Study session scheduling

ptilsenptilsen Member Posts: 2,835 ■■■■■■■■■■
On my last couple of exams, I employed a practice whereby I actually scheduled out four-to-eight-hour study sessions. I would schedule out 2-4 weeks worth, then after I passed a certain point, schedule my test.

This worked well for me on 70-680 and 70-648, and I was able to pass both with five or six 4-8-hour sessions. With my 70-643, I instead opted to use virtually every waking moment I wasn't working, eating, driving, etc., to study. While 70-643 is a hard test on its own right, I feel I've been much less productive in the time I've spent on it. I come home from 9-11 hours of work, study for a few, sleep, wake up, rinse and repeat. I achieve very little during this time due to various distractions, and retain almost none of what I read. After doing this Monday through Friday, Saturday and Sunday come and I have lots of study time, but I'm so burned out with studying that my study time is even less effective.

More or less, I'm noticing two things. First, my previous method of having pre-scheduled study "sessions" that I actually adhere to is extremely effective, and that second, less is more when it comes to studying, at least for certifications. Has anyone else had similar experiences?
Working B.S., Computer Science
Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
In progress: CLEP US GOV,
Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340

Comments

  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483
    ptilsen wrote: »
    On my last couple of exams, I employed a practice whereby I actually scheduled out four-to-eight-hour study sessions. I would schedule out 2-4 weeks worth, then after I passed a certain point, schedule my test.

    This worked well for me on 70-680 and 70-648, and I was able to pass both with five or six 4-8-hour sessions. With my 70-643, I instead opted to use virtually every waking moment I wasn't working, eating, driving, etc., to study. While 70-643 is a hard test on its own right, I feel I've been much less productive in the time I've spent on it. I come home from 9-11 hours of work, study for a few, sleep, wake up, rinse and repeat. I achieve very little during this time due to various distractions, and retain almost none of what I read. After doing this Monday through Friday, Saturday and Sunday come and I have lots of study time, but I'm so burned out with studying that my study time is even less effective.

    More or less, I'm noticing two things. First, my previous method of having pre-scheduled study "sessions" that I actually adhere to is extremely effective, and that second, less is more when it comes to studying, at least for certifications. Has anyone else had similar experiences?

    Great post and thanks for the advice. It seems that planning maximizes your efforts. That could be a process improvement piece I need to implement myself.

    +1 rep thanks again for posting.
  • cisco_troopercisco_trooper Too many Member Posts: 1,443 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I've had similar experiences. When I was planning what I would study and knew when I was going to do it ahead of time I was much more productive. When I took the BSCI a while back I spent a lot of time on it. I would say I spent too much time on it in fact. I finally got sick of studying for an exam, buckled down, pre-configured labs for every routing protocol, and then for a few weeks spent 3 to 4 days on each in excruciating detail. It worked. I didn't allow myself to jump from EIGRP over to OSPF simply because I had a bright idea and got curious. During times where I have decided that I'm just going to study a few hours a night I have in fact been less productive. I think the planning allows your mind to come to terms with what is going to be expected of it each day. I don't know and don't much care the reason, the fact is the planning helps a ton for whatever reason even if you aren't really putting anymore time into the certification. I re-affirmed this approach recently when I decided to knock the QoS Exam out of the park. I think I only ended up spending about 6 weeks on this one because I didn't make the same mistakes that I have traditionally made. I knew what I was going to study each day and I made sure I had the tools I needed in order to be effective already in place. Great post.
  • Vin3Vin3 Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Have been thinking about planning study time myself so this is interesting to hear. Would probably also help enjoy the downtime more as wouldn't be feeling like i should be hitting the books all the time. You can set aside exactly how much time for study is reasonable and the rest of the time forget about it for a while - may give this a go.
Sign In or Register to comment.