ADVICE FOR THE YOUNG ARTIST: Five Survival Strategies for Applying to Art School

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Posted by Steven Vasquez Lopez

I started drawing as soon as I could hold a crayon: first, cartoons from TV and newspaper comics, and later, the music icons from Rolling Stone covers. I always wanted to pursue art, but I was concerned about creating a stable future for myself. As the first of my family to attend a four-year college, I felt I had to pursue a career that would be sensible and lucrative.

What I discovered surprised everyone: artists develop skills in critical thinking, creative problem solving, and visual communication that apply to countless “real-world” opportunities. Going to art school is not just a passion-pursuit; it’s a smart career move.

Here are five survival strategies to help you get through your art school applications:

  1. Debunk art school clichés. Building a case for an art school education can be intimidating. Look for resources that will help you understand your decision and talk it over with your family. Start with SFAI’s The Case for Art School, and then move on to IBM’s study, proving that creativity is the most important skill in the contemporary workplace.
  2. Do the research. Find out about a range of art schools and then narrow your list to a top ten and a top five. Gather as much information as possible by contacting the admissions teams at those schools, subscribing to mailing lists, and scheduling time to attend an open house or tour the campuses.
  3. Develop your portfolio. Take as many art and art history classes as you can. Explore options for summer study that will let you test-drive the college art experience, such as SFAI’s PreCollege Program.
  4. Focus on ideas. Art isn’t just about pretty drawings; it’s about communicating your ideas. Look for an art school that will push you both technically and conceptually. Developing critical thinking skills will help you in whatever career you choose.
  5. Research contemporary artists. Place yourself in a context of artists across time to better understand your interests and how to speak about them as you prepare a portfolio. Look at sites such as Contemporary Art Daily to help you get acquainted with the contemporary art world.

Going to art school is a big step, but if your experience is anything like mine, you will find that your investment pays off. At art school, I found validation from faculty and visiting artists, and I discovered an astounding peer community. I won awards and scholarships and received exhibitions, but I also learned how my failures transformed me and helped me grow. I found a community that supported and challenged me, and I created a life in the arts that engages my creativity and ideas, daily.

My final advice to you: Go for it.

Steven Vasquez Lopez was born in Upland, California, and currently lives and works in San Francisco, where he is Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions at San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI). Lopez completed his MFA in Painting from San Francisco Art Institute in 2007, and received his BA in Studio Art from UC Santa Barbara in 2000. He has received many honors and awards, and is exhibiting in galleries and museums across the country. He is represented by Carl E Smith Gallery in LA.


Don’t Enjoy Being a Student? These 9 Tools Can Fix That!

School supplies on blackboard background ready for your design
School supplies on blackboard background ready for your design

Posted by Robert Morris

You have probably heard this statement many times before: “there is an app for everything!” If you are a student, you’ll find that this is true. You are fortunate enough to belong to a generation of students who don’t need to think about giving up when they encounter a problem. Start using the apps and websites listed below; your life will become much easier thanks to technology!

1. Unstuck

Are you stuck in one of those moments when everything seems impossible and you’re unable to study, write projects, or attend classes? This is the tool you need! Unstuck will ask you questions with one purpose: to motivate you to stay on track and stop procrastinating.

2. Kno Textbooks

This app, available for iPhone and Android, enables you to save tons of money on textbooks. You can find the materials you need in the form of an e-textbook, and annotate and highlight directly in the app. The content can be synchronized across multiple devices, and you can also share the notes with your classmates.

3. Rate My Professors

If you’re heading off to college and need to start thinking about your course schedule, the information available at this website will help you make the right selection. The professor who teaches the course is a very important factor for your overall success. When you see the ratings and comments provided by real students, you’ll get an insider’s perspective on what a class would look like.

4. 30/30

It’s not easy to create a schedule that balances work and rest in the most effective way, but the 30/30 system works well for most students. The task manager will organize your time into effective sessions of work and some break time in between. When you get used to the productivity system, your planning and self-monitoring skills will be boosted.

5. AP Flashcards

Flashcards seem like outdated studying equipment? This Android app will change your mind. You’ll find flashcards from different AP tests and save a lot of time that you would spend in taking notes and making cards. AP Flashcards offers pre-made cards for tests in biology, statistics, history, economics, languages and literature, geography, sciences, and government and politics.

