study time

It should be distributed in maximum sessions of 50 minutes with rest intervals of 10 to 15 minutes between sessions.


It is advisable to schedule activities of medium difficulty first, followed by those of high difficulty. The tasks that are easiest to complete should be completed.

And on the day of the exam...

To plan our time:

  1. If there is something you don’t remember… Go on!
  2. If you are in the middle of the exam and there is a question you don’t know or don’t remember, continue with the rest of the questions and leave this one until the end.
  3. To plan our time, keep track of time during the exam, but don’t pay attention to how long your classmates are taking.
  4. Set aside some time before handing in the exam to go over it.

Final formula for academic success

School success = Ability + Interest + Study techniques + Time spent + Persistence + Self-confidence.

Bernabé TiernoPsychologist