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How much time do I need to study?

This article appears in: Balance work, life and study, Changing careers, Online study
A study desk space

Are you wondering whether you have the time to balance study with other important commitments in your life such as work, family and friends?

Figuring out where your time goes is the first step to seeing where study can fit in whilst still maintaining a healthy balance.

Step 1: Figure out where your time goes

One way of doing this is to make a log of the times that are fixed to specific activities. That is, write down all of your activities that you must do for every hour of the day for a week. Include things like work, sleep, meals, errands, relaxation etc.

Now, plot it on a timetable.

Once you have worked out where your time goes and therefore, how much free time you are likely to have, you can then look at how you might best use your time to meet your goals.

Step 2: Figure out how much time you need to study

The next step is to calculate how much time you need to study.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to consider formal contact hours (i.e. lectures and tutorials) as well as support hours (i.e. readings, revision).

We recommend you allocate 10-12 hours per subject in total.

For example, assuming you allow 11 hours per subject you can expect:

One subject 11 hours
Two subjects 22 hours
Three subjects 33 hours
Four subjects 44 hours

Step 3: Consider how you'll fit study in

Look at your week and figure out where you can either steal several small chunks of time, or one large chunk of time. For example, some CDU students study while their children nap, during their lunch break at work, for an hour or two early in the morning, or for a few hours after dinner every night. Others scale back their other commitments and set aside one or two full days of study a week. 

Remember to consider flexible study arrangements.

Your course doesn't need to studied full-time. If you need a break, you can adjust your study load as you go by reducing the number of subjects you take within a semester or even take a semester off. You can also take advantage of summer semester to spread your study load across the year or even get ahead to finish your degree sooner.

To discuss your options, reach out CDU's friendly Student Central team

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