6. Studious

You’ll find this app effective in many ways. First of all, it will silence your phone during classes, so you’ll never be embarrassed when your parents try to reach you several times in a row. Studious will also remind you of the test and homework due dates; and you can use the app to save notes as well.

7. iFormulas

When you get overwhelmed by the number of formulas you need to memorize, this is the app you should use. The featured categories include algebra, geometry, calculus, physics, chemistry, trigonometry, and electrical.

8. Power Nap

Taking power naps is important when you need to recharge your batteries before getting back to studying. You can enhance your power nap thanks to this app, which enables you to customize wake up graphics, wake up sounds, and other features.

9. The Homework App – Your Class Assignment Planner

With so much homework you get on a daily basis, it’s easy to lose track and forget to complete some of the tasks. This app will prevent that from happening. The convenient, visually appealing design will help you stay on schedule and complete all assignments on time.

Let’s face it: being a student is fun, but it’s not easy to manage all those responsibilities on your own. The tools listed above will turn you into a better achiever.

Robert Morris-profile-picture
Written by Robert Morris

Robert Morris is a freelance writer from NYC. He is currently working on his first YA novel.


What is a Degree Audit?

DegreeAuditLogo_rgbDegree Audit

A degree audit is a computer-generated analysis that enables the student and his/her adviser to assess the student’s academic progress and unfulfilled baccalaureate, associate degree, or minor requirements. The audit is a valuable tool for academic planning and course selection, because it matches the courses that the student has taken with the requirements of his/her degree program or anticipated program.

Audits are available for anyone who has enrolled for credit as an undergraduate and has at least one graded semester record in most cases (situations differ based on institutions.) This includes undergraduate students in any classification (degree, degree-seeking provisional, or non-degree) and former students.


When reviewing an audit, the student should consult with an adviser for several reasons. If the audit identifies unfulfilled requirements, there are often several alternatives for satisfying these requirements. The student and adviser should discuss which courses to schedule based on the student’s abilities, interests, and plans. Advising may also be helpful in determining the best combinations of courses to schedule each semester in order to meet requirements. In addition, advising is necessary because changes to the student’s audit may be appropriate. (For example, when a course transfers from another institution and does not have an equivalent Penn State course, it is listed on the audit as an elective. When reviewed, it may be found to meet a degree requirement.)

The degree audit is not the student’s official University academic record. The transcript is the official record of completed work.


Seven Questions To Ask Before You Hire That SAT or ACT Tutor

Teenage Boy Studying With Home TutorPosted by Robert Kohen

With summer fast approaching, this is the time many parents begin to look for an SAT or ACT tutor. If you’re one of those parents, chances are you may have already heard from a friend or teacher about a tutor in your area. Before you sign your child up for tutoring, however, you’ll want to make sure the tutor is worth the investment.

Here are seven critical questions that you should ask any SAT or ACT tutor before making the hire:

1. Do you use real test questions?

Some tutors and tutoring companies produce all of their teaching materials in-house. No matter how great the questions they write may be, they will never match the authenticity of official questions written by the test makers themselves. While it’s great to supplement official questions with additional materials like math and grammar guides, it’s critical that real test questions play a substantial role in the tutoring process.

2. What kind of results do your clients see?

Great tutors produce great results. On the SAT or ACT, that means substantive score gains over time. Be wary, however, of tutors who claim to raise scores significantly within very short periods of time. For the vast majority of students, truly significant score increases require hard work spread out over a number of months.

3. What makes you a great teacher?

Many SAT and ACT tutors boast impressive credentials like high scores and Ivy League degrees but lack teaching expertise. Find out how much teaching experience the tutor has and if they work well with high school students.

4. What makes you an SAT or ACT expert?

While some tutors know the exams they teach inside and out, others may have only a superficial knowledge of them. Leading tutors have typically sat for the exam themselves, often as adults, and scored highly. They should be able to explain to you what is unique about a particular test as well as the most effective methods for preparing for it.

5. Are your lessons personalized?

A great tutor doesn’t teach the same material or use the same methods with every student, but instead adapts to your teen’s needs. See if the tutor will diagnose your teen’s weaknesses and adjust his or her lessons accordingly. To get a sense of how personalized the lessons are, ask the tutor to share stories about how he or she adapted lessons to the specific needs of former students.

