Optimal study schedule for physics and math major

In summary: You might find that you can study for longer periods of time without needing breaks, or you might find that shorter study periods with frequent breaks work better for you. It's all about finding what works best for you.In summary, finding the optimal study schedule is a personal journey and requires trial and error. While some suggest studying for a fixed amount of time followed by a break, it is important to find what works best for you. It is also helpful to make friends with similar goals and to focus on acquiring knowledge rather than studying for a certain amount of time. Ultimately, the key is to find a balance between studying and leading a healthy life.
  • #1
ChiralSuperfields
1,331
142
I have read online that the optimal amount of time to study for is 30 minutes followed by a 10 minute break and repeat. Dose anybody else please know of a good study schedule?

Many thanks!
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
ChiralSuperfields said:
I have read online that the optimal amount of time to study for is 30 minutes followed by a 10 minute break and repeat. Dose anybody else please know of a good study schedule?

Many thanks!

There is no optimal amount as a general answer. It all depends on you, your efforts, and your achievements. Here is an article about it from a professor in Michigan:

https://www.ams.org/publications/journals/notices/201707/rnoti-p718.pdf
 
  • Like
Likes Vanadium 50 and ChiralSuperfields
  • #3
People tend to figure out what works for them through trial and error.

One thing you might find is that what worked well in high school doesn't necessarily carry over into undergraduate studies in university. Lots of students who excel in STEM studies at the high school level can do so through raw talent or innate ability and as a result they don't always develop strong study skills. So don't be afraid to shake things up if you're not happy with the results you're getting.

Try to make friends with others who have common goals. This will help you to identify pretty quickly what approaches are successful and which aren't. But as pointed out above, what works for other people may not work for you. Some people can sit for hours on end. Others need frequent breaks or they don't absorb the material as frequently. And when it comes to STEM subjects, much of the studying comes by working through problem sets, which doesn't always jive well with rigid timing schedules.
 
  • Like
Likes ChiralSuperfields and vela
  • #4
I find the concept of studying for a "certain amount of time" often leads to very poor time management. Better to require (of oneself) aquisition of a certain amount of knowlege. This is far superior to "well I've studied for the required two hours,.....time for beer"
 
  • Like
Likes ChiralSuperfields, symbolipoint, vela and 4 others
  • #5
Somehow the advice of "don't be afraid to take a few minutes break every now and again" as morphed into some sort of rigid rule.
 
  • Like
  • Love
Likes ChiralSuperfields, vela and Bystander
  • #6
To the OP:

From my own experience, I've found that instead of focusing on studying for a fixed amount of time, and then taking breaks at a fixed amount of time (e.g. studying for 30 minutes, then take a 15 minute break), I try to take the approach of "how much time in the day can I meaningfully use to lead a healthy life (exercise, sleep, bathe, eat properly, cook, do daily chores, etc.), and how much time do I have left over to study?"

Once I have determined how much time I have left to study, then I devote that entire time to study and see how much I learn the material I'm studying. Some material takes less time for me to learn than others. But I devote my full attention during that time. That could be 30 minutes, it could be several hours, but I devote fully to it.

Also, if I find myself struggling to understand the material, or stumped on specific subjects, then I might take a few minutes break (perhaps step out, do something else) as a means of separating myself from the material. This would give me both the opportunity to refresh my mind, and separate myself from the material momentarily to give me the needed "space" away to not become too stressed. Then I go right back in and study the material.

Keep in mind, though, that my approach may not work for you or for others. You have to try and see what approach to studying works best for you in terms of learning the material.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Likes ChiralSuperfields

Similar threads

  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
22
Views
2K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
13
Views
2K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
9
Views
3K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
7
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
2
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
3
Views
804
Replies
9
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
9
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
14
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
10
Views
2K
Back
Top