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If you want to know how much work you should be doing in college, there is a helpful rule of thumb. For every credit hour per week, you should be studying two to three hours outside of class per week. So for a 3 credit hour class, you will want to spend somewhere between six and nine hours of studying each week on your own.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to spend six to nine hours straight in the library every week, for every class. If you try that approach, you will quickly start to feel burnt out. Instead, your study time could be comprised of short (20 to 30 minute) study exercises that you can fit into your daily schedule. These short study exercises can be as simple as typing up your notes in the evening or reading the first pages of the next chapter before lunch.
Your professor will assign work outside of class. However, you will also have to assign yourself some work. Working on the material outside of class ensures you will understand it. No one likes feeling lost the day before a big exam. Creating a schedule and studying consistently will ensure you are well-prepared for evaluations. But what kind of work can you assign yourself?
Below we’ve listed some suggestions for short exercises that you can add to your weekly schedule. Choose three or more of the suggestions below. Then select a day and time this week that you plan to complete these tasks.
Ask yourself: What day can I do this task, and what time will I do it? How long do I think this task will take me? Making a plan to complete these tasks is the first step towards building good study habits and developing a study routine for your courses.