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How much did you study per week in university?

  1. Sep 4, 2013 #1
    I'm thinking about enrolling into an engineering program soon, I was wondering how many hours per week do you think the average student in mechanical engineering spends studying in class and out of class?

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 4, 2013 #2
    I study about 4-5 hours per day. I also review at lunch and between classes
  4. Sep 4, 2013 #3
    So this 4-5 hours is on top of the lectures? could you give me an estimate with the lectures?

    How about crunch time? give me some details into that!

    Thanks and good luck with the studying.
  5. Sep 4, 2013 #4
    Well yeah it's in addition to lectures. This is time I put in daily. It seems like a lot but you break it up, like ill wake up around 6 am and do some work or study until about 8-8:30 am. After that ill hit the gym come back and shower and then go to class. At lunch which I usually take for about 30 minutes I review notes and re read chapters and work examples throughout the chapters, if I have questions I go to the professor during office hours or ask at next class. I do the same between classes especially when I get long breaks. Then when I get home ill wind down with some music and tv and start studying and doing work. I usually call it a night around 12:30 am. If you do this consistently everyday you will find you don't need any crunch time because you've been studying the material and checking your understanding daily. Being a student is like a full time job and you should definitely put the time in as such. I give myself Friday evenings and the weekend off to work a part time job and have some sort of social life so I don't go insane.
  6. Sep 4, 2013 #5
    Wow, great work ethic, so according to your post, you only sleep 5 and a half hours!? I like your strategies for studying, logical indeed!
  7. Sep 4, 2013 #6
    In my opinion, trying to plan a precise study schedule isn't very effective. I prefer to study until I have learned what I intend to learn. However, on average, I estimate I spend between 20 and 30 hours a week studying outside of class; perhaps about half of this time is spent on homework or other assignments.

    I'm sure each individual will learn at a different rate, though, so it's probably best to answer your question with your own experience.

    Also, keep in mind that using hours to measure studying could be very deceptive: if you are distracted, tired, or uninterested, you will probably learn more slowly (and more superficially and with less durability) than you would if you were focused, alert, and keen.

    Impressive routine, but I think the average person would suffer physically and mentally with such little sleep.
  8. Sep 4, 2013 #7
    I typically had about 16 hours of class per week. On top of that I had a part time job tutoring for about 14 hours per week. This gave me 30 hours of looking and practicing the material I needed to know.

    If a "work week" is 40 hours I studied for an extra 10 hours per week. After all, student is often listed as occupation.

    This was my general approach, although I would spend more depending if there was something I was struggling with (or a test coming up).

    Maybe not the best way, but a way to tackle this problem.
  9. Sep 5, 2013 #8
    I mean there's down times when I can take naps if I feel tired.
  10. Sep 5, 2013 #9
    This is my first semester in mechanical engineering and I study about 2-3 hours per day, and about 10 hours on the weekend.
  11. Sep 5, 2013 #10
    I'll put all my pocket lint on it that he is doing very successfully in college. I personally have a similar schedule except mine isn't really planned.

    I am personally a mathematics major. I get large problem sets from my professors, some problems solvable and some open problems. I just do as much as I can. By the time I'm too tired to do any more it is usually 1:30-2:30am. I go to bed. I wake up at 7:30am (closer to 8am than 7:30) for class the next day and repeat. With the help of a lot of people on this forum, I am doing pretty decently.

    I tend to sleep in till like 2pm on weekends though so there is that...
  12. Sep 5, 2013 #11
    Asking engineering students how many hours they study per week is like asking men how many women they have slept with.
  13. Sep 5, 2013 #12
    I am so glad now I don't feel I am stupid. I don't go to school as I am too old. But I have to spend so much time studying.

