Schedule to Succeed : Beware of Scheduling Traps

A powerful and nuanced aspect of college-student life is your ability to create your own schedule. You decide which classes to take, what times to attend these classes, what you will do to learn, and when to study. This is an awesome level of autonomy. However, with great power comes great responsibility. By enrolling in a college course, you sign up to learn at an accelerated pace. In each of your college classes, you will be asked to perform under challenging circumstances on assignments, quizzes, exams, projects, term papers, and during in-class discussions. At the end of the term, your teachers will likely assign your final grade based on your performance on submitted work. Part of accomplishing your academic goals is to acknowledge that learning takes time. When designing a course schedule, it is very easy to underestimate the amount of time you will need to accomplish your academic goals. In this post, we discuss some strategies you might use to avoid common scheduling traps.

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Schedule to Succeed: Plan to Fudge It Up

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Before each term begins, colleges ask students to sign up for classes. If you are a student who wants to routinely set and achieve your academic goals, your scheduling decisions are crucial to your long-term success. Unfortunately, schools seldom provide useful guidance on how to think about this high-impact decision. In this post, I break down a subtle aspect of making a class schedule. Specifically, I highlight the concept of a fudge ratio which quantifies the difference between how much time you budget for a task and how much time the task actually takes. We will use this work in later posts on scheduling traps, creating academic calendars, and making your institution work for you.

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