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Student Study Time Matters
Most college students want to do well, but they don’t always know what is required to do well. Finding and spending quality study time is one of the first and most important skills that your student can master, but it's rarely as simple as it sounds.
If a student is struggling in class, one of the first questions I ask is, “How much time do you spend studying?”
Although it’s not the only element, time spent studying is one of the basics, so it’s a good place to start. Once we examine time, we can move on to other factors such as how, where, what and when students are studying, but we start with time .
If your student is struggling , help them explore how much time they are spending on schoolwork.
How Much Is Enough?
Very often, a student’s answer to how much time they spend hitting the books doesn’t match the expectation that most professors have for college students. There’s a disconnect about “how much is enough?”
Most college classes meet for a number of “credit hours” – typically 3 or 4. The general rule of thumb (and the definition of credit hour adopted by the Department of Education) is that students should spend approximately 2–3 hours on outside-of-class work for each credit hour or hour spent in the classroom.
Therefore, a student taking five 3-credit classes spends 15 hours each week in class and should be spending 30 hours on work outside of class , or 45 hours/week total.
When we talk about this, I can see on students’ faces that for most of them this isn’t even close to their reality!
According to one survey conducted by the National Survey of Student Engagement, most college students spend an average of 10–13 hours/week studying, or less than 2 hours/day and less than half of what is expected. Only about 11% of students spend more than 25 hours/week on schoolwork.
Why Such a Disconnect?
Warning: math ahead!
It may be that students fail to do the math – or fail to flip the equation.
College expectations are significantly different from the actual time that most high school students spend on outside-of-school work, but the total picture may not be that far off. In order to help students understand, we crunch some more numbers.
Most high school students spend approximately 6 hours/day or 30 hours/week in school. In a 180 day school year, students spend approximately 1,080 hours in school. Some surveys suggest that the average amount of time that most high school students spend on homework is 4–5 hours/week. That’s approximately 1 hour/day or 180 hours/year. So that puts the average time spent on class and homework combined at 1,260 hours/school year.
Now let’s look at college: Most semesters are approximately 15 weeks long. That student with 15 credits (5 classes) spends 225 hours in class and, with the formula above, should be spending 450 hours studying. That’s 675 hours/semester or 1,350 for the year. That’s a bit more than the 1,260 in high school, but only 90 hours, or an average of 3 hours more/week.
The problem is not necessarily the number of hours, it's that many students haven’t flipped the equation and recognized the time expected outside of class.
In high school, students’ 6-hour school day was not under their control but they did much of their work during that time. That hour-or-so a day of homework was an add-on. (Some students definitely spend more than 1 hour/day, but we’re looking at averages.)
In college, students spend a small number of hours in class (approximately 15/week) and are expected to complete almost all their reading, writing and studying outside of class. The expectation doesn’t require significantly more hours; the hours are simply allocated differently – and require discipline to make sure they happen. What students sometimes see as “free time” is really just time that they are responsible for scheduling themselves.
Help Your Student Adjust to College Academics >
How to Fit It All In?
Once we look at these numbers, the question that students often ask is, “How am I supposed to fit that into my week? There aren’t enough hours!”
Again: more math.
I remind students that there are 168 hours in a week. If a student spends 45 hours on class and studying, that leaves 123 hours. If the student sleeps 8 hours per night (few do!), that’s another 56 hours which leaves 67 hours, or at least 9.5 hours/day for work or play.
Many colleges recommend that full-time students should work no more than 20 hours/week at a job if they want to do well in their classes and this calculation shows why.
Making It Work
Many students may not spend 30 or more hours/week studying, but understanding what is expected may motivate them to put in some additional study time. That takes planning, organizing and discipline. Students need to be aware of obstacles and distractions (social media, partying, working too many hours) that may interfere with their ability to find balance.
What Can My Student Do?
Here are a few things your student can try.
- Start by keeping a time journal for a few days or a week . Keep a log and record what you are doing each hour as you go through your day. At the end of the week, observe how you have spent your time. How much time did you actually spend studying? Socializing? Sleeping? Texting? On social media? At a job? Find the “time stealers.”
- Prioritize studying. Don’t hope that you’ll find the time. Schedule your study time each day – make it an appointment with yourself and stick to it.
- Limit phone time. This isn’t easy. In fact, many students find it almost impossible to turn off their phones even for a short time. It may take some practice but putting the phone away during designated study time can make a big difference in how efficient and focused you can be.
