Create an Exam Study Plan With This Easy Guide

by | May 10, 2017

Everyone will develop their own unique study plan based on their needs, but is there an easy way to do it?

According to “A study plan is an organised schedule that students create that outlines study times and learning goals. Just like with work or school schedules, students should develop a study schedule where they can block off days and times on their calendar dedicated to studying.”

Learning how to create an effective study plan is a critical skill that your child will be able to apply throughout their life.

Before you start, you need to establish learning goals for each session to use your child’s study time effectively. Your child’s study plan must be reasonable, personalised and realistic.

How to get started


Create a study environment with minimal distractions and possible interruptions. Refer to my blog post 11 Essential Study Tips You NEED to Know to learn more about this.


Decide on a specific time to study. Try to be consistent and stick to a routine. When is your child’s most effective study time – do they study better in the morning, afternoon or evening? In other words, when are they most mentally alert?

Peak your child’s interest

Keep the process interesting with study notes, drawings etc. Do not be too rigid, but rather accommodate the unexpected. Keep it practical. This will help your child to stick to the schedule.

Guide and support

Reflecting on your child’s work ethic, maybe guidance and support is needed. Be realistic about their strengths and weaknesses. Remind your child that you are there for them and that they can always come to you for guidance and help.

Learning style

Understand that it is very important to take your child’s learning style into account. Refer to my blog post 3 Ways to Ensure Effective Studying. Make sure that all study notes are prepared ahead of time. The study plan is just that: a time to study.

Test the plan

Draw up a similar plan ahead of time, for instance, to accommodate the preparation of study notes, recordings, etc. and see if it works with your child. Ask yourself if the time set aside to study is sufficient, and is your child able to concentrate for the proposed session. Determine how long should the breaks be between sessions – I have found that a 30 minute session broken up into 15 minutes of study, 5 to 10 minutes of question time and a 5 to 10 minute break, works well.

Remember this will differ according to age and content being studied. Some type of question time – verbal or written – is imperative to success. An easy and effective way of questioning your child and testing their knowledge is by signing up for a WorksheetCloud membership. Your child will be able to answer questions online that are based on the upcoming school exams.

Sign up to WorksheetCloud with MySchool

How to create the study plan

Start by listing all of the subjects that need to be studied.

Then, break down those subjects further into themes or individual worksheets. Remember certain subjects need study and practical time. Plan 4 sessions within an afternoon of 30 minutes each (let your child guide you on this as all children are different). 4 sessions should suffice, but you should likely add more sessions in over weekends particularly if your child is in high school. Some children prefer to only study one subject at a time while others prefer a variety.

Lastly, divide your child’s available time over the weekend and during the week into study blocks – remember to factor in time for questioning and breaks.

Giving your child a month in advance to study should be sufficient to revise all work. Most work should have been revised during class time and at home during the term in preparation for continuous assessment administered in the form of tests, projects, investigations, etc.

The final study plan:

  • It essential to plan first e.g. colour code subjects to recognize them easily on the timetable (user friendly), determine where the study plan will be displayed and on what: a calendar (in pencil) or whiteboard – easy to erase/change. Make alterations as you go.
  • Work backwards, when filling in, to determine how much time is needed.
  • Remember to factor in practice exams at the end of the timetable. This will help expose your child to terminology used during exams and the layout of exam papers. Ask your child’s teacher for “old” exam papers if none are forthcoming, or sign up to WorksheetCloud for online and printable practice exams.

A successful study timetable has got to do with the planning you put in. This means good time management which involves effective prioritizing of time taking into consideration that some subjects need more time than others.

It is also important to remember that once created it will only be meaningful if used efficiently. Your child will need encouragement and reminders to stick to the plan.

Do you have study advice to share with other parents? Post in the comments below.

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About the Author

Adele Keyser has 27 years experience in teaching pre-primary, foundation phase, intermediate-senior phase and adult education. That's 27 years experience in dealing with children (and parents!). Currently teaching in Cape Town, her major focus is building classroom environments that foster healthy self-esteem and help children realise what they're capable of.


  1. Lynn

    Grade 8 guidelines

  2. Sunita

    Hello Adele
    I have printed the grade 6 syllabus for all subjects on your website and compared or to the syllabus thus far that my daughter has been taught at her school wynberg girls junior school .I was hoping to find that worksheets would be available for most but found it not to be so ..that’s the only reason I have not signed up …I believe in thd worksheet system but it means it has to be on the work she has done at school …could I send her syllabus breakdown so you can compare and confirm which would be beneficial n similar in testing work that has been taught ….or it means I must create my own worksheets of her work done thus far

    • Kayleen Olivier

      Hi Sunita

      Thanks for your message.

      I’m sorry to hear that you were not 100% happy with the content that you found on our website.

      Our content is 100% CAPS aligned and we cover all the necessary content for the following Grade 6 subjects: English, Afrikaans, Maths, Natural Science, History and Geography.

      I am going to email you a link to our product tour and will be happy to further discuss what content we currently offer there.

      Kayleen 🙂

  3. S. POORUN

    kindly advise what grade 8 subjects you have on worksheet cloud. Thank you.

    • Kayleen Olivier

      Hi Sunitha

      Thanks for your message and interest in WorksheetCloud.

      We currently offer the following subjects for Grade 8:
      English Home Language
      English First Additional Language
      Afrikaans Home Language
      Afrikaans First Additional Language
      Natural Science

      You can also see a full list of subjects and topics we currently cover in each grade on this page:

      WorksheetCloud is an online resource that gives you access to printable worksheets to help your child revise and practise for class tests and exams. All the worksheets are based on the South African CAPS curriculum which means that they are 100% relevant to the work your child is doing in class.

      We also include detailed memorandums that include the answers and model explanations and working-out for each and every question.

      If you feel ready to sign up to WorksheetCloud, you can get started here:

      I hope this helps. If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us at any time and I’ll be very happy to assist!

      Kayleen 🙂

  4. Gwen

    Yes we should create a plan with cracking exams. Reading your post is about “create an exam study plan with this easy guide” is really interesting and i think more beneficial for learners.Really thanks

  5. Unathi

    The main fact that we need to make a study plan is to grow our minds


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