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Is college too easy? As study time falls, debate rises

Three years ago attending lectures, studying and eating were the only occupations in my life. I spent 13 hours at school every day and often continued my schoolwork at night. In my family, and many other families in China the holidays are considered an extended “study hall” rather than the break from schoolwork they offer students in other nations…

On average the time students in China spend on schoolwork each day is 11.7 hours for high school students, 9.67 hours for middle school students, 8.46 hours for technical school students, and 6.98 hours for primary school students. Read more

**What is expected?** The general rule of thumb regarding college studying is, and has been for a long time, that for each class, students should spend approximately 2-3 of study time for each hour that they spend in class. Many students carry a course load of 15 credits, or approximately 15 hours of class time each week. Doing some simple math indicates that your student should be spending roughly 30 hours of study time and 15 hours in class. This 45 hours is the equivalent of a full time job – the reason that your student is called a full time student. For many students, this number is a surprise. Read more

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Here are some additional articles:

- The Average Study Time for College Tests
- How much do you study?
- Student-Shadowing: Spending a Day in a Chinese High School

China

Because China is in the northern hemisphere, its summer months are in line with Asia, Europe, and North America. The school year in China typically runs from the beginning of September to mid-July. Summer vacation is generally spent in summer classes or studying for entrance exams. The average school day runs from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a two-hour lunch break. Formal education in China lasts for nine years. China provides all students with uniforms, but does not require they be worn.

There are about 21 students in each classroom. All Chinese students study from textbooks that emphasize China’s unity, past and present accomplishments, and its future. Students in China also have great access to computer technology, with a computer to student ratio of 1:2. Chinese language and math skills are tested at the end of each year. Math is typically taught by drill, which means students are repeatedly taught the basics of math until they are able to demonstrate comprehension. Education in China since the turn of the 21st century has been undergoing reform, with curriculum being redesigned to emphasize group activities and other methods believed to foster creativity and innovation.

### Costa Rica

Costa Rica was one of the first nations in Central and South America to offer free public education. On average, there are about twenty-eight students in a classroom. Students are required to wear uniforms during the nine years of their formal education, from ages 6 to 15, and supply their own lunches and snacks. Students then begin college at age 15. The school year in Costa Rica runs from February to December. Students have vacation for about two months, from December to February, and a few weeks off in July.

Costa Rica is one of the most literate nations in Central America with over 96% of students over age 15 being able to read. In addition to the regular subjects–Spanish, social studies, math, and science–all Costa Rican schools now teach students English and computer science.

Read more: School Years around the World