A question that we are commonly asked here at ILSPA is how much time is needed to complete one of our courses. People want – or, probably more accurately, need – to know the study time required for their desired course before they embark on it. That way they know they are able to commit to the work needed to gain their qualification. However, establishing the time required is just the first step. Here is our guide to finding the time to manage your course along with your other commitments.
Set yourself a time frame and create a timetable
It is important to have an end goal in mind. Look to see when your deadline is and decide when exactly you want to have your work completed to make sure you can meet that date. It is advisable to finish your work before the actual deadline. Always give yourself a bit of leeway (even if it’s just a week or so) in case something unexpected occurs. Work out how many hours a week you need to set aside to meet that time frame. It is normally easier to find small portions of time in your schedule rather than longer stretches. For example, we advise setting aside eight hours a week for your Legal Secretaries Diploma to allow you to complete it in about six months.
When you have worked out how many hours you need to set aside, evaluate them to make sure this is actually doable, and adjust if necessary. For example, you may “want” to finish the course in three months, but if you work full time, putting aside 16 hours a week might not be realistic with your other responsibilities. Don’t set yourself up to fail.
When working out your timetable, look at your other commitments within that time frame too. If you have a holiday, a big work deadline or a family engagement, make allowances in your timetable.
Know what type of Student you are
Individuals study best in different ways. Some people can dip in and out of their studies, working best in small bursts of time; others need to set aside a large block and concentrate on that one thing. It might take you a couple of weeks to work out what kind of learner you are, especially if you are returning to education for the first time in a while, but once you think you know, factor it into your timetable. If you can work in small bursts, maybe utilise pockets of unused time you have already, such as your train journey or your lunch break. If you need long blocks of time, you can put aside a whole evening/afternoon a week. Knowing how you study best ensures your allocated study time is always productive.
Review your time frame and timetable
If you often find that you haven’t managed to keep to your study timetable, don’t be afraid to review it. If your circumstances change, adjust your time frame accordingly. A study plan is important not just to allow you to work through your course steadily and in an organised manner, but also to give you the leeway to accommodate unforeseen circumstances.
Don’t leave things till the last minute
A study timetable can be brought in at any time during your studies; it does not necessarily need to have been in place from the moment of your enrolment. However, in order for it to be useful, you cannot leave your studies until the last minute – that will mean you will almost certainly have to rush them. Rushed work is unlikely to be your best effort. Being short of time will also mean that you will not have had the opportunity to check through your work properly. If any unexpected issues occur, you will not have the leeway to work around them. For these reasons a study timetable and predetermined time frame are fantastic tools for managing your studies.
If you would like further information about our courses, including the Legal Secretaries Diploma course, please visit the courses page on our website.