Keeping in Time

Proper Time Management Strategies

Consider how you can use your time more effectively!

Consider how you can use your time more effectively!

Madison Barrass, Grammar Editor

As the end-of-year testing begins approaching, many students have expressed their concerns over how to stay organized. With exams within days of one another, it is easy to become stressed or overwhelmed. Proper management of time and the use of resources is critical for passing and excelling on the various upcoming exams. 


Proper time management is no doubt one of the most critical aspects for achieving your goals, whether educational or not. Understanding that there needs to be allotted time for each subject, and time for yourself, is valuable. Several students have found that they want to just “push through” exhaustion and work until the assignment is completed or when they have potentially overstudied. However, those long nights cramming will likely not be of benefit. Pacing yourself using the “read, review, repeat” method is typically the most effective way to prepare for exams, especially larger ones. Each step is given a specific day, which helps avoid the feeling of being overwhelmed with information. The concept of “reading” involves skimming through the information that will be tested whether that is looking over one’s notes or textbook. “Review” is when one takes a deeper look into the information that will be tested. “Repeat” involves repetition of the assigned readings and reviewed material, with extra focus on harder or more detailed material. Giving extra time for higher-level classes is a better use of time than spending an equal amount of time on classes one does not struggle with. This technique allows students to get a better understanding of the material and allows time for them to ask their teacher to clarify aspects that are still confusing. 


Pushing through exhaustion, especially when studying, is rarely effective. Higher-level classes often require attention to detail. Cramming at midnight the morning of a test is not the best way to remember that information. Preparing to make time to study in shorter periods over a few days will allow for greater retention of material. According to, “Once information becomes a part of long-term memory, you’re more likely to remember it. If you want to improve the odds of recalling course material by the time of an exam (or a future class), try reviewing it a little bit every day.” Taking in information over time will decrease that sense of dread and panic the night before exams and quizzes, and will likely help you be more relaxed for the big day. 


Sleep is also a critical factor for high-performance levels. Studying late decreases the ability and motivation to do well on the quiz or test the next day. According to, “The average amount of sleep that teenagers get is between 7 and 7 ¼ hours. However, they need between 9 and 9 ½ hours (studies show that most teenagers need exactly 9 ¼ hours of sleep.” This lack of sleep can contribute to lower retention levels and lack of attention in class.  


Using the resources available to students is also beneficial and independent. Khan Academy has great help for various subjects, especially math and several AP courses. Somerset also offers various tutoring programs, where students can help others. Talking to teachers is another great way to get direct information for exam preparation. They know best about what will be tested on and how you learn individually, so seeing them outside of class can help you get a deeper understanding of course material. They are there to help, so students should never feel ashamed or embarrassed if they are confused and need that extra push. 


Time for yourself that does NOT involve studying is necessary for decompression. Immersing yourself in schoolwork can destroy time for family and friends. Taking time away from enjoyment is not healthy or wise, and can often lead to burnout. The value of downtime is equally as important as proper time management. Planning for time to relax is just as necessary as time for studying. 


“It’s important to take time for studying to make sure your grades stay up and tests and quizzes are easier. However, it is important to find a good balance and take time for yourself to not burnout. A burned-out mind does not do well.” says Julie Dzierwa, 10th grade.