6. Do you assign homework?

Substantial score improvements on the SAT or ACT are nearly impossible without hard work on the part of the student. Good tutors will provide weekly assignments, such as timed practice tests, that they will then review with students. If a tutor promises to raise your child’s score without assigning homework, that’s cause for suspicion.

7. Can you provide references?

A successful tutor will be able to provide you with references from families that he or she has worked with. This might be less important, of course, if you’ve already received the tutor’s name from a trusted source who can vouch for the tutor.

DSC_0006Written by Robert Kohen.
Robert Kohen is the director of Kohen Educational Services, a test prep firm offering personalized SAT and ACT prep in person and online. In addition to helping students master the SAT and ACT through one-on-one tutoring, Robert publishes free testing advice, lessons and strategies through his website’s Test Prep Tips Blog. Robert holds a Ph.D. from Harvard, where he formerly taught.


The Anti-Karma of College Admission


By College Admission Blog, Posted on Tue, 03/31/2015

dice1Thank you to Teen Life for featuring advice from Christine VanDeVelde in Evaluating College Choices:

If your teen has been accepted to several different colleges, first off, Congratulations! They should be very proud of this accomplishment. But now they need to determine which school they will ultimately attend.

How can teens evaluate their college options and determine which school is right for them?

Factors to Consider

Once your teen knows where they have been accepted, they need to compare each school and what it has to offer. A simple pros and cons list of each school can be very helpful.

Christine K. VanDeVelde, journalist and coauthor of the book College Admission: From Application to Acceptance, Step by Step, says, “It has been several months since the teen submitted their application to the school. They need to determine whether each school still lines up with their original goals and whether in these past few months, any of their goals have changed.”

Financial aid packages are an important consideration. Think about all the costs involved – housing, travel, books, etc.

Learn More About the Colleges Being Considered

If you can, have your teen visit or re-visit the colleges they are considering.

VanDeVelde says, “If your teen has never visited the school, they must do so before committing. Many schools have programs to cover the cost of a visit if the student cannot afford the travel expenses.”

Lisa Sohmer, Director of College Counseling at the Garden School says, “Many colleges have Accepted Students Day where teens can meet other students considering the school. They can also meet professors and talk to students already attending the college.” Spend time in the student center and dining halls. Read the postings on the walls and bulletin boards – see if there are events going on that would interest you if you attended the school.

After acceptance letters go out, many schools start Facebook groups for prospective students. This can be another good way for your teen to get a feel for whether they will feel comfortable with the incoming students.

Teens Should Decide

While many parents today do play a strong role in the college application process, deciding where to go to school should ultimately be the teen’s decision.

If teens ask for an opinion, be honest but try not to influence their decision (unless it is a financial necessity, it which case, speak up). Ultimately it is the teen that needs to attend the school, so they need to own the choices. Says VanDeVelde, “There comes a point where the teen needs to be the judge. I advise teens not to talk to too many people. It’s not your parent’s decision or your boyfriend’s or counselor’s – it is your decision.”

Teens should try not to be influenced by peers. Students may let the decisions of fellow high school classmates factor into their own. Some teens may want to go to a college with many teens from their town while others may not want to go somewhere no one knows them. Sohmer says, “The reality is, even if many kids from your high school go to the college, you may never see them and the experience will be different.”

Making the Most of the College Experience

For many teens, the deciding factor comes down to a gut reaction. Sohmer says, “Students will be the most successful at a school they feel they can make a home for themselves.”

Regardless of how much time and energy teens put into their decision, there are many factors beyond their control (dorm assignments, classes, roommates, etc.) that can influence their college experience. It is up to the teen to remember why they chose the school and to seek out the things that interested them socially and academically. Says VanDeVelde, “College is filled with such great opportunities and friendships – it is up to teens to make the most of whatever college they choose to attend. Best advice? It’s not where you go, but what you do when you get there.”


How College Differs from High School


Personal Freedom in High School Personal Freedom in College

High School is mandatory and free (unless you choose other options). College is voluntary and expensive.

Your time is usually structured by others. You manage your own time.

