Studying time decreasing in college
Published 12:40 pm, Monday, May 28, 2012
College students spend less time studying now than they did about a decade ago, according to a new report released earlier this month.
According to the National Survey of Student Engagement, 67 percent of first-year students enrolled in diverse bachelor's programs in 2011 spent between zero and 15 hours studying a week, up 10 percentage points from the first year of the study in 2000; the percentage of seniors studying for that amount of time increased only slightly, from 57.4 percent to 60 percent, the report found.
Bridgeport resident Jennifer Campbell, who just received her bachelor's degree in English from the Stamford campus of the University of Connecticut, said she spent between eight and 10 hours a week preparing for class during her final two years of college.
"I mainly spent most of my time on writing and reading. As an English major, there's not too much test taking, it's mostly reading and writing," said Campbell, who transferred to the university after spending a year at Southern Connecticut State University and two years at Housatonic Community College.
That's a pretty typical answer; one in four college seniors enrolled in diverse bachelor's programs said they studied between six and 10 hours a week, according to the 2011 report.
"To be honest, I think a lot of students spent less time," said Campbell, who spent the majority of her final semester researching, developing and writing an intense capstone paper.
But while the percentage of students studying fewer hours has grown in the past 11 years, the percentage studying the most has stayed relatively even. While the percentage of first-year students studying more than 30 hours a week held steady at 5 percent over the 11-year span, the percentage of seniors studying that amount of time climbed an insignificant amount, from 7.2 percent to 8 percent for schools such as UConn Stamford.
At the same time, the percentage of students enrolled in universities with high research activities tell a different story. While 37 percent of first-year students and 38 percent of seniors said they studied between zero and 15 hours, 6 percent and 8 percent, respectively, said they study more than 30 hours a week.
"How much time do I spend studying?" the Weston High School graduate asked. "I usually don't get to studying until about 8 o'clock at night, and I don't stop until 2 or 3 in the morning, if I'm being honest. And that's probably Monday through Thursday -- and then most of the day on Saturday and Sunday."
That estimate tallies up to between 30 and 34 hours during the week alone, before adding in his weekend sessions. And even then, some of his assignments go unread or skimmed, he said.
"I try to do as much of the reading as I can. I don't think anyone can possibly do all of it. And I don't think the idea is to read every little thing, but I try to do as much as I can," said Kalmans, who is majoring in political science. "I know few students who have the time to do every single thing."