• February 22 HISD hosts first Loving Lit for Life Literacy Conference
  • February 22 New Art History Club aims to ‘build overall awareness with digesting art’
  • February 16 Trading titles: Page by Page and WRITE Club collaborate for a book swap
  • February 15 VSA holds second Bubble Tea and Viet event
  • February 14 Prepping a paper crane car: Art Car Club folds a thousand paper cranes into existence

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how long does homework usually take

Students spend three times longer on homework than average, survey reveals

Sonya Kulkarni and Pallavi Gorantla | Jan 9, 2022


Graphic by Sonya Kulkarni

The National Education Association and the National Parent Teacher Association have suggested that a healthy number of hours that students should be spending can be determined by the “10-minute rule.” This means that each grade level should have a maximum homework time incrementing by 10 minutes depending on their grade level (for instance, ninth-graders would have 90 minutes of homework, 10th-graders should have 100 minutes, and so on).

As ‘finals week’ rapidly approaches, students not only devote effort to attaining their desired exam scores but make a last attempt to keep or change the grade they have for semester one by making up homework assignments.

High schoolers reported doing an average of 2.7 hours of homework per weeknight, according to a study by the Washington Post from 2018 to 2020 of over 50,000 individuals. A survey of approximately 200 Bellaire High School students revealed that some students spend over three times this number.

The demographics of this survey included 34 freshmen, 43 sophomores, 54 juniors and 54 seniors on average.

When asked how many hours students spent on homework in a day on average, answers ranged from zero to more than nine with an average of about four hours. In contrast, polled students said that about one hour of homework would constitute a healthy number of hours.

Junior Claire Zhang said she feels academically pressured in her AP schedule, but not necessarily by the classes.

“The class environment in AP classes can feel pressuring because everyone is always working hard and it makes it difficult to keep up sometimes.” Zhang said.

A total of 93 students reported that the minimum grade they would be satisfied with receiving in a class would be an A. This was followed by 81 students, who responded that a B would be the minimum acceptable grade. 19 students responded with a C and four responded with a D.

“I am happy with the classes I take, but sometimes it can be very stressful to try to keep up,” freshman Allyson Nguyen said. “I feel academically pressured to keep an A in my classes.”

Up to 152 students said that grades are extremely important to them, while 32 said they generally are more apathetic about their academic performance.

Last year, nine valedictorians graduated from Bellaire. They each achieved a grade point average of 5.0. HISD has never seen this amount of valedictorians in one school, and as of now there are 14 valedictorians.

“I feel that it does degrade the title of valedictorian because as long as a student knows how to plan their schedule accordingly and make good grades in the classes, then anyone can be valedictorian,” Zhang said.

Bellaire offers classes like physical education and health in the summer. These summer classes allow students to skip the 4.0 class and not put it on their transcript. Some electives also have a 5.0 grade point average like debate.

Close to 200 students were polled about Bellaire having multiple valedictorians. They primarily answered that they were in favor of Bellaire having multiple valedictorians, which has recently attracted significant acclaim .

Senior Katherine Chen is one of the 14 valedictorians graduating this year and said that she views the class of 2022 as having an extraordinary amount of extremely hardworking individuals.

“I think it was expected since freshman year since most of us knew about the others and were just focused on doing our personal best,” Chen said.

Chen said that each valedictorian achieved the honor on their own and deserves it.

“I’m honestly very happy for the other valedictorians and happy that Bellaire is such a good school,” Chen said. “I don’t feel any less special with 13 other valedictorians.”

Nguyen said that having multiple valedictorians shows just how competitive the school is.

“It’s impressive, yet scary to think about competing against my classmates,” Nguyen said.

Offering 30 AP classes and boasting a significant number of merit-based scholars Bellaire can be considered a competitive school.

“I feel academically challenged but not pressured,” Chen said. “Every class I take helps push me beyond my comfort zone but is not too much to handle.”

Students have the opportunity to have off-periods if they’ve met all their credits and are able to maintain a high level of academic performance. But for freshmen like Nguyen, off periods are considered a privilege. Nguyen said she usually has an hour to five hours worth of work everyday.

“Depending on the day, there can be a lot of work, especially with extra curriculars,” Nguyen said. “Although, I am a freshman, so I feel like it’s not as bad in comparison to higher grades.”

According to the survey of Bellaire students, when asked to evaluate their agreement with the statement “students who get better grades tend to be smarter overall than students who get worse grades,” responders largely disagreed.

Zhang said that for students on the cusp of applying to college, it can sometimes be hard to ignore the mental pressure to attain good grades.

“As a junior, it’s really easy to get extremely anxious about your GPA,” Zhang said. “It’s also a very common but toxic practice to determine your self-worth through your grades but I think that we just need to remember that our mental health should also come first. Sometimes, it’s just not the right day for everyone and one test doesn’t determine our smartness.”

