Calculating Study Time
Many college students will tell you that one of the most important things they learned in their first year of college was how to study. In high school it is often possible to get by without the best study skills, but not so in college. You will find yourself required to memorize and understand a lot of new material, sometimes about subjects you have absolutely no experience in. So it is important to both learn how to study, and to budget enough time for the task.
So how many hours of studying is necessary? There are many different answers to that question, and it depends on the classes you are taking. But a good rule of thumb is that you should spend two or three hours studying for each credit hour you take. So if you are taking a three credit hour class (which is standard) then you would expect to spend about 6 to 9 hours per week studying for that class. Just to clarify, in this example studying includes homework, reading, projects, and everything else you have to do for a college class.
That sounds like a lot of study time, and it is. Again, however, that is only the average number hours of studying for college courses. Lower-level classes and classes on subjects you know well and will take up much less of your time, while higher-level and unfamiliar classes can take up more. Some subjects are inherently work-intensive, especially ones like English that require you to write a lot of papers. And each class will fluctuate from week to week. The week after a test you might have almost no work to do, but the week before a big test or paper is due you might spend a good portion of your time on one class.
So 2 to 3 hours per credit is an average, something to help you budget your time effectively. If you multiply that by 15 credit hours, the typical semester load for a college student, you get 30 to 45 hours of studying per week. Chances are you will find yourself on the lower end of that, however, especially if you have good study skills. But either way, that means you are going to have to find a lot of time to devote to studying every week.