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How much time should I realistically spend studying in college?

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Im going into college next year (2021) and right now during high school I don't spend a large amount of time studying. I wanted to know so I could start changing my habits during my last year of Highschool. #general #july20 #studying

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John’s Answer

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Aldair for most individuals, college will provide the biggest challenge of their academic career. And even though it usually takes two or four years to a college degree, it only takes one semester to sink a GPA or substantially delay graduation. Therefore, it’s important to brush up on study habits – or even learn new ones – before college begins. After all, students can expect to spend anywhere from 20 to 30 hours per week studying in college, and it’s important to make every one of those hours count.

Up until this point, your classes have probably been in a classroom setting with one teacher per 25-30 students, give or take a few students depending on your school. This classroom setup allows ample opportunity for students to ask questions and get some one-on-one attention from the teacher. In college, the class size will differ per university and per class, but you’re very likely to have at least a few college classes that take place in a large lecture hall. This provides a completely different way of learning. There will be a few hundred students per one professor, you’ll only have a small pop-up desk at the side of your chair in an auditorium to take notes and exams on, and there will be less opportunity to ask questions during a class (though professors usually try to answer as many questions as they can).

LEARN HOW TO STUDY FOR COLLEGE

TAKE NOTES – Note taking is a staple study skill, even in this age of apps, smartphones and tablets. Whether it’s dictating into a device, typing on a laptop or writing with pen and paper, students will have to be able to take information they see or hear and place it in written form. As information comes so quickly, students should learn how to glean key information and ignore less important points or those they can access at a later time.

GET ORGANIZED – Organization is essential to keep track of the obligations, assignments and responsibilities in college. Even the best time managements skills will be useless if students can’t keep track of what they have due and when. Remember, organization is very personalized. Whether it’s a paper agenda, digital calendar or small notebook, students must find a way to stay organized that works for them.

MEMORIZATION – The ability to memorize large amounts of information will be useful to create a strong foundation for learning more substantive concepts. Whether memorizing foreign vocabulary words or scientific formulas, students must find ways to repeat large amounts of information. To aid in memorization, students must figure out what strategies work best for them, such as creating mnemonics, flashcards, outlines or taking special notes.

TIME MANAGEMENT – Making efficient use of time will be one of the most important skills a college student can have. There is a way to fit it classes, studying and a social life, though sacrifices might need to be made. Even when a student cuts back on social activities to focus on school, careful management of that free time is critical. Students will need to organize their studying to fit into the time and resources available, such as that 10-minute window between classes.

AVOID THESE COMMON FRESHMAN MISTAKES

MISSING CLASS – This is especially common among freshmen who are enjoying new-found independence. Without Mom to wake you up and Dad to enforce curfew, it’s easy to party like a rock star then hit the snooze button. If possible, schedule your larger classes for later in the day.The temptation to sleep through an auditorium-style course can be strong if you think the professor won’t notice your absence. If you’re not a morning person, avoid the 8 a.m. classes! And it should go without saying that weeknight all-nighters should be reserved for cram sessions, not jam sessions.

OVER SCHEDULING – Eager freshmen can be quick to sign up for every activity under the sun as a means of making friends, avoiding homesickness or getting to know the campus. Give yourself some breathing room during your first semester by limiting your commitment to only one club, sport or activity. Also, don’t try to max out on the number of credit hours you can take. A regular course load will be tough enough as you navigate the campus, dorm life and new relationships.

NOT GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP
Being away from home and free to keep to any schedule often results in students staying up way too late and missing out on sleep. But studies show that college students who don’t go to bed or wake up at consistent times every day are more likely to have lower grades and be sick more often. Moreover, sleep deprivation increases the risk of depression, makes you more likely to commit errors and slows down your reaction time. The best option is to finish your scheduled tasks 3-4 days ahead of the deadline. This way, you’ll have enough time to proofread before submitting your papers.

Hope this was Helpful Aldair
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Angela D.’s Answer

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Please note that you don't need to study harder, but smarter (please see explanation and website below). By doing so, you will free up a little more time for: precious sleep (crucial for memory formation/retention/retrieval); some exercise (endorphins are hormones/chemicals released by the brain that can relieve pain and stress); and more opportunities to prepare nutritious meals (you need brain food!). Some visual folks do well with homemade flashcards (word or question on the front, answer on the back) or condensing notes into blurbs that fit on a two-sided page so that they can "remember" what the two sides "look" like. Others are more auditory, so reading notes aloud or listening to previous lectures prompts recall later. Mnemonics (a pattern of letters, ideas, or associations that assists in remembering something) can also be helpful. Pacing yourself is important. Watch some shows that are stress relievers like comedy!

A brief summary of smarter studying is to eliminate multi-tasking and engage in high intensity habits (pre-testing, spaced practice, self-quizzing, interleaving practice, and paraphrasing/reflecting). Short term mastery can be attained with easier, less effective studying techniques...which may be enough to get you through a quiz/test, but not for long term memory/mastery.

https://www.edutopia.org/article/5-research-backed-studying-techniques
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Abby’s Answer

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Hi Aldair! It's awesome that you're thinking of ways to change your study habits, and I know for me it took a bit of time to get into a routine. It's hard for me to say hour-wise what a good study amount is, but a good strategy is focusing on reviewing a bit each day. For example, every day, or every other day for easier classes, you could review your notes and highlight what you need more help on. For reading-heavy classes, I would review the reading closer to class day instead of reading days in advance (so it was still fresh in my mind). Take advantage of your professors' syllabus to pace yourself and see ahead in terms of upcoming tests/papers. Knowing these milestones helped me prioritize which tasks to do first. This way, you also know what material to focus on when studying, since covering everything is pretty difficult. Hope this helped, good luck!
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Keith’s Answer

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It depends on what type of learner you are and your course load. Some classes will require only 1 hour per evening, but a general rule of thumb is to dedicate at least 2-4 hours per night (including reading). You should plan to parse your work to manage your time effectively.
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Gina’s Answer

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I think this is a subjective question-- I would typically say 1-2h/night, but everyone is different. And every major is different. I found working for my department major was way more beneficial than hitting the books. The hands on experience went much further.
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