How Much Graduate School Study Time is Enough?
2/9/2021 by HIGHERGRAD
Everyone learns differently. Because of that, we all study in different ways. You should have a good understanding by the time you start graduate school of what study methods and tips work best for you. But how much is enough? There is no single, magical number for graduate school study time. Each course is different and thus the number of postgraduate study hours varies from course to course and semester to semester.
Plan to spend approximately 3X the time of in-classroom instruction on studying while in graduate school. A normal course load of 9-12 credits per semester equates to 27-36 hours of graduate school study time per week. There are many variables, however, that can change your graduate school study schedule. For instance, course difficulty, your understanding of the materials, and also the requirements of the class such as the number of exams, quizzes, and projects.
Graduate School Study Time Differs for Each Student
Almost every graduate school student experiences times when it is hard to study. You may be working or you may have a difficult semester of courses. Perhaps you have it all figured out and graduate school is a breeze, unlikely! Either way, certain study tips are better than others when it comes to being efficient with your graduate school study time.
4 Study Tips for Graduate Courses
Although comprehending material during your undergraduate program is important, it is even more critical in graduate school. You are focused on a specific field now and what you learn directly relates to your future career. The more grad school hours per week you devote to studying will help you understand and learn the material. It should not come down to the question of how many hours a week should you study in graduate school but rather is the studying you are doing enough to understand the concepts. Also, postgraduate study hours will change from week to week or course to course. Some courses you will pick up on quickly and others will be more difficult and require more study time. Generally, here are four tips for successful studying.
The habits of highly successful grad students can boil down to how well you understand the material. To excel, you need to put in the right amount of time into studying to get there. Graduate school is more than simply memorizing information for an exam and then forgetting it. You will be expected to comprehend and use what you are learning. Stop counting necessarily how many hours a week you should study in graduate school and focus on the outcomes of the time spent studying. The amount of graduate school study time you put in is what you will get out and ultimately determine how successful you are.
What Does a Normal Grad School Study Schedule Look Like?
If you go with our 3X graduate school study time per class per week you end up with 9 hours give or take per 3 credit course. That may seem like a lot but most graduate school semesters normally only have 9-12 credits. So you are looking at up to 36 hours of studying time per week. Again, the answer to the question around how many hours a week should you study in graduate school is not concrete. Your graduate school study schedule has to be flexible enough to change each week. Some weeks you will need to spend more time and others less. Success in grad school relates to some degree to how you schedule and plan your studying to work for you.
To summarize, plan to spend at least 3-times the amount of time of in-person instruction on studying. Every student is different and every program is unique. Your grad school study schedule has to be flexible enough to adapt. Find the amount of graduate school study time that works for you and you will be better prepared for exams and on your way to successfully graduating.