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From watching films to directing one

how long does homework usually take

Chasing the golden gavel

Lily Parker, Annie Kong, Charlotte Heemer, Kaitlin Nguyen, and Beatrix Gnemi take a picture after playing in the Aggieland tournament.

Women’s lacrosse takes on Aggieland

Guos portrait of Jose Trejo won a Gold Key in the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition. She completed the drawing in freshman year in Michelle Vassallos Advanced Art II class.

It doesn’t come easel-y

Millward poses with his close friends Livingston (left) and Caplan (right). They are all wearing thrifted clothes.

From rummage to riches

Former Texas State University President James Douglas shares an experience he had as a student. He is currently a professor.

HISD hosts first Loving Lit for Life Literacy Conference

The topic of the second art history meeting was the Rococo period. This was done in honor of Valentines day, since the themes and colors of this era of art and valentines day are synonymous.

New Art History Club aims to ‘build overall awareness with digesting art’

Junior Aoife McBride, right, stands with two other WRITE Club members holding the books they brought to the swap. McBride views WRITE Club meetings as a fun way to harness [her] creative energy.

Trading titles: Page by Page and WRITE Club collaborate for a book swap

Freshman Skylar Lew tried the milk bubble tea and stayed for the presentation to try the Thai tea. Lew attended past events with her brother sophomore Preston Lew.

VSA holds second Bubble Tea and Viet event

Member Zachary Barnett experiments with waterproof paper. He pours water onto a paper crane sprayed with varnish.

Prepping a paper crane car: Art Car Club folds a thousand paper cranes into existence

Bellaire students fielded a puppet show team that ultimately advanced to state. Here, senior Hamza Demirovic plays a puppet interested in buying a Mercedes.

‘Inspiring a German community’

He after the Junior Olympics Competition held in Hampton, Virginia.

Junior balances artistic swimming, school

SFR partnered with a restaurant to raise $4,000. Using the money they donated food to Libyan and Syrian refugees.

Students for Refugees teaches empathy, broadens perspectives

Standing second from the right, Nguyen poses with her relatives dressed in áo dài, a traditional Vietnamese dress. Áo dài is worn for some Vietnamese holidays but is mainly worn during the time of Tết (Vietnamese Lunar New Year).

Hello new beginnings: How different ethnicities ring in the Lunar New Year

Senior Vivian Jenman serves the community by volunteering as a Boy Scout.

College application crunch season: How are seniors feeling?

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Anonymous • Nov 21, 2023 at 10:32 am

It’s not really helping me understand how much.

josh • May 9, 2023 at 9:58 am

Kassie • May 6, 2022 at 12:29 pm

Im using this for an English report. This is great because on of my sources needed to be from another student. Homework drives me insane. Im glad this is very updated too!!

Kaylee Swaim • Jan 25, 2023 at 9:21 pm

I am also using this for an English report. I have to do an argumentative essay about banning homework in schools and this helps sooo much!

Izzy McAvaney • Mar 15, 2023 at 6:43 pm

I am ALSO using this for an English report on cutting down school days, homework drives me insane!!

E. Elliott • Apr 25, 2022 at 6:42 pm

I’m from Louisiana and am actually using this for an English Essay thanks for the information it was very informative.

Nabila Wilson • Jan 10, 2022 at 6:56 pm

Interesting with the polls! I didn’t realize about 14 valedictorians, that’s crazy.

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Adolescent girl doing homework.

What’s the Right Amount of Homework?

Decades of research show that homework has some benefits, especially for students in middle and high school—but there are risks to assigning too much.

Many teachers and parents believe that homework helps students build study skills and review concepts learned in class. Others see homework as disruptive and unnecessary, leading to burnout and turning kids off to school. Decades of research show that the issue is more nuanced and complex than most people think: Homework is beneficial, but only to a degree. Students in high school gain the most, while younger kids benefit much less.

The National PTA and the National Education Association support the “ 10-minute homework guideline ”—a nightly 10 minutes of homework per grade level. But many teachers and parents are quick to point out that what matters is the quality of the homework assigned and how well it meets students’ needs, not the amount of time spent on it.

The guideline doesn’t account for students who may need to spend more—or less—time on assignments. In class, teachers can make adjustments to support struggling students, but at home, an assignment that takes one student 30 minutes to complete may take another twice as much time—often for reasons beyond their control. And homework can widen the achievement gap, putting students from low-income households and students with learning disabilities at a disadvantage.

However, the 10-minute guideline is useful in setting a limit: When kids spend too much time on homework, there are real consequences to consider.