- Spend time with friends who study . It’s easier to put in the time when the people around you are doing the same thing. Find an accountability partner who will help you stay on track.
- If you have a job, ask if there is any flexibility with shifts or responsibilities. Ask whether you can schedule fewer shifts at prime study times like exam periods or when a big paper or project is due. You might also look for an on-campus job that will allow some study time while on the job. Sometimes working at a computer lab, library, information or check-in desk will provide down time. If so, be sure to use it wisely.
- Work on strengthening your time management skills. Block out study times and stick to the plan. Plan ahead for long-term assignments and schedule bite-sized pieces. Don’t underestimate how much time big assignments will take.
Being a full-time student is a full-time job. Start by looking at the numbers with your student and then encourage them to create strategies that will keep them on task.
With understanding and practice, your student can plan for and spend the time needed to succeed in college.
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Table of Contents
- Rhythm of the First Semester
- Tips from a Student on Making It Through the First Year
- Who Is Your First‑Year Student?
- Campus Resources: Your Cheat Sheet
- Handling Roommate Issues
- Study Time Matters
- The Importance of Professors and Advisors
- Should My Student Withdraw from a Difficult Course?
- Essential Health Conversations
- A Mental Health Game Plan for College Students and Families
- Assertiveness is the Secret Sauce
- Is Your Student at Risk for an Eating Disorder?
- Learning to Manage Money
- 5 Ways to Begin Career Prep in the First Year
- The Value of Outside Opportunities
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Three Penny Press
Students spend three times longer on homework than average, survey reveals
Sonya Kulkarni and Pallavi Gorantla | Jan 9, 2022
Graphic by Sonya Kulkarni
The National Education Association and the National Parent Teacher Association have suggested that a healthy number of hours that students should be spending can be determined by the “10-minute rule.” This means that each grade level should have a maximum homework time incrementing by 10 minutes depending on their grade level (for instance, ninth-graders would have 90 minutes of homework, 10th-graders should have 100 minutes, and so on).
As ‘finals week’ rapidly approaches, students not only devote effort to attaining their desired exam scores but make a last attempt to keep or change the grade they have for semester one by making up homework assignments.
High schoolers reported doing an average of 2.7 hours of homework per weeknight, according to a study by the Washington Post from 2018 to 2020 of over 50,000 individuals. A survey of approximately 200 Bellaire High School students revealed that some students spend over three times this number.
The demographics of this survey included 34 freshmen, 43 sophomores, 54 juniors and 54 seniors on average.
When asked how many hours students spent on homework in a day on average, answers ranged from zero to more than nine with an average of about four hours. In contrast, polled students said that about one hour of homework would constitute a healthy number of hours.
Junior Claire Zhang said she feels academically pressured in her AP schedule, but not necessarily by the classes.
“The class environment in AP classes can feel pressuring because everyone is always working hard and it makes it difficult to keep up sometimes.” Zhang said.
A total of 93 students reported that the minimum grade they would be satisfied with receiving in a class would be an A. This was followed by 81 students, who responded that a B would be the minimum acceptable grade. 19 students responded with a C and four responded with a D.
“I am happy with the classes I take, but sometimes it can be very stressful to try to keep up,” freshman Allyson Nguyen said. “I feel academically pressured to keep an A in my classes.”
Up to 152 students said that grades are extremely important to them, while 32 said they generally are more apathetic about their academic performance.
Last year, nine valedictorians graduated from Bellaire. They each achieved a grade point average of 5.0. HISD has never seen this amount of valedictorians in one school, and as of now there are 14 valedictorians.
“I feel that it does degrade the title of valedictorian because as long as a student knows how to plan their schedule accordingly and make good grades in the classes, then anyone can be valedictorian,” Zhang said.
Bellaire offers classes like physical education and health in the summer. These summer classes allow students to skip the 4.0 class and not put it on their transcript. Some electives also have a 5.0 grade point average like debate.
Close to 200 students were polled about Bellaire having multiple valedictorians. They primarily answered that they were in favor of Bellaire having multiple valedictorians, which has recently attracted significant acclaim .
Senior Katherine Chen is one of the 14 valedictorians graduating this year and said that she views the class of 2022 as having an extraordinary amount of extremely hardworking individuals.
“I think it was expected since freshman year since most of us knew about the others and were just focused on doing our personal best,” Chen said.
