The 5 Day Study Plan

Shared by Dr. Hannah Snyder, Assistant Professor of Psychology

The 5-Day Study Plan helps you prepare for an exam, and puts into practice what we know about how
people learn and remember. The plan structures studying by forcing you to divide the exam material into
small chunks, space your learning over a period of days, utilize active study strategies, and use self-testing
strategies to monitor your learning.

STEP 1. Divide the Material

Use the table provided to list the material that will be covered in the exam under their respective
headings (chapters, lecture topics, outside readings, other).

STEP 2. 5-Day Study Plan
  • Space your studying by taking the material you just identified and divided and schedule what day it will be studied.  Use the day by day worksheet to assist you.

Tip: When choosing what material to cover in the same day, try to group like material together.
For example, if a lecture topic and reading cover the same concept, add them to the same day of
your study plan.

• Plan active study strategies: Then, plan what strategies you will use to either prepare or review the
material assigned for each day. Use the handout ‘Active Study Strategies’ for examples.

Tip: You should have the material spaced out throughout the schedule so you are preparing
(creating flashcards, practice tests etc.) and reviewing material (studying flashcards, taking
practice tests etc.) as you go along. For example, on Day 1 you can prepare Chapter 1 and then
on Day 2 you can review Chapter 1 and prepare Chapter 2.

Preparation Strategies = putting the information in a format that is easier to learn and remember
Review strategies = practice the material you prepared, and self-test to monitor your learning


● Create your 5-Day Study Plan as soon as you can for an exam. If the exam is covering a lot of material or
material you are not very comfortable with, you may realize you need to add more days to your study
plan. Creating the plan early helps you account for this.

● Try to complete some of the preparation strategies as you are learning the material so you can focus on
review strategies before an exam.

● The study plan helps you space out and commit to a study schedule for an exam. However, if you miss a
day or realize you need to commit more time to a particular piece of material, you can modify the plan
to meet your needs.

● You can adapt the 5-Day Study Plan to prepare for papers and projects.