A student studying

Study time

Using study time effectively

In my country the role of the teacher is very strong; the students have their timetable, but here all the responsibility is on you. You have to organise your own study time and study progressively, little by little; don't leave things for the end, for the exams. - Isai

While you are studying on your university course there are likely to be many claims on your time and you will need to know how to manage them. You may be juggling your study time with social, family or other commitments or even with part-time work.

In these activities, you will think about how you use your time to find out what kind of study routine might work best for you, and then practise trying to organise a day's timetable for an international student on a university course in the UK.

Activity 1How do you use your time?

You are going to find out what kind a person you are when it comes to using your own time.

Instruction icon


Think about each of these statements relating to your own use of time and select the tick Tick or the cross Cross before reading the feedback.

 I work best in the morning.

 I make lists of things I have to do and organise the order in which I will do them.

 I work best when a task is urgent and I'm under pressure to get on with it.

 I am easily distracted from a task by other things that I need to do.

 I can manage lots of things at the same time.

 I hate rushing and always start a task early, giving myself plenty of time to finish.

 I work best in the afternoon or at night.

 I like finishing one task before I start another.

Activity 2A day in the life of an international student

You are going to plan a day in the life of Carlos, an international student at a British university. Carlos leads a busy life and needs to fit a lot into his day at Uni. Many of the things he has to do are course-related but others are not. Can you organise his day for him so that he can manage to do everything he needs to?

Carlos, an international student

Instruction icon


Look at the list of tasks that Carlos has to fit into his plan for the day at Uni and decide when he should do each of them. Move each task into the appropriate time slot in his plan for the day. Use the 'check' button to see if you have organised his time well and then answer the three questions that follow.

Carlos's day at Uni
Get up, eat breakfast, print course assignment ready to submit to faculty office by midday.
Grab lunch and go to gym for sports practice.
Another seminar - not presenting in this one!
Unload washing machine, cook and eat evening meal, and then start planning next assignment.
Time to sleep!
After the gym, read set text and answer questions in preparation for 4pm seminar.
Course seminar on the other campus - our group is presenting!
Don't forget to load and start the washing machine before leaving the house!
Meet as arranged after lecture to discuss group presentation for seminar at 3pm.
Meet up with friends for a bit of relaxation in the pub.
Return library books used for last assignment; take out more books for the next one.
Submit course assignment before midday deadline.
Take bus in to Uni for 9am lecture.
Take the bus from Uni to the supermarket to do some food shopping before it closes at 7pm.
Walk over to the other campus for seminars this afternoon.

1. How many timetabled course sessions did Carlos have to attend today and what were they?

2. What other course-related activities did Carlos need to do?

3. What non course-related things did Carlos do?

Would you like to review the main points?