Chen said that each valedictorian achieved the honor on their own and deserves it.
“I’m honestly very happy for the other valedictorians and happy that Bellaire is such a good school,” Chen said. “I don’t feel any less special with 13 other valedictorians.”
Nguyen said that having multiple valedictorians shows just how competitive the school is.
“It’s impressive, yet scary to think about competing against my classmates,” Nguyen said.
Offering 30 AP classes and boasting a significant number of merit-based scholars Bellaire can be considered a competitive school.
“I feel academically challenged but not pressured,” Chen said. “Every class I take helps push me beyond my comfort zone but is not too much to handle.”
Students have the opportunity to have off-periods if they’ve met all their credits and are able to maintain a high level of academic performance. But for freshmen like Nguyen, off periods are considered a privilege. Nguyen said she usually has an hour to five hours worth of work everyday.
“Depending on the day, there can be a lot of work, especially with extra curriculars,” Nguyen said. “Although, I am a freshman, so I feel like it’s not as bad in comparison to higher grades.”
According to the survey of Bellaire students, when asked to evaluate their agreement with the statement “students who get better grades tend to be smarter overall than students who get worse grades,” responders largely disagreed.
Zhang said that for students on the cusp of applying to college, it can sometimes be hard to ignore the mental pressure to attain good grades.
“As a junior, it’s really easy to get extremely anxious about your GPA,” Zhang said. “It’s also a very common but toxic practice to determine your self-worth through your grades but I think that we just need to remember that our mental health should also come first. Sometimes, it’s just not the right day for everyone and one test doesn’t determine our smartness.”
HUMANS OF BELLAIRE – Joseph Hernandez
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Anonymous • Nov 21, 2023 at 10:32 am
It’s not really helping me understand how much.
josh • May 9, 2023 at 9:58 am
Kassie • May 6, 2022 at 12:29 pm
Im using this for an English report. This is great because on of my sources needed to be from another student. Homework drives me insane. Im glad this is very updated too!!
Kaylee Swaim • Jan 25, 2023 at 9:21 pm
I am also using this for an English report. I have to do an argumentative essay about banning homework in schools and this helps sooo much!
Izzy McAvaney • Mar 15, 2023 at 6:43 pm
I am ALSO using this for an English report on cutting down school days, homework drives me insane!!
E. Elliott • Apr 25, 2022 at 6:42 pm
I’m from Louisiana and am actually using this for an English Essay thanks for the information it was very informative.
Nabila Wilson • Jan 10, 2022 at 6:56 pm
Interesting with the polls! I didn’t realize about 14 valedictorians, that’s crazy.
HOW MUCH TIME SHOULD STUDENTS SPEND ON HOMEWORK & STUDYING BASED ON SCHOOL LEVEL?
Many people ask the common question, “How much time should students do homework and study?” Unfortunately, there is not very easy to answer. Everyone knows that each student is an individual and will learn differently from others. Some students do exceptionally well in school and can complete their homework and studies in less time. At the same time, other students may need to spend more time on the assignments and studying to ensure they learn the skills. However, no matter what type of student they are, the goal is to learn and retain the skills. Research and Psychology will assist us in answering the question by sharing the knowledge as to how much time students should spend on homework and studying.
Recommended Homework and Study time for Elementary School students
The elementary years for students in school are critical years used to build the foundations of education. Many of the children do not get homework in the beginning. However, students should spend the time to assist in preparing for the years to follow. Children who do not get assignments from schools should at least spend time each night reading. This way, students can strengthen their abilities and reading comprehension.
Research states that students plan to study and do homework and study for a total of 10 minutes multiplied by the grade level. So, what does that mean? The information is highly accepted and recommended by the National Education Association and National Parent Teacher Association in the United States. The common practice is called the “10-minute rule” and states that students should do homework for each grade level reached. In addition, it is the most widely accepted homework guideline for elementary school students.
What is the total amount of Homework & Study time for elementary school grades?
In the early grades students may not receive much homework. Therefore, the amount of time each night to study could be used to let the student read. Research shows that reading a little every night will boost the students verbal and reading comprehension skills. Thus, making future grades reached easier as they become mature individuals
How much homework and study time should older students spend each night?
Once students reach middle school, junior high, or high school the amount of time need for homework and study changes due to the difficulty increasing. These students will receive homework from multiple academic classes, so to get the best education they should spend some time for every academic class they are taking each night.
