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Free Time in College: How much Time and How to use it Well

free time in college

If you are a student, then you probably have free time or at least some time to kill in your college. Free time is your friend as it can help you discover who you are and the type of person you will be.

There are several ways that you can organize and manage your free time in college and still have a lot of fun while you do it.

How much Free Time do College Students have?

Not all the time do college students spend on academics or classwork. They do have free time. However, that depends on your schedule and how you manage your time.

On average, a college student has between 3 hours to 5 hours of free time. This is because most students spend about 4 to 6 hours a day on class time in total, not including time doing homework, which is considered personal time.

That leaves a minimum of 3 hours per day as free time for other activities.

studying in college

This free time can be spent on personal or co-curricular activities like exercising and socializing with friends.

College can be different from high school in the sense that it is up to you to make a schedule that works best for you.

You have the freedom to choose how you want your life structured, which can be daunting for some people. 

However, once you get into a routine, it will become easier as the semester progresses.

A good place to start is by making a calendar for each month with all of your assignments written down along with events or activities you have planned. Once you see where everything falls in place, it is easier to judge how much time you actually have during each week.

In addition, there are plenty of apps out there that can help keep track of deadlines and remind you about them before they arrive so that nothing slips through the cracks!

Factors determining a student’s Free Time

1. The types of Courses They Take

The number of classes one takes will determine how much free time they have. Some classes have a lot of assignments while others do not.


Therefore, when taking such classes, students will have more free time than those who take classes with a lot of assignments.

Also, students on a particular course find that they have less free time during their course than those on another.

Computer Science, for instance, requires quite a lot of practical work.

As such, it means that students on this course may have to devote much of their free time to preparing for and attending classes.

Students who study subjects such as English or History, on the other hand, do not have to spend so much time in the lab and will therefore have more free time.

2. Workload at school

Such could be the amount of work assigned to each student by the supervisor. If a student has many assignments, then he/she will not have enough free time because he/she will need to complete the tasks before the given deadline.

3. Attendance at Lectures and Tutorials

Some students choose not to attend all their classes or even some. Those who do often find that this leaves them with very little free time as they are either in class or preparing for class all day long. 

Others who attend but are not diligent about their studies may also find that their grades suffer and that they need to study more to pass their modules successfully. These too will inevitably have less free time.

4. The type of School you Attend

Some schools offer online classes, while others offer physical classes. In the case of online courses, students will have a lot of free time compared to those who attend physical classes.

How many Hours College Students Study per Week

The question of how many hours to study per week lacks a single answer. A great way to determine the amount of time you should study for each class is to divide the number of credit hours by two.

college student studying

For example, if you take 15 credit hours, you should plan to study for about 30 hours per week.

Of course, you may need to adjust that number based on your individual needs and preferences.

For example, if you have test anxiety or tend to naturally incline toward math and science topics, you will likely need more than 30 hours per week to succeed in your classes. 

On the other hand, if you are a nontraditional student who already has a college degree and a family, you might want to consider taking fewer classes.

The decision is vital so that you can keep up with work and family obligations while still earning good grades in your classes.

What Determines the College Workload and Study Hours?

  • Major/Program: Some college majors require more study time than others. For example, engineering majors often spend 2-3 times as long studying as psychology majors. 

Therefore, if you’re an average engineering major, you may need to set aside 18-20 hours per week for studying and coursework, whereas if you are in psychology, you may only have to dedicate 6-10 hours per week.

  • Class Schedule: The number of classes you take also affects your study time. If you’re taking 15 credit hours (5 classes), you will have more homework than someone taking 12 credit hours (4 classes).

College workload and study hours vary widely among students and institutions, but most students spend between 12 and 15 hours per week in class and another 20 or so doing homework. 

  • Class Level: Freshman year is often the hardest because freshmen are adjusting to college life, which includes more study time than high school.

Most colleges require at least 120 credits for graduation, which means that assuming five classes per semester, students spend 15 to 18 hours in class each week. 

For their free time, students are at liberty. They decide on what to do with their college free time for themselves. But the best advice is to strike a balance between studies and free time in college.

FAQs on Student Time

How many hours a day do top students study?

On average top students will spend about 4-6 hours on classwork/studying a day. Top students don’t study harder; they study smarter. Those students are more efficient in their studying. They have a better plan and do things with a purpose. 

One should also try to be efficient when studying so that you can spend less time working on your homework assignments or preparing for tests without sacrificing the quality of work or sleep/rest time!

Maximum hours one can study in a day

The hours one can study in a day depends on his/her mental stamina. It can be 2 hours for some, while for some, it can be 8-9 hours. The maximum hours one can study in a day is around 8-9 hours if he has good mental stamina.

For those who have less stamina, it should be less than 5 hours, and for those who have average stamina, it should be around 6-7 hours per day.

How much time do college students spend on homework?

The average college student spends about 13 hours per week on homework. Roughly 56% of college students report spending at least six hours each week doing homework. More importantly, it also depends on your needs. 

Hours spent studying by major

Arts, humanities, and social sciences majors put in an average of 14.6 hours of study time per week, while business students studied the most, with an average of 18.3 hours per week.

Engineering and science majors came in second with 17.8 hours of weekly study time, followed by health science majors at 16.1 hours and math and computer science majors at 16 hours.

Students studying education are likely to study less than the average student, at just 13 hours per week. Math and science majors tend to study more than other students.