How many hours should you dedicate to studying each week in college? For a long time, the rule of thumb has been for every 1 hour that you spend in lecture, you should spend 2-3 hours outside of lecture studying.
I’m not buying that.
I don’t ever remember spending that much time studying in nursing school. Do I think that some students need to spend 32+ hours a week studying? Of course. But I don’t believe there is a single number of hours that is going to work for everyone.
We all have different circumstances, schedules, goals, priorities, and aspirations. We also have different learning style and reading speeds. All of those things are going to play into how much time you can and will spend studying each week to prepare for your classes.
While I can’t give a definitive answer on the exact amount of hours you should study each week as a college student, I will be offering up some guidance on how to come up with the right amount of hours for your life.
#1 Stop Wasting All Your Time Searching For The Perfect Amount of Study Hours
Stop wasting your time trying to find a magic number of study hours, there isn’t one. You didn’t enroll in college to beat some kind of hours spent studying world record. You’re there to get educated, to learn some cool ass shit, to be challenged, to expose yourself to some different schools of thought and learn some new skills that will make you better as a person.
#2 There are Many Different Factors that Will Impact the Amount of Time You Spend Studying Outside of the Classroom.
The first factor being the amount of time you can physically spend studying. There are only so many hours in a week. You’re going to have to decide how much of that time school is going to get.
Most of you that watch my videos are full-time workers. You might only have 10-15 hours per week to study outside of class.
The second-factor are your personal priorities and academic goals. While time spent studying doesn’t automatically correlate with a certain grade, your intent for college absolutely affects your studying approach. This in turn affects the amount of time you spend studying.
If you want all A’s, most of your time will be spent studying unless you learn more effective study strategies. If you want A’, B’s and an occasional C because what you care about is getting involved on campus, networking and building up some work skills, you’re not going to spend as much time studying.
#3 Almost Everything You Do in College is Part of the Studying Process
The studying process is there to help you achieve one main goal, to learn. Because in case you forgot, that’s what you’re in college to do.
You’re actually spending more time studying than you think you are. Studying is anything you do that helps you learn material. Studying is the process of acquiring knowledge that you can use later to solve problems, make decisions and take advantage of opportunities. So when you’re in lecture taking notes, you’re studying, when you’re doing homework you’re studying, when you’re relistening to lecture you’re studying, when you’re writing papers you’re studying, when you attend tutoring sessions or study groups you’re studying.
It all counts.
Are there certain study methods and activities that are more effective than others, absolutely. There have been tons of research studies proving this, many of these studies you can find in the book “Make it Stick” the science of successful learning. And as you probably know the more effective something is, the more time it saves you. The more effective something is, the better it is at helping you achieve your goal. It might not make it easier but it will definitely make it simpler.
How Do You Cut Down or Make The Most of the Time You Have to Study?
If you really wanted to cut down on the amount of time you’re currently studying or for my working college girls, if you want to make the most of the time you do have to study the only way to do it is to develop more effective study skills.
You need to begin investing time learning how the brain learns things, how to pull out main ideas, how to think critically, how to simplify what you’re learning, test yourself and practice using what you’re learning. Because that is what the professors are going to expect of you throughout the semester.
If you want to learn some simple and effective study strategies I encourage you to check out The Rock@College System which is the step-by-step blueprint I created to help you get better grades without the stress overwhelm and lack of social life.
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