Study Time to spend each night per academic class
How much time should a college student study?
Collegiate students need to be self-directed learners unlike they were before graduating high school. However, unlike the teachers in k-12 schools, a college student will need to be self-motivated and form study habits and routines to gain the additional knowledge outside of lectures. The basic rule is that a college students should plan to study for at least 2-3 hours for each credit hour they are taking every week. This means that successful students in college will be spending between 36 – 54 hours a week, based on the number of credit hours taken each semester. Although, it may sound like a lot of time to set for studying, the guideline will help them retain information better. Along with earn better grades for the courses.
Study Time Plan for College Students
College Credit Hours Taken Total Study Time Each Week
Students in college should use their own judgement to make sure they do the best possible in courses. Plan the academic courses and load of credit hours wisely. But if you have concerns talk to the college advisors at school.
The information above is only a guideline to assist students and their families understand how to get the most out of education. Read more about strong study habits and the Need for Study Breaks to boost productive learning, and retention, and academic success.
Study better from the American Psychology Association (APA)
Relationship between homework and academic achievement from Duke University
The Great Homework Debate from the National Education Association (NEA)
Module 6: Learning Styles and Strategies
Class-time to study-time ratio, learning objectives.
- Describe typical ratios of in-class to out-of-class work per credit hour and how to effectively schedule your study time
Class- and Study-Time Ratios
After Kai decides to talk to his guidance counselor about his stress and difficulty balancing his activities, his guidance counselor recommends that Kai create a schedule. This will help him set time for homework, studying, work, and leisure activities so that he avoids procrastinating on his schoolwork. His counselor explains that if Kai sets aside specific time to study every day—rather than simply studying when he feels like he has the time—his study habits will become more regular, which will improve Kai’s learning.
At the end of their session, Kai and his counselor have put together a rough schedule for Kai to further refine as he goes through the next couple of weeks.
Although Kai knows that studying is important and he is trying to keep up with homework, he really needs to work on time management. This is challenging for many college students, especially ones with lots of responsibilities outside of school. Unlike high school classes, college classes meet less often, and college students are expected to do more independent learning, homework, and studying.
You might have heard that the ratio of classroom time to study time should be 1:2 or 1:3. This would mean that for every hour you spend in class, you should plan to spend two to three hours out of class working independently on course assignments. If your composition class meets for one hour, three times a week, you’d be expected to devote from six to nine hours each week on reading assignments, writing assignments, etc.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that the 1:2 or 1:3 ratio is generally more appropriate for semester long courses of 18 weeks. More and more institutions of higher learning are moving away from semesters to terms ranging from 16 to 8 weeks long.
The recommended classroom time to study time ratio might change depending on the course (how rigorous it is and how many credits it’s worth), the institution’s expectations, the length of the school term, and the frequency with which a class meets. For example, if you’re used to taking classes on a quarter system of 10 weeks, but then you start taking courses over an 8 weeks period, you may need to spend more time studying outside of class since you’re trying to learn the same amount of information in a shorter term period. You may also find that if one of the courses you’re taking is worth 1.5 credit hours but the rest of your courses are worth 1 credit hour each, you may need to put in more study hours for your 1.5 credit hour course. Finally, if you’re taking a course that only meets once a week like a writing workshop, you may consider putting in more study and reading time in between class meetings than the general 1:2 or 1:3 ratio.
If you account for all the classes you’re taking in a given semester, the study time really adds up—and if it sounds like a lot of work, it is! Remember, this schedule is temporary while you’re in school. The only way to stay on top of the workload is by creating a schedule to help you manage your time. You might decide to use a weekly or monthly schedule—or both. Whatever you choose, the following tips can help you design a smart schedule that’s easy to follow and stick with.
Start with Fixed Time Commitments
First off, mark down the commitments that don’t allow any flexibility. These include class meetings, work hours, appointments, etc. Capturing the “fixed” parts of your schedule can help you see where there are blocks of time that can be used for other activities.
Kai is taking four classes: Spanish 101, US History, College Algebra, and Introduction to Psychology. He also has a fixed work schedule—he works 27 hours a week.
Consider Your Studying and Homework Habits
When are you most productive? Are you a morning person or a night owl? Block out your study times accordingly. You’ll also want to factor in any resources you might need. For instance, if you prefer to study very early or late in the day, and you’re working on a research paper, you might want to check the library hours to make sure it’s open when you need it.
