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Hours to Spend on Studying

by edgab

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For students attending college on-campus, it is highly recommended that they spend 2-3 hours studying each week for every 1 hour they are in class.  If the course is difficult, study closer to 3 hours and for easier courses, it’s 2 hours.

Here’s an example:

Billy’s Business Management 103 class occurs twice a week.  Each class is 50 minutes long.  He is in class about 2 hours each week.  2 (hours in class per week) x 2 (hours studying)= 4.  Therefore, he should be studying 4 hours a week for this one course.

Taking online courses is slightly different because you don’t necessarily “attend” class.  However, the equations pretty much the same.  Here’s how to figure out how often you should study each week: 

  • Figure out the number of credits you are taking.  Take that number and
  • Multiply by 2 if it’s an easy course or a 100-level course or
  • Multiply by 3 if it’s difficult or a 200-level course and above.

Crazy? A little.  Accurate? Very much.  Get a grasp on how much you study using this quick exercise.


How Do You Spend Your Time?

Think about a typical week.  Grab scrap paper and write down the number of hours you spend per week on each of the following tasks:

  • Sleeping
  • Eating at Home
  • Eating Out
  • Paid Work
  • Volunteer Work
  • Commuting
  • Watching TV
  • Attending Class (this includes watching a live or recorded webinar)
  • Studying (this includes completing homework assignments, posting to discussion boards, etc.)
  • Exercising
  • Talking on the Phone
  • Cleaning/Household Chores
  • Running Errands
  • Hanging out with Friends
  • Using the Computer for Non-School Related Things (Email, Facebook, Games, Pinterest)
  • Shopping
  • Others (Write each one out so you know what it is 😆 )

Now add up all the number of hours.  This is your estimated hours spent on each activity.  Where are you overdoing it?  There are 168 hours in a week.  Do you have more?  Less?


To see how your estimation matches how you actually spend your week, use this worksheet and record how you spend the next 7 days.  When you are done, compare it to your estimation.  Are you studying as much as you should?  Where are you spending the majority of your time?  What surprised you the most?  The least?

Share your comments on what you found and check back for tips to help you manage your time.

Hey! Any thoughts?