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Setting the truth straight about study time

If you or someone you know is currently studying, how do you know what time commitments are expected? Tackle the expectations and realities of study time so you or your student can be prepared for study success!

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Setting the truth straight about study time

  1. 1. Setting the truth STRAIGHT about study time
  2. 2. “Going to university was slightly challenging because I was first in my family to do it, so no one knew what the workload would be or what was involved.” - Meg
  3. 3. While your loved ones may be supportive of your study goals, if you’re the first in your family to study at university, they may have some trouble understanding just how much time you need to spend completing uni tasks in order to be successful. If this happens, try not to feel frustrated. Remember, this is all new to them too, so take some time to talk to your loved ones about their expectations and the reality of how much time you will need to spend studying. The key to managing your loved one’s expectations and maintaining a healthy study-life balance is communication. Who knows, you might even have some questions about the reality of uni study time yourself!
  4. 4. So, how much time does it really take to be a successful uni student? ????
  5. 5. Amount of time required to study each course Expectation • 3-4 hours/week per course • Attend lectures and tutorials and that’s it. Reality • 8-10 hours/week per course • This time includes attending lectures and tutorials, completing set readings, and assignment preparation.
  6. 6. While the amount of time you spend studying is ultimately up to you, typically, you will be expected to spend between 8 and 10 hours each week studying for each course you’re enrolled in. What you actually do during this time may differ between courses. For example, you could spend time rereading your lecture notes, reading set texts and researching supplementary information, completing set activities or sharing your opinions and questions with your classmates via USQStudyDesk. Check out The Learning Centre to find out how you can access academic support, and visit Social Hub to discover study tips and student advice.
  7. 7. Assignments Expectation • You can write a 2000 word essay in a day, right? Reality • You should aim to spend at least a month, yes, 4 weeks, on each assignment.
  8. 8. While it may be possible to write 2000 words in a day, successful uni students need to spend time researching and reading about the assignment topic. In reality, this can take up to several weeks to complete properly, before you even start writing ... and then there’s the feedback and proofing stages! While assignments might not seem like a big deal, they can make up a large percentage of your overall grade for a course, so it’s worthwhile spending the extra time to get it right. Tip: Check out the assignment support and resources available from The Learning Centre and the Library, then discover How to approach your first assignment.
  9. 9. Exam preparation Expectation • Who needs sleep the night before an exam? Just cram! Reality • It’s important to prepare for exams during semester as well as in the lead up to exams.
  10. 10. While cramming for an exam the night before is a stereotype of uni student life, it is much better for your own physical and mental health to ensure you spread out your study load throughout the semester. If you have been spending the recommended 8-10 hours a week studying for each course, you will already be in a great position to face exams, but to increase your chances of success, you’ll still need to put in extra hours of study beforehand to go over all of the course material you’ve covered throughout the semester. Study for exams can be stressful, so if you ever feel like you need to chat to someone other than your family and friends, contact the team at Student Services, who can give you the support you may need.
  11. 11. As you can see, studying at uni is likely to keep you quite busy! Knowing how much time study will take is the first step … the second step is knowing how to communicate this to your family and friends.
  12. 12. There may be times when your mum wants to you come over for dinner or your friends want you to go out with them, but you know you need to stay in, knuckle down and tick some study goals off your to-do list. While they may not understand this at first, take the time to explain to your loved ones why you need to stay at home this time, how much study you actually need to do, and ask for their support.
  13. 13. “You feel guilty, but then you go, hang on, I’m doing this so that we can have a better life.” - Ros
  14. 14. It’s important to remember that you’re not in this alone and that your workload can affect those around you. If you feel stressed about how much you have to do at uni and would like your family and friends to be more supportive, the first step is to ask. Talking to them about how they can support you during busy times will help them feeling involved, explain your potentially short fuse and allow you some uninterrupted, guilt-free study time. Being honest about how much time you need to spend studying and communicating this clearly with your loved ones will ensure you are supported throughout your study journey by the people who matter most, your friends and family.
  15. 15. If you’d like to talk to someone about how to speak to your family and friends about your uni commitments, make an appointment with the team at Student Services, and have a chat to someone about how you can start the conversation. For more information about being the first in your family to go to university, visit social.usq.edu.au/fif. CRICOS: QLD00244B  NSW02225M  TEQSA: PRV12081  31.2.7  08.2016  Graphics © Shutterstock  Photos © USQ Online Marketing social.usq.edu.au/fif The First in Family Project (Phase 2) is funded through the Commonwealth Government’s Higher Education Participation Program (HEPP) in 2016, to improve the access, participation and success of students from communities under-represented in higher education.

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