Since Kai’s Spanish class starts his schedule at 9:00 every day, Kai decides to use that as the base for his schedule. He doesn’t usually have trouble waking up in the mornings (except for on the weekends), so he decides that he can do a bit of studying before class. His Spanish practice is often something he can do while eating or traveling, so this gives him a bit of leniency with his schedule.
Kai’s marked work in grey, classes in green, and dedicated study time in yellow:
Even if you prefer weekly over monthly schedules, write reminders for yourself and keep track of any upcoming projects, papers, or exams. You will also want to prepare for these assignments in advance. Most students eventually discover (the hard way) that cramming for exams the night before and waiting till the last minute to start on a term paper is a poor strategy. Procrastination creates a lot of unnecessary stress, and the resulting final product—whether an exam, lab report, or paper—is rarely your best work. Try simple things to break down large tasks, such as setting aside an hour or so each day to work on them during the weeks leading up to the deadline. If you get stuck, get help from your instructor early, rather than waiting until the day before an assignment is due.
Schedule Leisure Time
It might seem impossible to leave room in your schedule for fun activities, but every student needs and deserves to socialize and relax on a regular basis. Try to make this time something you look forward to and count on, and use it as a reward for getting things done. You might reserve every Friday or Saturday evening for going out with friends, for example. Perhaps your children have sporting events or special occasions you want to make time for. Try to reschedule your study time so you have enough time to study and enough time to do things outside of school that you want to do.
When you look at Kai’s schedule, you can see that he’s left open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings. While he plans on using Sundays to complete larger assignments when he needs to, he’s left his Friday and Saturday evenings open for leisure.
Now that you have considered ways to create a schedule, you can practice making one that will help you succeed academically. The California Community College’s Online Education site has a free source for populating a study schedule based on your individual course load.
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How Much Time Should Be Spent on Homework Based on Grade?
- 18 July 2020
- Posted by: ryan
- Category: Tutoring
A common question that parents always ask is, “How much time should my child dedicate to homework every day?” It’s not an easy question to answer. As we all know, every student learns differently from each other. While some kids do, substantially, better in school, by completing one hour of homework every day. There might be some others, who require two hours of homework, but only see a slight improvement in their grades.
To get to the bottom of this, we went to the experts for the answers! So here’s a break down of how much time your child should spend on homework according to their grade.
What is The Recommended Homework Time in Elementary School?
So before we give you a solid figure. We took a look at the results of a May 2012 study from the Los Angeles Unified School District . (Figure 1 below)
If your child is starting out in kindergarten and they receive some basic worksheets to complete for homework, the standard time they should spend on completing homework is 10 minutes per night.
Keep in mind, kindergarten childen might have shorter attention spans, than older kids, and might need a few intervals in between to complete their homework. So let them do it for 5 minutes, then take a 5 minute break, then continue for another 5 minutes to complete.
Usually, Grade 1 – 3 students receive one to three homework assignments per week. They suggest that your child spend at least 20 – 30 minutes per night on homework.
Grade 4 – 5 students who receive two to four assignments per week, should focus between 40 – 50 minutes on completing each assignment.
What is The Recommended Homework Time in Middle and High school?
As your child enters middle and high school, naturally, their home work time will increase. As subjects get harder and more information needs to be retained for exams, more time is needed to practice. Here are the home work time estimations for older students from the Los Angeles Unified School District . (Figure 2 below)
Students in middle school are from Grades 6 – 8. As class subjects require more attention and practice, middle school students get assigned three to five sets of assignments per week. We recommend that your child spend between 45 – 75 minutes per night.
Once your child is in highschool, Grade 9 – 12 students usually receive four to five sets of homework per week. According to Figure 2, high school students should focus about 25-30 minutes on each subject.
For example, if your child is in Grade 10 and has a Math and English assignment to do for homework, they should spend at least 30 minutes on English and 30 minutes on Math. If they take one or two short breaks, it works out to be 75 – 150 minutes per set to complete both assignments.
Get Homework Help For Your Kids At ICan Education!
Does your child need help completing their homework? ICan Education can help as we offer flexible Homework Help with tutors in Brampton, Mississauga, Milton, and Burlington!
ICAN Education tutoring centre has several locations in the GTA West, Mississauga, Brampton, Milton, and Burlington. To locate the closest ICAN Education centre near you, click here .
