When it comes to higher education, it’s difficult to know just how much time you should dedicate to your studies. Without the structure of school or college to frame your week, how should you go about managing your time to ensure you’re studying in a sustainable and healthy way?
Many experts suggest treating higher education qualifications and university courses like a full time job, which equates on average to 40 hours per week - 8 hours per day, 5 days per week. This allows students to dedicate significant time to their work while still having evenings and weekends as leisure time.
Here at Platinum Education Services, we’d suggest using this as a starting template and adapting it to suit your learning habits and lifestyle. This could be adapting the 40 hour guideline in various ways:
Time of day
If you’re a night owl, for example, you may wish to tweak the 9am-5pm model to match your most productive hours, leaving the mornings free for rest and leisure. Similarly, if you know that you produce your best work in the mornings, use this to your advantage by scheduling in your study time for the early hours. Everyone works differently and the more you embrace your strengths, the more successful your work hours will become.
You may have commitments in the week like clubs or social events. If the times of these activities clash with the template 9am-5pm schedule, tweak your study hours to fit around your commitments. This could mean getting ahead of your work in the few days prior, or committing an extra hour or two in the days following.
Number of study hours
The average student is able to complete their studies each week within 40 hours, however, every student is different. Depending on your pace of working and your familiarity with particular study topics, you may require a greater or fewer number of hours for your studies. It’s important to be flexible with the amount of time you set aside and realistic with how you’re feeling about certain subjects. Your study time each week might vary depending on what you’re covering in class or if you have assessments to prepare for.
Length of study session
If you struggle to work for extended periods, it’s a good idea to break your studies up into sessions. You can split your time up into 2-3 hour time slots with breaks in between to refresh your mind. Alternatively, dividing your workload into tasks can help to make your studies more manageable. For example, if you have a lot of reading to get through, why not take a few chapters or sources at a time and take breaks in between each set of tasks?
However you choose to manage your time, remember to be realistic with your plans and ensure you take plenty of breaks. It’s important to enjoy leisure time as well as studying, so be forgiving and flexible with your schedule.
For more information about managing your studies and what to expect in higher education, contact us at Platinum Education Services today. We’d love to hear from you.