In high school, you may have finished homework in the hall right before class on more than one occasion and still earned a good grade; that just isn't possible in college. College freshmen are usually shocked at how much time they are expected to spend on coursework outside of class. You can expect to spend as much time on homework in college as you would at a job.

Two-or-Three-for-One Rule

To be successful, manage and prioritize your study time like a job.
To be successful, manage and prioritize your study time like a job.

The Teaching and Learning Center of the University of Oregon recommends that you spend at least two to three hours per course hour reading, studying or doing homework. Likewise, the University of Michigan-Flint recommends between six to nine hours of study time per week per three-credit hour course. Therefore, a full-time student taking four courses will devote, on average, between three to five hours per day working on coursework in addition to class time. Although these figures may seem high compared to high school, they are not outlandish considering what you will have to do during that time.

Lectures

In college, class time is lecture time.
In college, class time is lecture time.

Many high schools offer an open period or study hall, and you can study or finish homework during that time. Also, many teachers may give you time during their classes to work on homework or read. However, in college, you must complete all the assignments and reading before coming to class, as the professor reserves class time for lecture or discussion.

Read, Read, Read

At first, the amount of reading for classes may feel overwhelming.
At first, the amount of reading for classes may feel overwhelming.

You will read a lot more per class in college than you did in high school. Also, the content of the text will be more complicated and difficult to understand. As a result, reading will take you longer. If you skim, you won’t understand or remember important information that will be on the test or discussed in class, and your grade will reflect your lack of effort. Remember that just because assigned reading is never discussed in class or mentioned in lecture doesn't mean it won’t be on the test.

Nothing But Tests

Some professors only give tests and require no homework other than reading and review.
Some professors only give tests and require no homework other than reading and review.

Some professors will not require minor homework assignments in addition to the readings but will give only major tests. This means that reading, review and study time are even more crucial, as flunking just one test will negatively affect your overall grade in the course, possibly beyond redemption.