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Start early and stick with it: That’s how to do semester planning!

Start early and stick with it: That’s how to do semester planning!

Forward planning is one of the keys to successful studying. You should therefore plan each semester in good time – even if the holidays have only just begun. Above all, administrative processes and bureaucratic procedures must be completed on time. Just as important when the new semester starts: prompt registration for all your courses.

It is also very important to plan voluntary or mandatory placements as well as group assignments, presentations and seminars. So for a successful start to the semester: Get off your backside and don’t leave everything until the last minute. It’s better to start preparing now; it’s worth it, because you won’t be so stressed when the semester actually starts!

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And then we have the good old topic of distance learning. We all really hope that the next semester will finally see us back in the lecture halls. But that’s not going to happen overnight.

Learn from your mistakes:

In order to prepare well for the next phase of your studies, you might find it helpful to review the last semester to find out what might have gone wrong in the past and what can be improved on this year. It’s important to be really honest with yourself and if that means a few home truths, then so be it.

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Plan ahead and be realistic:

Woman study on pc

It‘s the exam week when things get really serious, when you have your seminar papers or your bachelor’s thesis to write. Proper time management and a cool head are also the be-all and end-all here. It is therefore extremely important to start preparing for papers and exams on time if you want to wrap up your semester successfully.

Todo lists, study plans and an organized timetable will help you keep track of this over the course of the semester. There are also various apps and digital study aids to make it easier for you to plan and study. These include Asana und Any.Do (for plans and to-do lists), Pocket (for storing content), getAbstract (for concise summaries) and StudySmarter (for optimum exam preparation).

When preparing for exams, don’t give yourself too much to do and plan your study workload according to what you can do in order to avoid stress during your studies. Anyone who studies to the point of total exhaustion is not doing themselves any favours.

Be honest with yourself here too – break down your workload into manageable bite-sized tasks and split the days up. It helps to be self-aware and to know when you are at your most productive when studying or writing.

Study in the way that is easiest for you:

So what is your learning style? Knowing this is the key to using each of your study sessions really effectively.

  • Auditory learning style:
    You remember things best when you hear them.
  • Visual learning style:
    You learn best when you can visualize the material in your mind’s eye.
  • Communicative learning style:
    The easiest way to remember the exam material is to exchange ideas with others.
  • Motor learning type:
    When studying, you walk up and down or remembers sequences very easily.

Sourcing materials and dealing with authorities

Woman in university
To–do lists, study plans and an organized timetable will help you keep track

Every semester brings with it lots of new learning material, books, lecture notes, etc. That can cost a lot. So that your piggy bank stays full and you have enough money left over for the fun things in student life, we’ll tell you where and how you can get your reading material cheaply. Almost every university has its own Facebook groups and/or book exchanges for used books and notes.

But platforms like Bonavendi and Skriptefix are also a source of  books etc. And of course you can use our Thalia student discount.

Leave yourself enough time to spare

When planning your semester, you should also think about dealing with authorities and red tape. It’s annoying, but it can be worth it. For example, when it comes to getting support to fund your studies. As a student, you can, for example, top up your coffers with various grants such as study grants or housing grants.

In addition, bursaries open up many great opportunities. So act promptly and draw up a plan of everything you need to do in the red tape department.

Feel-good places for your semester planning and for studying

We plan and study especially well in our personal happy place. If you want to stay on the ball throughout the semester, it’s a good idea to find a few productive favourite places to study.  Whether that’s at your desk at home, in the university library, in your favourite café or in the open air is entirely up to you.

The only important thing is to create an environment that helps you concentrate and does not distract you. For successful semester planning, it is also essential that you use your time in the best possible way. For example, by always keeping your to-do list up to date, observing deadlines and not giving in to the phenomenon of procrastination.

Breaks, variety and rewards

In addition to continuous learning and good semester planning, it’s also important to allow yourself enough breaks and to reward yourself after the work is done. A productive study session deserves a pleasant evening. It doesn’t matter whether you like to spend it (virtually) with friends, curl up on the couch or do some more sport, just do it.

After all, tomorrow is another day and your work-life balance is important.

Woman with coffee
Use your time wisely and take breaks

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Bernhard Bauer

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