What’s one little word that could make or break your college career?clock

Time.

One indispensable bit of advice?

Manage your time well.

Easier said than done, of course. An array of time-management resources can be found on the web (see below), but one easy way to begin planning your time is to use the out-of-class to in-class study ratio.

This is the number of hours you must study outside class for every hour you spend inside class.* What’s the ratio? I’ve always practiced and preached THREE hours of study outside class for every ONE hour inside class. I’ve also heard ratios of 2:1 and 4:1. To some extent, your ratio depends on the subject matter and your preparedness; but I’ve found the 3:1 to be a good average.

*For those taking online classes: schedule the same number of hours you’d schedule for a face-to-face course. Note that usually, students find online classes to be somewhat more time-consuming than face-to-face ones.

As you do the math, you’ll see that if you carry 15 hours of credit in a given semester, going to class and studying will be a full-time job. For more information, take a look at a few good time management sites offered by universities:

http://www.learningcommons.uoguelph.ca/guides/time_management/#home
“A Guide for Time Management” from the University of Guelph.

http://www.ucc.vt.edu/stdysk/htimesch.html
“Time Scheduling” from Virginia Tech’s Cook Counseling Center.

http://www.ucc.vt.edu/stdysk/TMInteractive.html
Companion to the above – “Where Does Time Go?” (This is also linked within a prior post on this blog.)

http://www.uwgb.edu/tutoring/resources/managing.asp
“Managing Time for Success in College” from University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Tutoring Services.

http://www.clemson.edu/collegeskills/sec2pg1.htm
“Time Management” from College Survival Skills at Clemson University.

Image via mrg.bz / dave

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