When they first look at their timetables, many students assume that they will have lots of free time. A humanities or social sciences student, for example, may have 15 hours of classes per week, a life science student will average about 20 hours, while an engineering student will have approximately 25-30 hours in class per week. It is important to realize, however, that for each hour spent in class, students need to spend at least 1-3 hours in study time.

Attending university is a full-time occupation for students who want to get the most out of the experience. That means that a part-time job that occupies more than 10-15 hours per week is likely to have an adverse effect on a full-time student’s academic performance.

It is expected that students will spend a considerable amount of time out of class on private and group study (reading, researching, preparing for assignments, presentations, tests and exams, etc.) and most will find that expectations at university are far higher than they were in high school.

The volume of work increases dramatically and many will discover that what worked for them in high school (for example, having a good memory and studying furiously the night before a test) will not work at university. They will need to plan ahead more, develop effective time management skills, and will have less time for family activities and household duties.