Dad: Planning is good, plans are bad!
Yep..it's bad if you don't act fast and STICK TO THE PLAN.
Now we start with
Usually at the start of a semester when you have ample time, not much work yet, and a fresh start.
Why use it?
Well..it's Plan A..so it's supposed to be the first plan to be used. XD
What & how?
The plan is divided into several parts and should be carried out as follows:
The early days of classes are supposedly the most important ones because that's when you receive the basic knowledge of subjects. For instance, in maths, if you're studying differentiation, you will learn the basic steps of differentiation and then will go on to learning second derivative, the chain rule, and so on. If you can't even do basic differentiation, how do you think you're supposed to do the latter? Well..I learned my lesson by sleeping almost everyday of my early class of additional mathematics..got myself an E (fail was F) for the first test. Your focus is vital. Making a habit of not focusing from the start will not do you good.
Writing notes is one of the most sure-fire way of making yourself the next best student! You know why?? I did post about it here: Simple Stuff To Help Us Study
Basically, making notes develops your understanding even further and helps during revision. However, just copying directly from the whiteboard (or black/greenboard) is not the same as making notes. It helps but if you don't understand a thing you're writing, you're basically doomed. :P
Having a lot of time in your hands, why not do some more revision? After class, spend some time on a bit of exercises. I know it's tiring after a day of classes but a bit of revision helps a long way. Besides that, they say if you don't revise what you've learned within 24 hours, 80% of it will disappear. So, do your brain a favour of not chucking everything inside it the very last minute by retaining those memories earlier on. Isn't that smarter?
Done with notes..done with exercises..why not ask for more? It's not wrong to be greedy in learning (I think). If you have the Internet, find more information to boost your understanding of what you study or just to know more. Sometimes, knowing a bit more about what you learn can make you more interested in the subject. I have a list of links at my sidebar to your right (Study Aid) that might be able to help you in this. Make studying more interactive. :D
Feeling that there's a lot of free time? Yeah, it's really boring if you just stay indoors (or even outdoors) studying, studying and...studying. You can become very intelligent, but at the same time, not develop practical soft skills like leadership, management and teamwork if you don't participate in co-curricular activities (i.e. scouts, religious groups, debate, sports, etc). At least if you do, you can release some tension buried in those muscles of yours after hours and hours in front of your textbook or laptops. But be careful, you will not have the same free time you're having now when time flies. If you pick up too many responsibilities, you might end up with sleepless nights and that will not do you good, plus: you might need a newer plan..