Small Benefits for Elementary Students

As young children begin school, the focus should be on cultivating a love of learning, and assigning too much homework can undermine that goal. And young students often don’t have the study skills to benefit fully from homework, so it may be a poor use of time (Cooper, 1989 ; Cooper et al., 2006 ; Marzano & Pickering, 2007 ). A more effective activity may be nightly reading, especially if parents are involved. The benefits of reading are clear: If students aren’t proficient readers by the end of third grade, they’re less likely to succeed academically and graduate from high school (Fiester, 2013 ).

For second-grade teacher Jacqueline Fiorentino, the minor benefits of homework did not outweigh the potential drawback of turning young children against school at an early age, so she experimented with dropping mandatory homework. “Something surprising happened: They started doing more work at home,” Fiorentino writes . “This inspiring group of 8-year-olds used their newfound free time to explore subjects and topics of interest to them.” She encouraged her students to read at home and offered optional homework to extend classroom lessons and help them review material.

Moderate Benefits for Middle School Students

As students mature and develop the study skills necessary to delve deeply into a topic—and to retain what they learn—they also benefit more from homework. Nightly assignments can help prepare them for scholarly work, and research shows that homework can have moderate benefits for middle school students (Cooper et al., 2006 ). Recent research also shows that online math homework, which can be designed to adapt to students’ levels of understanding, can significantly boost test scores (Roschelle et al., 2016 ).

There are risks to assigning too much, however: A 2015 study found that when middle school students were assigned more than 90 to 100 minutes of daily homework, their math and science test scores began to decline (Fernández-Alonso, Suárez-Álvarez, & Muñiz, 2015 ). Crossing that upper limit can drain student motivation and focus. The researchers recommend that “homework should present a certain level of challenge or difficulty, without being so challenging that it discourages effort.” Teachers should avoid low-effort, repetitive assignments, and assign homework “with the aim of instilling work habits and promoting autonomous, self-directed learning.”

In other words, it’s the quality of homework that matters, not the quantity. Brian Sztabnik, a veteran middle and high school English teacher, suggests that teachers take a step back and ask themselves these five questions :

  • How long will it take to complete?
  • Have all learners been considered?
  • Will an assignment encourage future success?
  • Will an assignment place material in a context the classroom cannot?
  • Does an assignment offer support when a teacher is not there?

More Benefits for High School Students, but Risks as Well

By the time they reach high school, students should be well on their way to becoming independent learners, so homework does provide a boost to learning at this age, as long as it isn’t overwhelming (Cooper et al., 2006 ; Marzano & Pickering, 2007 ). When students spend too much time on homework—more than two hours each night—it takes up valuable time to rest and spend time with family and friends. A 2013 study found that high school students can experience serious mental and physical health problems, from higher stress levels to sleep deprivation, when assigned too much homework (Galloway, Conner, & Pope, 2013 ).

Homework in high school should always relate to the lesson and be doable without any assistance, and feedback should be clear and explicit.

Teachers should also keep in mind that not all students have equal opportunities to finish their homework at home, so incomplete homework may not be a true reflection of their learning—it may be more a result of issues they face outside of school. They may be hindered by issues such as lack of a quiet space at home, resources such as a computer or broadband connectivity, or parental support (OECD, 2014 ). In such cases, giving low homework scores may be unfair.

Since the quantities of time discussed here are totals, teachers in middle and high school should be aware of how much homework other teachers are assigning. It may seem reasonable to assign 30 minutes of daily homework, but across six subjects, that’s three hours—far above a reasonable amount even for a high school senior. Psychologist Maurice Elias sees this as a common mistake: Individual teachers create homework policies that in aggregate can overwhelm students. He suggests that teachers work together to develop a school-wide homework policy and make it a key topic of back-to-school night and the first parent-teacher conferences of the school year.

Parents Play a Key Role

Homework can be a powerful tool to help parents become more involved in their child’s learning (Walker et al., 2004 ). It can provide insights into a child’s strengths and interests, and can also encourage conversations about a child’s life at school. If a parent has positive attitudes toward homework, their children are more likely to share those same values, promoting academic success.

But it’s also possible for parents to be overbearing, putting too much emphasis on test scores or grades, which can be disruptive for children (Madjar, Shklar, & Moshe, 2015 ). Parents should avoid being overly intrusive or controlling—students report feeling less motivated to learn when they don’t have enough space and autonomy to do their homework (Orkin, May, & Wolf, 2017 ; Patall, Cooper, & Robinson, 2008 ; Silinskas & Kikas, 2017 ). So while homework can encourage parents to be more involved with their kids, it’s important to not make it a source of conflict.


Learning Disabilities Association of America

How Much Time Should Be Spent on Homework?

Student doing homework with clock

At the elementary level homework should be brief, at your child’s ability level and involve frequent, voluntary and high interest activities. Young students require high levels of feedback and/or supervision to help them complete assignments correctly. Accurate homework completion is influenced by your child’s ability, the difficulty of the task, and the amount of feedback your child receives. When assigning homework, your child’s teachers may struggle to create a balance at this age between ability, task difficulty and feedback. Unfortunately, there are no simple guiding principles.