    The only class I took in the last 25 years is ODE, I spent at least 5 hours a day on this and the students ( young) said they spent most of the time in this class even they have a full load. It's not the unit, it's the content of the unit!!!
  14. Sep 5, 2013 #13

    Normal men or men in engineering?
  15. Sep 6, 2013 #14


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    I try to study for about 2 hours per 1 hour of instruction; it doesn't always work out, but it's a good goal. Try to work problems related to concepts learned in the lectures on the same day.
  16. Sep 6, 2013 #15
    I have no study plan, I pretty much just work until I get things done to a level I'm happy with. For me, that usually that means spending a decent chunk of time on homework every single week night and weekend, but I do more than what's necessary for getting "decent" grades.

    Engineering is definitely a lot of work. Now that I'm on internship working 40 hour weeks I feel like I'm swimming in free time compared to school. At my school engineering has an extremely heavy workload even compared to physics majors (I take a lot of the courses that physics majors take so I know their program pretty well). That said, it's certainly doable and it's worth it if you enjoy it and have the motivation. Lots of people make it through engineering every year. The workload just might be a shock when you're used to a highschool workload.
  17. Sep 6, 2013 #16
    A lot of engineering student creep through the classes!!! It's not hard to get a passing grade in most school and students learn very little. When I hire an EE, I gave them test, nothing more than what's in the Electronics Principle by Malvino....which is a book used by Heald College....a non accredited technical school. You'll be surprised how many of them failed. Just some basic common sense opamp stuff. Then another question of a divided by 2 using a D-flip flop then follow with a pipeline register using a second D flip flop. I just want them to draw the timing diagram. You'll be surprised how few can do it even with a lot of help!!! A lot of engineer talked about how they creep through the EM class!!!

    I am not surprised they study less than a few hours a day.
  18. Sep 27, 2013 #17
    It varies depending on semester and course load. Also whether "study" is just review, or also doing homework and assignments. In some classes, I've found just doing the assignments to be study enough, with the exception of exams. Granted, In some classes (multi-variable calculus for instance) where problems and problem sets are large, I've found myself doing 20 hours of homework a week for just one class. Then there were usually a burnout week or two during the tougher semesters where I couldn't bring myself to do anything, and even when I'd try I'd get nothing accomplished. Those were my least favorite, because I'd be not doing anything, but still miserable because of what I was trying to force myself to do.
  19. Sep 28, 2013 #18

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    That's the rough expectation. That makes for about 4 hours/weekday + 10 total on weekends (or other, similar combinations)
  20. Sep 29, 2013 #19
    A 2:1 ratio is pretty light in my view. Most courses I have done take at least 3:1 and some have gone to 5:1 or more. You can't do that with a full course load, though.

    That is mainly for pure math. I can't speak for many other subjects.
  21. Sep 29, 2013 #20
    I study every second that I can, I mean I have cut down to eating once a day in order to make more time for studying. Study every minute that you can since there is a sense of urgency from the very first day of class until the very last.

    You might go crazy like I did though, just a heads up.
  22. Sep 29, 2013 #21


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    A 5:1 ratio for my current schedule would mean 10 hours per day of studying1. There is no way that I could justify that much studying every day. Even if I didn't have to work, it wouldn't leave enough time for homework or other obligations.

    1 Just to clarify, I'm not talking about doing homework, even though it could be considered "studying". I'm talking about working sample problems and reading the textbook or other references strictly for the purpose of understanding concepts and how they relate to the course.
  23. Sep 29, 2013 #22
    "Studying" in a decent engineering program hardly means the same thing as other majors. In an engineering class you have homework, quizzes, tests, and projects even in the theory courses. This is much different than math or physics courses which is homework and tests. And the homework grade % is much, much higher in a math or physics than an engineering course, usually 20%+, and I've even seen as high as 50% for homework! At my school, the engineering homeworks account for 10-15% of my grade.

    The projects are what the real struggle is in engineering school. They will burn up many hours in a day and they aren't tested on either. So, for actual "studying" I would say I get 1-2 hours a day and projects take up 4-5 hours a day.
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