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First-Generation Students

Plan Your Workload

Sara Farris, Associate Professor
College of Humanities and Social Sciences


      When you’re planning your semester schedule, assume that you’ll need to invest two homework hours for every credit hour—not every class, every credit hour.  Most classes are worth three credits, so you should plan on six study hours per week per class if you want to excel, and you do want to excel or you wouldn’t be in college at all.  So let’s say you’re taking four classes, at three credits each; that’s 12 credits and 24 homework hours per week, for a total of 36 hours of class time and homework combined.  That’s almost a full-time job! 
If that sounds like too much, if you already know you don’t have 36 hours to give to school each week, because of a job or family obligations, then take fewer classes.  Three classes, at nine credit hours, would require about 18 homework hours for a total of 27 school hours per week.   You’d rather take fewer classes at a time and get the grades you want than take more classes than you can master.
And when you’re arranging class times, aim to leave a gap between at least two classes so you’ll have time on campus when you’re not in class.  This is not just good study time, but time to meet with a professor or tutor, time to go to the library or computer lab, or time to meet with a study group.  It can be difficult to re-focus on school work once you’ve left campus, so more time on campus is more time focused on school work.

Sara Farris

 

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Last updated or reviewed on 9/30/14

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