Q: How much time should I devote to an accelerated degree program?

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A: Accelerated courses and programs are a terrific opportunity for students to earn their degrees in less annual time than traditional courses and programs, but the tradeoff is that it does require about the same actual amount of time in order to complete the courses.

Different schools and experts have different ideas on how much time should be spent on studying and coursework, so the answer does vary depending on the source. Students taking a full course load should expect to spend around the same amount of time on class and schoolwork as they would for a full-time job, and sometimes with a little overtime. Students need to be prepared to spend time in class and allow themselves adequate time to study notes, complete assignments, and be sure they know the material.

For students saying, “I need a degree fast”, accelerated programs can be ideal. But they can also be very demanding. Students will focus on learning the same material presented in traditional full-length courses over an abbreviated time with a majority of accelerated programs. Other programs may offer self-paced courses, but that in no way means students are allowed to study any less if they want to keep the program going at an accelerated rate. Students participating in programs that allow them to move through content they are already familiar with and spend more time learning the new content are likely to offer students a bit more freedom in choosing whether or not they need to add a few extra hours to study each week. While students should take the advice offered at their particular school on how much time to spend on their schoolwork, students should be able to figure out for themselves how much time to set aside for their studies after the first couple of weeks.

Students who are unable to spend a good deal of time on studying and schoolwork may do better to seek out options other than accelerated courses and programs. While students want their degree as soon as possible, being unable to maintain good enough grades due to time constraints or poor time budgeting will likely be a setback causing an accelerated program to take more time than a traditional program. It is not uncommon for students to try to juggle too many activities alongside their schoolwork and leave themselves too short on time to study. Many accelerated degree programs are designed for students who are able to make obtaining the degree their main focus while other activities are secondary priorities.

When it’s time to study, students should focus and make the most of their study time and be sure to avoid any distractions. Televisions and phones are best turned off, and computers should only be used for the schoolwork being done on them. Making the most of study time can potentially reduce the amount of time students spend each day while studying. When it isn’t uncommon for full-time students to spend 40-60 hours each week on their education, avoiding distractions can minimize the time spent. Meanwhile, checking the phone and texting friends back or checking social media and watching silly cat videos can extend the time spent doing the work.

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