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How much do you study?

  1. Feb 26, 2008 #1
    I'm a second year student in chemical physics, at the University of Toronto, and I study roughly 25 hours during the weekdays and about 20 hours on the week ends. I go to class but can't ever pay attention because I can't learn math on the board.

    This disturbs me, because my school suggests I should spend 2-3 hours per hour of lecture, and says typical physical science students spend 10 hours for the week and 24 hours during the weekdays.

    I never have free time, and I'm always at my desk. I read all my textbooks, and seldom glance over lecture notes. I try a bunch of questions from the books too. Does that just make me a slow learner?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 26, 2008 #2
    Everyone learns on its own tempo. I too am considered a "slow" learner but eventually I understand the course better than the "faster" guys. It just depends on how well you want to master the course. When I study a course, I just want to understand everything in the course. Basically I do that because I can't remember things I don't understand. For example, I cannot remember and reproduce a mathematical proof if I don't fully understand it. Other people would just skip it or memorize it and I think that does the difference between me and them.
    I have the same thing in classes as you do. Often, I don't understand anything (or at least not much) during class, but when I'm studying it at my own desk, on my own tempo and while taking my time, it always becomes very clear. You shouldn't worry about that, I think almost everyone has it.
    Also, what the university says doesn't apply to anyone. You should just follow your own way. As you're in second year, you must know by now if your method works. If it does and you feel fine with it, don't worry about what other people do or say.

    I hope this helps and reassures you.
  4. Feb 26, 2008 #3


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    I, too, had to put in hours and hours doing my homework when I was in school. It seemed I had to study much more than other students...it amazed me that some of them could get away with so little study time. But like the previous poster, I often understood the material far better then they did.

    I couldn't learn much in class either. Going to class was a waste of time except it did let me know what I should be studying outside of class time.

    I had essentially no social life until I graduated.
  5. Feb 26, 2008 #4
    Well there are always people who study so much while there are people who don't. I hardly study and I am 2nd year student at university of waterloo. I just cram hard for the exam. Though I wish I study as much as you because I end up not understanding everything because I don't study enough.
  6. Feb 26, 2008 #5
    I don't study at all.
  7. Feb 26, 2008 #6


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    I'm sure there are many threads on this topic that you can find if you search the forum. To agree with some other posts, there are always people who study more and who study less. The important thing is to strike a good balance between your studies and social activities: afterall, university isn't all about studying and getting perfect grades!
  8. Feb 26, 2008 #7
    Too much, in that I rarely get enough sleep. Not enough, in that I rarely master things to the degree I'd like.

    I suppose I'll finally strike the balance I want when I retire and can study things according to whatever timetable I find comfortable instead of always worrying about exams and project deadlines? :yuck:

    But for some things, it really is just easy enough (for someone used to surviving upper-division physics & math) that the studying required approaches zero.
  9. Feb 26, 2008 #8
    May know that particular field in which you are not studying 'at all'?
  10. Feb 27, 2008 #9
    Sure. I don't study for Math, science, english, history, or any other classes
  11. Feb 27, 2008 #10
    I don't see how you can succeed without studying. Especially if you are in college/university.

    Obviously there are some subjects where you don't need to 'study'. (Example:Let's take math. If you manage to understand the concepts and all, you pretty don't need to study. Math is practical, not by-heart stuff...)

    However you may want memorize some formulas...

    Anyhow, studying is important.

    P.S.: Unless you've finished university/college or w/e, it's reasonable that you are not studying...^.^
  12. Feb 27, 2008 #11
    I think I have eidetic memory, what some people call photographic memory, because I just remember stuff without trying to
  13. Feb 27, 2008 #12
    I think to a large extent people here are talking about studying in the genreal sense of doing school work outside of the class room. currently in that sense I'm pulling 8 hour days 5 days a week sunday through thursday.