You need permission to participate in extracurricular activities. You must decide whether to participate in extracurricular activities. (Hint: Choose wisely in the first semester and add later.)

You need money for special purchases or events. You need money to meet basic necessities.

You can count on parents and teachers to remind you of your responsibilities and to guide you in setting priorities. You will be faced with a large number of moral and ethical decisions you have not had to face previously. You must balance your responsibilities and set priorities.

Guiding principle: You will usually be told what your responsibilities are and corrected if your behavior is out of line. Guiding principle: You’re old enough to take responsibility for what you do and don’t do, as well as for the consequences of your actions.
High School Classes College Classes

Each day you proceed from one class directly to another. You often have hours between classes; class times vary throughout the day and evening.

You spend 6 hours each – 30 hours a week – in class. You spend 12 to 16 hours each week in class.

The school year is 36 weeks long; some classes extend over both semesters and some do not. The academic year is divided into two separate 15-week semesters, plus a week after each semester for exams (not including summer school).

Most of your classes are arranged for you. You arrange your own schedule in consultation with your academic adviser. Schedules tend to look lighter than they really are.

Teachers carefully monitor class attendance. Professors may not formally take roll, but they are still likely to know whether or not you attend.

Classes generally have no more than 35 students. Classes may number 100 students or more.

You are provided with textbooks at little or no expense. You need to budget substantial funds for textbooks, which will usually cost more than $300 each semester.

You are not responsible for knowing what it takes to graduate. Graduation requirements are complex and differ for different majors and sometimes different years. You are expected to know those that apply to you.
High School Teachers College Professors

Teachers check your completed homework. Professors may not always check completed homework, but they will assume you can perform the same tasks on tests.

Teachers remind you of your incomplete work. Professors may not remind you of incomplete work.

Teachers approach you if they believe you need assistance. Professors are usually open and helpful, but most expect you to initiate contact if you need assistance.

Teachers are often available for conversation before, during, or after class. Professors expect and want you to attend their scheduled office hours.

Teachers have been trained in teaching methods to assist in imparting knowledge to students. Professors have been trained as experts in their particular areas of research.

Teachers provide you with information you missed when you were absent. Professors expect you to get from classmates any notes from classes you missed.

Teachers present material to help you understand the material in the textbook. Professors may not follow the textbook. Instead, to amplify the text, they may give illustrations, provide background information, or discuss research about the topic you are studying. Or they may expect you to relate the classes to the textbook readings.

Teachers often write information on the board to be copied in your notes. Professors may lecture nonstop, expecting you to identify the important points in your notes. When professors write on the board, it may be to amplify the lecture, not to summarize it. Good notes are a must.

Teachers often take time to remind you of assignments and due dates. Professors expect you to read, save, and consult the course syllabus (outline); the syllabus spells out exactly what is expected of you, when it is due, and how you will be graded.
Studying in High School Studying in College

You may study outside of class as little as 0 to 2 hours a week, and this may be mostly last-minute test preparation. You may need to study at least 2 to 3 hours outside of class for each hour in class.

You often need to read or hear presentations only once to learn all you need to learn about them. You need to review class notes and text material regularly.

You are expected to read short assignments that are then discussed and often re-taught in class. You are assigned substantial amounts of reading and writing, which may or may not be directly addressed in class.

Guiding principle: You will usually be told in class what you needed to learn form assigned readings. Guiding principle: It’s up to you to read and understand the assigned material; lectures and assignments proceed from the assumption that you’ve already done so.
Tests in High School Tests in College

Testing is frequent and covers small amounts of material. Testing is usually infrequent and may be cumulative, covering large amounts of material. You, not the professor, need to organize the material to prepare for the test. A particular course may have only 2 or 3 tests in a semester.

Makeup tests are often available. Makeup tests are seldom an option; if they are, you need to request them.

Teachers frequently rearrange test to avoid conflict with school events. Professors in different courses usually schedule tests without regard to the demands of other courses or outside activities.

Teachers frequently conduct review sessions, pointing out the most important concepts. Professors rarely offer review sessions, and when they do, they expect you to be an active participant, one who comes prepared with questions.

Mastery is usually seen as the ability to reproduce what you were taught in the form in which it was presented to you, or to solve the kinds of problems you were shown to solve. Mastery is often seen as the ability to apply what you’ve learned to new situations or to solve new kinds of problems.
Grades in High School Grades in College

Grades are given for most assigned work. Grades may not be provided for all assigned work.