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Working After School: How Long Should You Spend Doing Homework?
25 February 2021
7 minutes to read
- 01. Homework at Primary School
- 02. How Much Time Should Secondary School Pupils Spend Doing Homework
- 03. Homework in Sixth Form or College
The average 15-year-old pupil in the UK has 5 hours of homework each week . Generally, in countries where they get more homework, their academic performance doesn’t increase.
However, this doesn’t that homework is pointless. It can be used to consolidate a student’s understanding of the lessons they did during the day. The amount of homework generally increases with age and primary school pupils get a lot less than students studying for their GCSEs.
The 5 hours a week statistic is average for OECD countries. Chinese students get an average of 14 hours of homework each week but their PISA results are only marginally better than countries with between 3 and 6 hours of homework.
So how much time should you spend doing homework?
Homework at Primary School
Children in primary school should probably go back over what they’ve been learning during the day. Even if this is reading a passage or practising some times tables.
They really shouldn’t have more than 24 hours a week of schooling with no more than 3 hours per half-day. Generally, they’ll be in school from 9:00 until 15:00 with breaks in the morning and afternoon as well as a lunch break. However, in some cases, they might only get a couple of breaks during the day.
Once they get home, the amount of homework they do should reflect their age and level.
Check out our guide to homework .
Younger primary school students or “infants” (Reception to Year 2) will learn to read, write, and count. While their days will be full of learning, they’ll also need to relax to aid concentration. At the end of the day, we recommend a snack and a break before they do any school work.
Usually, homework can take between 10 minutes and half an hour at this age and usually involves some reading, simple maths exercises, or a bit of writing. At 6 or 7, most pupils will need help from their parents when they go over their lessons and do their homework.
If your child is struggling at school or is tired, don’t hesitate to chat to them about school over lunch and quiz them on their time tables during bath time, for example. You’ll want them to see homework as something fun rather than a chore and private tutoring can help with this.
Juniors (Year 3 to Year 6)
Older primary school pupils still won’t get too much homework. Again, they can have a break and a snack before getting down to do their homework.
Children aged between 8 and 10 will probably only need between 20 and 40 minutes to do their homework.
Even though it’s a good idea for the parents to be there, the pupil should have some autonomy when it comes to doing their homework and the parents should only help if necessary. Of course, you can listen to them reading and correct them.
At a young age, you might want to avoid them doing homework at the weekend. We know that this isn’t always possible, but having them do homework on school days can help you organise your schedule more easily. If you don’t have the choice, allocate some time on a Saturday or Sunday to doing homework.
Find out more about planning and organising homework .
How Much Time Should Secondary School Pupils Spend Doing Homework
Once pupils reach secondary school, homework will take on a more important role. Going into Year 7 is a big step for a lot of pupils. They need to adapt to their new school and the idea of having several teachers instead of just one. They’ll also have different classes with different teachers.
A typical day will be slightly longer and the school may be farther away, which makes their overall day a bit longer, too. As they progress, they’ll get more choice in terms of the subjects they can study.
Learn how to get the most out of homework .
Year 7 will be the biggest change as they adjust to their new school. In a lot of cases with pupils coming from different primary schools, teachers will be trying to get all the pupils to the same level.
Students shouldn’t spend over 45 minutes each day on homework. They’ll also have opportunities during the day to do some of their homework.
Years 8 and 9
During Years 8 and 9, a lot of students get to make choices about some of the subjects they study, especially with foreign languages. They also get chances to try out different subjects before choosing their GCSE options at the end of Year 9.
At this age, between 45 minutes and an hour should be enough for focusing on their homework. Of course, this will depend on how well they study and how long they can concentrate.
Years 10 and 11
Year 10 is the first year of GCSE for students.
During this age, we recommend they spend an hour each day on their homework. This time will increase before exams or when they’re doing past papers.
If they still need help studying, it might be a good idea to get help from a private tutor.
Learn how to deal with a lot of homework .
Homework in Sixth Form or College
Once students have finished their GCSEs, they can move onto their A Levels. They can do this at their school if it has a sixth form or study at a college. At this age, courses aren’t about rote memory but rather an understanding of the subjects they’re studying.
Lower Sixth or AS Level
At this age, students tend to have fewer hours of lessons but more time to dedicate to study. If they’re at school, they mightn’t be free to come and go as they please.
They may have a lot of gaps in their timetable and it’s a good idea for them to use this time to study or do homework.
