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How much time do you spend outside of class studying?

student899student899 Registered User Posts: 17 Junior Member
edited May 2018 in College Life
I'll be an incoming freshman this fall, and I was wondering what amount of time is the norm for college students to spend studying each day outside of classes? How much time do you personally spend studying and doing assignments each day?

Replies to: How much time do you spend outside of class studying?

  • birdie3birdie3 Registered User Posts: 172 Junior Member
    It's going to depend on the class and the your strengths. However, the rule of thumb is one hour in class 3 hours outside of class. This is just an estimate as some classes you will not need all of the time and others you might need more.
  • zannahzannah Registered User Posts: 1,088 Senior Member
    The 1 hour of class with 3 hours of study is the traditional ratio. Why? You will be held responsible for information in the text book, required readings, and anything else on the syllabus. Faculty present material that they deem particularly relevant to the topic. Pay close attention and take careful notes. Take down anything put on the board. You will need to expand your class notes with information from texts. Unless the faculty person specifically excludes something, you are responsible for learning it.

    Think of a college class as a major independent study with class moving you along through content. An earlier class is a prerequisite for mastering class content at a higher level. If you dont do well at a lower level class, you will encounter material that you should have learned earlier but didn't. Making up missing material adds greatly to the time required to learn course content of the higher level class. Unlike high school where classes are more stand alone and content is directly taught, college classes are designed to guide you to acquiring the skills and knowledge to become prepared for working in your chosen field. Grades on your transcript indicate proficiency in your area and are markers of potential for success professionally and in graduate college.

    Think of college as a farm and you take as much time as needed to harvest your crop. How much of the field is harvested corresponds to the profit you will earn.
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 12,468 Forum Champion
    edited May 2018
    Believe it or not, the goverrment has rules on this. For every class academic hour, you are expected to study/read/do homework for a minimum of 2 additional hours. So for a 3 credit class, for the 3 hours/per week you are in the classroom, you are expected to do at least 6 additional hours outside the classroom.
    Credit hour: Except as provided in 34 CFR 668.8(k) and (l), a credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than—

    (1) One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or

    (2) At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.
    https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=ae813138f65c93bd81a17b66d59d067d&mc=true&node=pt34.3.600&rgn=div5#se34.3.600_12

    So assume that your normal 15 credits = 15 academic hours (i.e., 50 minutes) in class and 30 hours out of class per week = 45 hours/week...treat it like a full time job.
  • zannahzannah Registered User Posts: 1,088 Senior Member
    Yes, studying is like a full-time job with regular overtime. Students may equate the hours of class time with the time time spent on studying. Colleges have not reduced the number of class hours so students have more time to party or watch favorite television shows. Equating studying with socializing or enjoying your pursuits is the golden road to academic probation. Had a nursing major who hated physiology unless she studied while watching her favorite soaps. She expressed concern that she wasn't learning course content despite limiting enjoyment of watching television. College is fun so be sure to earn the grades needed to stay.
  • MandalorianMandalorian Registered User Posts: 1,754 Senior Member
    Entirely depends on the class. Some classes are going to need more and others less. There is no fixed amount. You have to prioritize your time as well.
  • elodyCOHelodyCOH Registered User Posts: 309 Member
    I had gone back to school as an adult for a couple of years (sadly didn’t get to finish). But I managed to keep a solid 4.0 by treating it like a job. I always took classes between 8 and noon, Monday through Friday if I could possibly manage it. I would eat a quick lunch and then stay at the library doing homework and reading until 5. I rarely had to do anything beyond that. Having the discipline from working full-time definitely helped. It amazed me at how many people struggled in classes. All they had to do was read the material, go to class, and turn in all the homework. If you did a reasonable job on that, you likely will do decently well in the class. I saw a lot of student skipping classes, and others who just didn’t read the books. If you do that in college, expect poor results.
  • ccprofandmomof2ccprofandmomof2 Registered User Posts: 376 Member
    @elodyCOH is why we love our "returning" students so much! So right!
  • sta3535sta3535 Registered User Posts: 270 Junior Member
    edited June 2018
    In college, it's probably a good idea to start studying at least a week in advance before your midterms & finals all while keeping up on your regular school work. But first, you should get everything organized before you study. You should also start off with minimal studying and gradually work your way up: (a 1/4 of the day, a 1/2 day, and eventually, most of the day depending on how comfortable you feel and how much content there is to memorize). Taking breaks in between studying helps too. You can't just jump into long study sessions when your finals are a week away, unless if the test is a week early or if you're comfortable doing that. Over-stressing about your finals can occur from this. Cramming is also not recommended. For smaller tests/quizzes, they may or may not need as much preparation as finals, but it all depends on the type of test.

    Overall, studying is not everyone's favorite activity, it's just something that needs to be done. It takes some motivation to actually go through with it. Procrastination is also silent killer because it's so easy to fall into that trap.
  • privatebankerprivatebanker Registered User Posts: 2,406 Senior Member
    The biggest threat is waiting to the last minute to start a paper. Especially if it has specific Chicago style recitations etc.
  • student899student899 Registered User Posts: 17 Junior Member
    Thank you all so much for your input and advice! Everyone's responses has been helpful :)
  • rickle1rickle1 Registered User Posts: 1,353 Senior Member
    Recurring theme - treat it like a job!. You will have far less time in class than HS. You will have more free time (if you went from school to sports to activity to homework, etc. (I remember S would leave at 7am and not get home until around 9pm most days , then shower, eat, homework. It's not like that. You have lots of time to get things done BUT you need to be organized to get things done.

    I recommend a daily planner. Schedule time to study. Could be in between classes, before classes, right after classes, etc. Just build a system that works for you and you'll find it manageable.
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