Consistently good homework grades may help raise your overall grade when test grades are low. Grades on tests and major papers usually provide most of the course grade.

Extra credit projects are often available to help you raise your grade. Extra credit projects, generally speaking, cannot be used to raise a grade in a college course.

Initial test grades, especially when they are low, may not have an adverse effect on your final grade. Watch out for your first tests. They are usually wake-up calls to let you know what is expected – but they also may account for a substantial part of your course grade. You may be shocked when you get your grades. If you receive notice of low grades (Academic Warning), see your professor.

You may graduate as long as you have passed all required courses with a grade of D or higher. You may graduate only if your average in classes meets the departmental standard – typically a 2.0 or C.

Guiding principle: Effort counts. Courses are usually structured to reward a good-faith effort. Guiding principle: Results count. Though good-faith effort is important in regard to the professor’s willingness to help you achieve good results, it will not substitute for results in the grading process.


Dominion University with funding from the Virginia Department of Education

Revised by the Southern Methodist University with collaboration with colleagues in the Dedman College Advising Center and faculty from the Provost’s Commission on Teaching and Learning and the English Department’s First-YearWriting Program.

Further adaptations made by the Office of Academic Support Programs, Baylor University.



What your mother never told you about college


imgslideshowbanner_0The follow are excerpts for The Tennessean, August 9, 2001  Mary Hance Staff Writer

Going away to college can be an anxious time. And anyone  experiencing it for the first time can always use some friendly advice from people who have survived it.

We’ve put together tips from a variety of ”expert” sources, including area college students who were more than willing to share some of the things they wish someone had told them before they packed up and headed out to life on their own

Gayle Walters, University of North Florida:

  • ”Make sure the instructor knows you are interested in doing good work, not just in good grades. Learning to please your instructor is part of your education and will be useful in learning to please your future boss.
  • ”Sit in the front row, in the middle. This has several benefits, including fewer distractions. You’ll have to get there early the first week or two, but then the seat is yours.
  • ”Get a study buddy and quiz each other. With your text books, read the introduction and check to see if your instructor wrote the book. Don’t be the first to finish a test. Nobody likes the (wise acre). Do your papers well ahead of time and let them have a few days to cool, so you can make last minute changes if you have to.”

Srijaya Reddy of Brentwood, recent Emory University graduate:

  • ”When scheduling classes, pick the professor, not the time of day. The person teaching can make all the difference.
  • ”There’s a lot of cool stuff on campus, but you may have to look for it. Don’t get so caught up in making friends and writing papers that you don’t take time to look around. Join a club affiliated with your major. You’ll meet faculty and make contacts that you will need in the future
  • ”Don’t leave your clothes in the dryer longer than they should be there. Things will get stolen or disappear. The ‘freshman 15′ isn’t just from dorm food. It’s from alcohol and ordering pizza when you’re trashed at 3 a.m.”

Sarah Snyder, junior nursing major at Belmont University:

  • ”Never buy new books. Used books are usually much cheaper and have notes and highlighted passages as helpful hints.” (But be sure to check them thoroughly to be sure there are no missing pages or other problems.)
  • ”Take advantage of free concerts and lectures. After all you are paying for them.
  • ”If you are required to have a freshman meal plan, use it. Looking back, I can’t believe how much money I wasted on buying food when a hot meal was at my fingertips.”

Shelby Lloyd of Goodlettsville, Winthrop University:

  • ”Take advantage of all of the academic resources on campus. In high school, I thought I was a great writer, but reality set in when I received my first F on a paper. After a few trips to the writing center, my grades improved by three letters. I encourage all freshmen to use their writing or math centers before it is too late and to ask upperclassmen for help with classes.”

Jamie Justice of Springfield, University of Tennessee Knoxville:

  • Jamie took eight concrete cinderblocks to UT with her. ”I covered them with some cheap contact paper and I set my bed in my dorm room on top of them. Not only is it cheaper than buying a loft for my bed, but it gave me extra storage space.’

