How to plan studying for the exams – simple bullet journal edition

The exams have fully started in Belgium. After I handed in my thesis and my internship task a few days ago, I started studying too but right before, I made sure to make a good study plan. I have a bullet journal but I’m not that kind of person that wants to spend a lot of time drawing things, I just like the fact that it’s so flexible. I started looking for some spreads on Pinterest but I couldn’t find too many that I actually liked so I thought, why not ask someone to write a guest blog about it? That’s when I found Emily, a bullet journal expert who also has a lot of studying experience, perfect!

Are you still looking for a good way to plan your study time and be fully prepared for your exams? Do you want to keep it simple? Or do you just want some tips & tricks to improve your study planning? Then keep reading!


Bullet journals are great for students. They can be used by students in lots of ways including creating study and exam planners. I have been creating study planners and exam timetables since my GCSEs (the UK’s equivalent of finals) and I think I’ve become pretty good at it! If you are looking for the perfect way to prepare for your exams, look no further! In this post, I will show you 3 ways you can use your bullet journal to create a study plan, exam timetable and study tracker.

Study plan

This calendar style spread will help you organise your revision to ensure you are setting enough time to complete the revision before each exam. I recommend working backwards from the date of the exam and dividing the topics you need to study between the time you have. For example, if you have 12 days before an exam and you have 24 topics, you should do ~ 2
topics a day. Obviously you will need to factor in any days you cannot study or for days that you can only study for a small period of time.
Once you know how long you have and how much you need to do each day, you can input the topics you need to cover. Use your syllabus to identify which topics you need to cover and for each day, write down what you need to study.

Top Tip: Start with the hardest stuff or topics you don’t enjoy. You may be tempted to start with something you already have a good understanding of but this is a waste of valuable study time.

Exam time table

This is a simple spread designed to organise exam dates during exam season. Each box can be used to put the date, subject and topics of each exam. Depending on the number of exams you have, you can change the amount of boxes on the page. This is the simplest spread out of the
three as all you need is a pen and ruler. You can add colour if you want to of course!

Study tracker

I find study trackers to be useful throughout the academic year as well as in the lead up to exams. Study trackers are a great way to identify how much studying you have completed each day of the month. You can set goals for yourself and track your progress using this spread too. I like these trackers as they keep me accountable and motivated. Study trackers are super easy to set up. All you need to do is draw one horizontal line across the top, with the number of hours labeled. From the left end of the horizontal line, you can draw a vertical line that corresponds to the number of days in a month. Then each day you can highlight how many hours you have studied.

Tips & tricks for planning your study time

  • Know when your exams are
    ○ Kinda obvious but you need to know when your exams are, in order to work out how much time you have to prepare for them and how to prioritise them.
  • Know your syllabus
    ○ Once you know how long you have to study for your exams, you should divide the syllabus into the timeframe you have. Ensure you have enough time to cover the content required – if you don’t have enough time, focus on the subjects/material you don’t know as well.
  • Remember to plan for scheduled events
    ○ There is no point scheduling 6 hours of studying if you’ve actually only got 4 hours free. For example, if you have a zoom call with your friends at 7pm on Sunday, make sure to block the appropriate amount of time in your study planner for that activity.
  • Try not to bite off more than you can chew/ don’t over plan
    ○ You might look at a blank study planner and think you need to fill the entire sheet with study sessions. You cannot be studying 24 hours a day and you need to take breaks. You need to be realistic about how much you will get done in one day. Don’t schedule 6 subjects in a day if you know you only have time for 3 subjects.
  • Study when you feel is the best time for you
    ○ If you know you’re not a morning person but you schedule revision at 8am, you are just setting yourself up to fail. You won’t get up early to study or, if you do, you’ll be too tired to take anything in anyway!
    ○ Make sure you make use of the times you feel most productive and ready to take on the tasks!

I am so grateful that Emily wanted to write this guest blog. I got some great ideas to put in my bullet journal and to keep track of my study time now. Hope you liked it too!

If you liked this blogpost and you’re interested in reading Emily’s blog, you can find it if you click here. You can also find her on Pinterest and on Twitter.



4 thoughts on “How to plan studying for the exams – simple bullet journal edition

  1. lovemaisie says:

    I’m starting university in September and I’ve been out of education for 10 years now, so this has been really helpful!! I’ll deffo be putting some of this into practice come exam season! Thanks for sharing 🙂 I’ll be sure to check out Emily’s blog now too! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jana Six says:

      I’m so happy you like it! What are you going to study? Good luck and if I can help you with anything, let me know.


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