Skip to content
Search Icon

Studying in College Vs. High School

be in the know

High school: students may study little (0-2 hours a week) and it may mostly be in preparation for a test

College: students may need to study at least 2-3 hours for each hour of class


For some students, the workload at college is shocking! If you need help, see us in DS & visit the Academic Commons for tutoring & other support!

What to expect

to do


Students may need to continually review class notes and text materials, whereas in high school, one read was usually sufficient.


Large amounts of reading & writing are assigned without being discussed in class, whereas in high school the material was short and re-taught in class


It is up to students to understand what must be learned from reading assignments

tests and grades


Professors rarely offer review sessions, and they are run by teacher assistants if they do

Mastery is determined by the student's ability to apply what they've been told or read to new situations


Tests are infrequent and cover large amounts of material


Make-up tests are almost never allowed


professors schedule tests without regard to school events or other classes


High School

  • Most assignment receive grades and can pad your overall grade
  • Good hw grades may help raise poor test scores
  • Extra credit is offered
  • Initial tests are often not counted, especially if they are low


  • Assigned work may or may not be graded
  • Test & major papers provide the majority of the grade, but grades may be lowered if hw is not done
  • Extra credit options are not typically available
  • First tests let students know what is expected

bar graph

responsibility in high school

Time is structured by others


Attending is mandatory and schools make sure you are there

Adults remind students of responsibilities and help set priorities

Students are not responsible for knowing requirements to graduate

Permission is required for extracurriculars

Students are corrected if their behavior is out of line, but teachers reteach behavior expectations

Most classes are arranged for the student

responsibility at college, it's on you...

Students are expected to take responsibility for their actions and decisions


Attending is voluntary; no one will make you attend


Students decide if they can handle extracurriculars

Students schedule their own classes

Students manage their own time

Students balance their own responsibilities and priorities


Graduation requirements are complicated and frequently change; students are expected to know what applies to them

time committments

High School

Small classes

Students go from one class to the next

6 hours a day (30 hours/week) in classes





In College

Classes can have more than 100 students

Students have long breaks between classes & may have class at night

2 to 4 classes a day (12 to 16 hours/week)

College schedules can be flexible

were you there?

Unlike in high school, attendance may or may not be taken, but professors know who misses. When you ask for help, expect the professor to consider your attendance relevant.


Not only is tuition expensive, but students typically spend $600 or more on textbooks each semester!

Have you looked into financial aid? Some students with disabilities receive assistance from Vocational Rehabilitation Services.

Attitude is the mind's paintbrush. It can color any situation.

Accessibility Services
Office Phone: 507-537-7318

Last Modified: 1/20/23 11:34 AM | Website Feedback