Ideally, they won’t want to spend more than an hour each day outside of the typical school time studying or revising. They have a lot of freedom and control over their education at this point.
If they can stay on top of everything, they mightn’t need to dedicate any time outside of school or college to study.
A Level/Upper Sixth
Again, students will have a lot of freedom when it comes to their free and it’ll mainly fall on them to be responsible. They won’t have teachers pressing them to get work done and they’ll be expected to take control of doing homework and studying.
We still recommend that they spend an hour to 90 minutes studying and doing homework and even doing a bit on the weekend, especially if they have exams coming up.
It can be useful for memory to go over the week’s classes at the weekend.
Learn how to help children with their homework .
If you or your child need help with homework or schoolwork, consider getting help from one of the many talented and experienced private tutors on Superprof. There are tutors for academic support, homework help, and specific subjects all over the country and around the world.
Private tutorials are either taught face-to-face, online, or in groups and each type of tutoring comes with advantages and disadvantages so think carefully about which one is right for you and your budget before hiring a private tutor.
One-on-one tutorials are just between the student and the tutor and can be tailored to suit the student's preferred learning style. This makes these types of tutorials incredibly effective as every minute is spent working to help the student. However, they also tend to be the most expensive type of tutoring available as you'll be paying for all the extra time and effort the tutor puts into planning and adapting their lessons to the student.
As they don't have to travel to each tutorial, online tutors can afford to charge less than face-to-face tutors and they often do. While these types of tutorials mightn't be as effective for certain hands-on subjects, they're excellent for academic subjects, study skills, revision, and help with homework.
Group tutorials are an excellent choice for families on a tight budget. With several students attending each session, there won't be as many opportunities for the tutor to adapt the lessons to the individual, but the cost will be shared amongst everyone participating, which makes these tutorials cheaper per student per hour.
Remember that a lot of the tutors on Superprof offer the first lesson or hour for free and you can use these sessions to try out several different tutors before deciding on the right one for you. Once you've chosen the perfect tutor, you can start working with them directly.
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Joseph is a French and Spanish to English translator, language enthusiast, and blogger.
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How Much Homework is Too Much?
When redesigning a course or putting together a new course, faculty often struggle with how much homework and readings to assign. Too little homework and students might not be prepared for the class sessions or be able to adequately practice basic skills or produce sufficient in-depth work to properly master the learning goals of the course. Too much and some students may feel overwhelmed and find it difficult to keep up or have to sacrifice work in other courses.
A common rule of thumb is that students should study three hours for each credit hour of the course, but this isn’t definitive. Universities might recommend that students spend anywhere from two or three hours of study or as much as six to nine hours of study or more for each course credit hour. A 2014 study found that, nationwide, college students self reported spending about 17 hours each week on homework, reading and assignments. Studies of high school students show that too much homework can produce diminishing returns on student learning, so finding the right balance can be difficult.
There are no hard and fast rules about the amount of readings and homework that faculty assign. It will vary according to the university, the department, the level of the classes, and even other external factors that impact students in your course. (Duke’s faculty handbook addresses many facets of courses, such as absences, but not the typical amount of homework specifically.)
To consider the perspective of a typical student that might be similar to the situations faced at Duke, Harvard posted a blog entry by one of their students aimed at giving students new to the university about what they could expect. There are lots of readings, of course, but time has to be spent on completing problem sets, sometimes elaborate multimedia or research projects, responding to discussion posts and writing essays. Your class is one of several, and students have to balance the needs of your class with others and with clubs, special projects, volunteer work or other activities they’re involved with as part of their overall experience.
The Rice Center for Teaching Excellence has some online calculators for estimating class workload that can help you get a general understanding of the time it may take for a student to read a particular number of pages of material at different levels or to complete essays or other types of homework.
To narrow down your decision-making about homework when redesigning or creating your own course, you might consider situational factors that may influence the amount of homework that’s appropriate.
Connection with your learning goals
Is the homework clearly connected with the learning goals of your students for a particular class session or week in the course? Students will find homework beneficial and valuable if they feel that it is meaningful . If you think students might see readings or assignments as busy work, think about ways to modify the homework to make a clearer connection with what is happening in class. Resist the temptation to assign something because the students need to know it. Ask yourself if they will actually use it immediately in the course or if the material or exercises should be relegated to supplementary material.