Naoko Fukushima of Murfreesboro, law student:

  • ”Please be cognizant of underage drinking, date rape, drugs, overdose, STDs, etc. Amazingly, these are not other people’s problem any more. Keep this in the back of your mind and take appropriate action as necessary.
  • ”You need to have a goal which you can actually write down on a piece of paper. If you do not have a goal, you may be lost throughout your college years.
  • ”Keep your mind open when you are meeting people. Use this opportunity to meet people from all walks of life and to learn from them.”

Tomarrow Molsberry of Dickson, Austin Peay University:

  • ”Don’t room with your best friend if you want to stay friends with him/her.
  • ”Ask upper classmen for advice on which professors to take. You’d be surprised at how much of a difference it can make if you have a good professor.
  • ”Go to class!”

These tips come from Bed Bath and Beyond:

  •  You can postpone doing laundry ’til you run out of underwear and socks. Bring lots of each.
  • Because you will be living on your bed, your comforter needs to be washable. Check the tag.
  • Put a dry erase message board on your dorm door so others can leave messages for you.
  • Be sure to have an extra set of room and car keys.
  • Make two copies of everything in your wallet. Keep one copy in your dorm room and the other at home.
  • Memorize your social security number. You will need it more times than you can imagine.
  • Rolls of quarters are a college commodity. Also batteries. You can never have enough.
  • Put the school decal on the back window of your parents’ car. They will think of you every time they look in the rear-view mirror

Classroom clues from Been There, Should’ve Done That II

  • Sitting in a classroom is the easiest part of college and it cuts the study time in half. Why make it hard on yourself? Go!
  • You are basically screwed if you miss a math class.

Another place to look is, a college-oriented Web site, where advice includes:

  • Don’t accept drinks from strangers at parties. You never know what’s in them.
  • Get an internship to gain real world experience.

These tips were featured in an article by Jen Miller in The Minaret, a campus newspaper at the University of Tampa.

  • Homesickness is a normal thing and almost everyone around you is feeling crappy, too. If you’re feeling lonely, look on the bright side and realize that you fit in.
  • Be careful about who you date. Remember, you haven’t known these people since kindergarten and, quite frankly, most people on this campus don’t give a damn if someone breaks your heart.
  • Piercings and tattoos may seem cool, but think of what your mom will say. Better yet, think of what your kids will say.
  • Credit cards and check cards can be dangerous.
  • So can fake IDs.
  • The No. 1 one cause of plunging GPAs is putting partying before studying.
  • Don’t be pressured into sex. There’s more respect for virgins out there than you think and many students wish they could still be one.
  • Try to schedule some exercise time. It is a great stress reliever.
  • ï Check the attendance policy before skipping a class.
  • Have your favorite movies with you. They’re great comforters when you’re feeling low.
  • Not everyone will like you.
  • Stick with people who do.
  • You’ll do things in college you never dreamed you would do.
  • Don’t feel pressured to do anything though.
  • Stay away from drinking games.
  • Never go to parties or clubs alone or with someone you barely know.
  • Call your parents at least once a week.
  • Always have a designated driver or enough money for a cab.

Check out This Web site is packed with advice. You’ll find tips on getting organized, on developing good study skills, on finding a good study spot and on figuring out professors. And that’s just for starters. Mary Hance is a staff writer and columnist for The Tennessean.


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How to Manage Your Time as a College Student


  1. A Personal Time Survey.

To begin managing your time you first need a clearer idea of how you now use your time. The Personal Time Survey will help you to estimate how much time you currently spend in typical activities. To get a more accurate estimate, you might keep track of how you spend your time for a week. This will help you get a better idea of how much time you need to prepare for each subject. It will also help you identify your time wasters. But for now complete the Personal Time Survey to get an estimate. The following survey shows the amount of time you spend on various activities. When taking the survey, estimate the amount of time spent on each item. Once you have this amount, multiply it by seven. This will give you the total time spent on the activity in one week. After each item’s weekly time has been calculated, add all these times for the grand total. Subtract this from 168, the total possible hours per week. Here We Go:

  1. Number of hours of sleep each night ________ X 7 = _______
  2. Number of grooming hours per day ________ X 7 = _______
  3. Number of hours for meals/snacks per day – include preparation time ________ X 7 = _______

4a. Total travel time weekdays           ________ X 5= _______

4b. Total travel time weekends           _______

  1. Number of hours per week for regularly scheduled functions (clubs, church, get-togethers, etc.) _______
  2. Number of hours per day for chores, errands, extra grooming, etc. ________ X 7 = _______
  3. Number of hours of work per week _______
  4. Number of hours in class per week _______
  5. Number of average hours per week socializing, dates, etc. Be honest! _______

Now add up the totals:           _______

Subtract the above number from 168             168 – _______ = _______

The remaining hours are the hours you have allowed yourself to study.

