Friday, February 17, 2012

Study Schedule Analysis

For those of you in college, you need to be aware of the large amount of time it will take out of your schedule to do study.   For the purpose of this discussion let us assume study is defined as all of the work you will need to do outside of the classroom in order to achieve your target grades.  For those of you hoping to be admitted to a graduate program, beware that you will need outstanding grades.  Do your homework and find out what the requirements are because this will determine the time requirements for each person.  Study activities include homework, papers, research, reading, and test study. 
            If you are taking a three credit hour class (which is standard) then you would expect to spend about 6 to 9 hours per week studying for that class. 5 classes times 10 hours study per class equals 50 total study hours.  Remember the ratio is 2:1 meaning you should spend twice as much time studying as sitting in the class.  This is an average and some classes are much harder and some much easier.  You will need to quickly determine the amount of work each class will demand.  After you have done this you can then do the work necessary to figure out your study schedule. 
Let’s assume you had the following “typical” schedule.  You will work 20 hours a week Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.   Assuming you have a full load of five classes you would need to study at least 45 hours to do well academically.  Where would you put the 50 hours?

There were 63 total hours of time available for study leaving (assuming no more commitments) 13 hours of “free time.”  How do you feel about the prospect of only 13 hours of free time? Which day would be the most challenging for you and why?
If you didn’t have to work and lived on campus, how much time would you get back as “free time?” would there be time for an additional class?  If you did one additional class each semester, you would finish a semester early.   Is this something you would want?