    I rarely study in the sense of readings, however at this stage in the game I have to pull a 30-40 hour week in terms of just getting my homework in.

    if your still in lower level stuff that doesn't require homework, or only has it as 20% of the grade or so its entirely possible that you can not study and do pretty well. later on as the homework edges to 50% of the grade or more and each assignment extends to 2,4,20 hours you'll have to work more or not do so well.
  14. Feb 27, 2008 #13
    Interesting. Still, revising wont cause any harm, right? :smile:
  15. Feb 27, 2008 #14
    In the US we never say revising :)

    I think that we also need to distinguish between different types of studying. Some people sit down at their desk in a quiet area and devote their attention to their topic. Others may intermingle studying with fun (case in point: surfing on Wikipedia) so that what they are doing may not seem like studying. I even sometimes study in class, because I find it easier to study when I can't possibly be doing something else I want to do.

    Certainly, different people need to study for different lengths of time. Dare I say some are just more lucky than others (Hydrargyrum for example)? However, I echo what cristo wrote, that no matter what a healthy balance needs to be struck between academia and social life.
  16. Feb 27, 2008 #15

    I am not normally provocative, but, I would like to point out an observation.

    I've looked through your comment history and have yet to find a single post which demonstrates your intelligence, skill or facts that you've remembered that are pertinent to solving advanced physics problems or the other subjects discussed in this forum.

    Maybe you are intelligent... Hey, it's possible. I tend to disregard how "intelligent" you feel you are - you have yet to demonstrate the depth of your intelligence or any achievements that you have racked up in your "lack of studying".

    Did you win a national math competition without ever studying? Did you win the Intel Science Fair? Did you write a new theory on the nature of intertia?

    I once believed as you do, even some of the same nonsense came out of my mouth. I assure you of two things:

    1 - There is no such thing as a "natural genius". You cannot give me one example from history of any great author of antiquity who was not absolutely consumed by their study. Similarly, you cannot furnish me with a single example of a modern day genius who is not a prolific reader and consumed by their passions.

    There is a direct correlation between intelligence and one's approach to problem solving (of any sort) - intelligence is not a fixed quantity.

    2 - The view that intelligence is a fixed quantity and some people "simply don't need to study" is a pernicious point of view. There is a direct correlation to the experts that I know in the field of physics and the amount they study. Some of my collegues study to the point that I do not know when they have time for their families or their lives - but I guarantee that they can solve many problems that I struggle with.

    If you don't want to study, I will not try to convince you; however, I reiterate that you are absolutely deceived if you think that anyone get intelligence as a free ride.


    To Howers,

    The more you study now, the less you will have to study when it matters.

    I suggest that you put in 40+ hours a week studying. Make it fun. Learn to enjoy working out problems, tackling new problems and gain an appreciation for the structure and the depth of the problems. If you make them your friend, they will remain your friend for life.

    Also, read A People's History of Science by Clifford Conner.

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2008
  17. Feb 27, 2008 #16
    I study pretty much every day for at least several hours, but I am always doing it with friends so it never actually feels like work even though I do actually get stuff done (albeit at a slower pace). If I did it alone I'd probably get it done quicker but its not as much fun that way. Plus, studying physics doesn't actually feel like studying to me anyways. Its too much fun.
  18. Feb 28, 2008 #17
    A word of warning: as some posters have pointed out, a balance needs to be struck between school and life. I will also point out that if you are used to allotting a leisurely 40 hours per work for undergraduate studying, you will be mauled if you go to grad school. You need to study hard, but you also need to study smart.
  19. Feb 28, 2008 #18


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    I agree with zhentil: Its not the amouth of study, it is the quality.

    Also one needs to find their own rutine how to study. Some works better in small groups discussing the material and solvning stuff toghter. Others just sit by themself all the time.

    One of my best advices are to read through some of the material before the lecture, so you are prepared and you know a bit what is hard for you about that perticular chapter.

    And I study (including lectures) approx 50h each week.
  20. Feb 28, 2008 #19


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    Is that 50h per week for undergrad or grad studies?
  21. Feb 28, 2008 #20


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    Undergrad, I also take more courses than I have to. I take like 40-45 credits each semster. Full time studies are 30creds/ semster.
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