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


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:

“A Guide for Time Management” from the University of Guelph.

“Time Scheduling” from Virginia Tech’s Cook Counseling Center.

Companion to the above – “Where Does Time Go?” (This is also linked within a prior post on this blog.)

“Managing Time for Success in College” from University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Tutoring Services.

“Time Management” from College Survival Skills at Clemson University.

Image via mrg.bz / dave