Levels of performance
The type of readings and homework given to first year students will be very different from those given to more experienced individuals in higher-level courses. If you’re unsure if your readings or other work might be too easy (or too complex) for students in your course, ask a colleague in your department or at another university to give feedback on your assignment. If former students in the course (or a similar course) are available, ask them for feedback on a sample reading or assignment.
What are the common practices in your department or discipline? Some departments, with particular classes, may have general guidelines or best practices you can keep in mind when assigning homework.
What type of typical student will be taking your course? If it’s a course preparing for a major or within an area of study, are there other courses with heavy workloads they might be taking at the same time? Are they completing projects, research, or community work that might make it difficult for them to keep up with a heavy homework load for your course?
Students who speak English as a second language, are first generation students, or who may be having to work to support themselves as they take courses may need support to get the most out of homework. Detailed instructions for the homework, along with outlining your learning goals and how the assignment connects the course, can help students understand how the readings and assignments fit into their studies. A reading guide, with questions prompts or background, can help students gain a better understanding of a reading. Resources to look up unfamiliar cultural references or terms can make readings and assignments less overwhelming.
If you would like more ideas about planning homework and assignments for your course or more information and guidance on course design and assessment, contact Duke Learning Innovation to speak with one of our consultants .
6 Tips for a Homework & Studying Schedule That Actually Works
Waiting until the last minute to cram for a test or to write an essay isn’t just going to make your life more stressful. It’s also less likely to produce the results you want.
Studies have shown that the most effective way to retain new material is with spaced repetition . This means engaging with the concepts consistently over a longer span of time.
If you want to cut down on the all-nighters, try these six easy tips to create a homework and studying schedule that actually works.
1. Review Your Homework in Advance
First, set some time aside at the beginning of your semester or school term to look over your assignments. Make sure you understand:
- What each one entails
- How much time each task will take
- Its due date
Then, check to see if you need any additional resources. For example, you may need a library book to complete an assignment. Nothing will throw off your schedule more than sitting down at your desk only to find out that you don’t have what you need to do the work. Reviewing your assignments before they’re due will help with efficiency once you start working.
2. Make Your Schedule as Specific as Possible
Once you have a list of everything you need to do, turn it into a daily or weekly schedule. Decide which tasks you want to do first and when. Then, you can write it in a planner or use an Excel template to create a printable homework chart.
Avoid generalized terms like “study Spanish for two hours.” Otherwise, you’ll be tempted to fill the time with the easiest task that falls into that category.
Instead, list specific items like, “write book report” or “study flash cards.” This way, you know exactly what you need to do and are less likely to put it off.
3. Find Your Preferred Study Routine
Sometimes you have to do homework when you’re tired or aren’t feeling well, but that doesn’t mean you should totally ignore what your body’s telling you.
According to the latest research , multiple 40-minute study sessions can be more productive than three-hour chunks. Experiment with studying at different times of day and for varying lengths of time.
Take notes about which sessions were productive and which ones weren’t to help you figure out your ideal study routine.
4. Download a Studying App
There’s no denying that phones can be distracting while studying. But if you use them wisely they can be a lot of help.
Use flashcard apps to create your own flashcards and gamify your study experience. These apps help you study in small bits throughout the day plus you won’t have to carry physical flashcards around with you.
There are other apps to help you learn a language, practice math, or take better notes . You can also use a homework scheduling app and color-code your assignments by subject.
5. Create a Productive Workspace
Using the same workspace every day can help you stick to your homework schedule. Avoid distracting places like the living room or kitchen, and try not to work on your bed or in front of the TV. Even small things, like making sure your laptop is charged or putting on your favorite study playlist, can make a big difference in your productivity.
Ideally, you should set aside a desk in a quiet room that’s comfortable enough to sit at for a few hours at a time. The more you use it for studying, the more you’ll associate it with productivity and be in the right headspace to get work done.
For some tips on how to get started, check out our guide on how to create the perfect homework environment .
6. Ask for Help if You Need it
Finally, don’t be afraid to reach out for support. Even if you have a good grasp on the material, sometimes studying alone can be isolating.
From joining an online study group to hiring a professional tutor for your SATs, there are plenty of ways to get outside support. You can ask a friend or parent to check in on your progress or proofread your assignments before you submit them.
Whether you’re in middle school, high school, or college, homework never really goes away. But you can make it more manageable with these six helpful homework and studying schedule tips.
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