  1. Study Hour Formula.

To determine how many hours you need to study each week to get A’s, use the following rule of thumb. Study two hours per hour in class for an easy class, three hours per hour in class for an average class, and four hours per hour in class for a difficult class. For example, basket weaving 101 is a relatively easy 3 hour course. Usually, a person would not do more than 6 hours of work outside of class per week. Advanced calculus is usually considered a difficult course, so it might be best to study the proposed 12 hours a week. If more hours are needed, take away some hours from easier courses, i.e., basket weaving. Figure out the time that you need to study by using the above formula for each of your classes.

Easy class credit hours            ________ x 2 = _______

Average class credit hours      ________ X 3 = _______

Difficult class credit hours      ________ X 4 = _______

Total    _______

Compare this number to your time left from the survey. Now is the time when many students might find themselves a bit stressed. Just a note to ease your anxieties. It is not only the quantity of study time but also it’s quality. This formula is a general guideline. Try it for a week, and make adjustments as needed.

  1. Daily Schedules

There are a variety of time schedules that can fit your personality. These include engagement books, a piece of poster board tacked to a wall, or 3 x 5 cards.

Once you decide upon the style, the next step is construction. It is best to allow spaces for each hour, half-hours for a busy schedule. First, put down all of the necessities; classes, work, meals, etc. Now block in your study time (remember the study time formula presented earlier). Schedule it for a time when you are energized. Also, it’s best to review class notes soon after class. Make sure to schedule in study breaks, about 10 minutes each hour. Be realistic on how many courses to take. To succeed in your courses you need to have the time to study. If you find you don’t have time to study and you’re not socializing to an extreme, you might want to consider lightening your load. Tips for Saving Time Now that you know how you spend most of your time, take a look at it. Think about what your most important things are. Do you have enough time? Chances are that you do not. Below are some tips on how to schedule and budget your time when it seems you just don’t have enough.

  1. Don’t be a perfectionist

Trying to be a perfect person sets you up for defeat. Nobody can be perfect. Difficult tasks usually result in avoidance and procrastination. You need to set achievable goals, but they should also be challenging. There will always be people both weaker and stronger than you.

  1. Learn to say no

For example, an acquaintance of yours would like you to see a movie with him tonight. You made social plans for tomorrow with your friends and tonight you were going to study and do laundry. You really are not interested. You want to say no, but you hate turning people down. Politely saying no should become a habit. Saying no frees up time for the things that are most important.

  1. Learn to Prioritize

Prioritizing your responsibilities and engagements is very important. Some people do not know how to prioritize and become procrastinators. A “to do list” places items in order of importance. One method is the ABC list. This list is divided into three sections; a, b, or c. The items placed in the A section are those needed to be done that day. The items placed in the B section need completion within the week. The C section items are those things that need to be done within the month. As the B, C items become more pertinent they are bumped up to the A or B list. Try it or come up with your own method, but do it.

  1. Combine several activities

Another suggestion is to combine several activities into one time spot. While commuting to school, listen to taped notes. This allows up to an hour or two a day of good study review. While showering make a mental list of the things that need to be done. When you watch a sit-com, laugh as you pay your bills. These are just suggestions of what you can do to combine your time, but there are many others, above all be creative, and let it work for you.

  1. Learn to say no

For example, an acquaintance of yours would like you to see a movie with him tonight. You made social plans for tomorrow with your friends and tonight you were going to study and do laundry. You really are not interested. You want to say no, but you hate turning people down. Politely saying no should become a habit. Saying no frees up time for the things that are most important.

  1. Conclusion

After scheduling becomes a habit, then you can adjust it. It’s better to be precise at first. It is easier to find something to do with extra time then to find extra time to do something. Most importantly, make it work for you. A time schedule that is not personalized and honest is not a time schedule at all.