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Who Studies the Hardest?

Interesting results can be found in the recent National Survey of Student Engagement, based on the reports of 400,000 college students (freshmen or seniors) at 700 colleges or universities. The survey's goal is to measure how hard and how effectively students study.

Consider these reults:

  • Engineering students study the hardest (42% > 20 hours/week), followed in descending order by students in physical sciences, biological sciences, arts and humanties, education, social sciences, and business
  • In reverse, business majors spend more hours working at off-campus paying jobs, with engineering students working the least.
  • Students fail to use "proven" study techniques. Most students took notes, but few reviewed them...or even talked about study strategies with others.
  • About 30% of the students do not ask for help, even if they admit to not understanding the course material.
  • "First-generation" college students in a family tend to use effective study techniques, but they spend less time studying overall.
  • Students at liberal arts colleges are assigned heavier and more-challenging workloads (e.g. reading, writing, emphasis on critical thinking) than the workloads of students at universities with graduate programs.
I offer this summary with no hidden agenda...rather, I just share it because I thought it was interesting.

Source: R. Perez-Pena's "Would-Be Engineers Hit Books the Hardest, a Study Finds," NYT, 11/17/2011