We can assure you, however, that your input and feedback on a nightly basis is an essential component in helping your child benefit from the homework experience.

What is the recommended time in elementary school?

In first through third grade, students should receive one to three assignments per week, taking them no more than fifteen to twenty minutes. In fourth through sixth grade, students should receive two to four assignments per week, lasting between fifteen and forty-five minutes. At this age, the primarily goal of homework is to help your child develop the independent work and learning skills that will become critical in the higher grades. In the upper grades, the more time spent on homework the greater the achievement gains.

What is the recommended time in middle and high school?

For students in middle and high school grades there are greater overall benefits from time engaged in practicing and thinking about school work. These benefits do not appear to depend as much upon immediate supervision or feedback as they do for elementary students. In seventh through ninth grade we recommend students receive three to five sets of assignments per week, lasting between forty-five and seventy-five minutes per set. In high school students will receive four to five sets of homework per week, taking them between seventy-five and 150 minutes per set to complete.

As children progress through school, homework and the amount of time engaged in homework increases in importance. Due to the significance of homework at the older age levels, it is not surprising that there is more homework assigned. Furthermore, homework is always assigned in college preparatory classes and assigned at least three quarters of the time in special education and vocational training classes. Thus at any age, homework may indicate our academic expectations of children.

Regardless of the amount of homework assigned, many students unsuccessful or struggling in school spend less rather than more time engaged in homework. It is not surprising that students spending less time completing homework may eventually not achieve as consistently as those who complete their homework.

Does this mean that time devoted to homework is the key component necessary for achievement?

We are not completely certain. Some American educators have concluded that if students in America spent as much time doing homework as students in Asian countries they might perform academically as well. It is tempting to assume such a cause and effect relationship.

However, this relationship appears to be an overly simple conclusion. We know that homework is important as one of several influential factors in school success. However, other variables, including student ability, achievement, motivation and teaching quality influence the time students spend with homework tasks. Many students and their parents have told us they experience less difficulty being motivated and completing homework in classes in which they enjoyed the subject, the instruction, the assignments and the teachers.

The benefits from homework are the greatest for students completing the most homework and doing so correctly. Thus, students who devote time to homework are probably on a path to improved achievement. This path also includes higher quality instruction, greater achievement motivation and better skill levels.

Authors: Dr. Sam Goldstein and Dr. Sydney Zentall

how long does homework usually take

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More than two hours of homework may be counterproductive, research suggests.

Education scholar Denise Pope has found that too much homework has negative impacts on student well-being and behavioral engagement (Shutterstock)

A Stanford education researcher found that too much homework can negatively affect kids, especially their lives away from school, where family, friends and activities matter.   "Our findings on the effects of homework challenge the traditional assumption that homework is inherently good," wrote Denise Pope , a senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and a co-author of a study published in the Journal of Experimental Education .   The researchers used survey data to examine perceptions about homework, student well-being and behavioral engagement in a sample of 4,317 students from 10 high-performing high schools in upper-middle-class California communities. Along with the survey data, Pope and her colleagues used open-ended answers to explore the students' views on homework.   Median household income exceeded $90,000 in these communities, and 93 percent of the students went on to college, either two-year or four-year.   Students in these schools average about 3.1 hours of homework each night.   "The findings address how current homework practices in privileged, high-performing schools sustain students' advantage in competitive climates yet hinder learning, full engagement and well-being," Pope wrote.   Pope and her colleagues found that too much homework can diminish its effectiveness and even be counterproductive. They cite prior research indicating that homework benefits plateau at about two hours per night, and that 90 minutes to two and a half hours is optimal for high school.   Their study found that too much homework is associated with:   • Greater stress : 56 percent of the students considered homework a primary source of stress, according to the survey data. Forty-three percent viewed tests as a primary stressor, while 33 percent put the pressure to get good grades in that category. Less than 1 percent of the students said homework was not a stressor.   • Reductions in health : In their open-ended answers, many students said their homework load led to sleep deprivation and other health problems. The researchers asked students whether they experienced health issues such as headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss and stomach problems.   • Less time for friends, family and extracurricular pursuits : Both the survey data and student responses indicate that spending too much time on homework meant that students were "not meeting their developmental needs or cultivating other critical life skills," according to the researchers. Students were more likely to drop activities, not see friends or family, and not pursue hobbies they enjoy.   A balancing act   The results offer empirical evidence that many students struggle to find balance between homework, extracurricular activities and social time, the researchers said. Many students felt forced or obligated to choose homework over developing other talents or skills.   Also, there was no relationship between the time spent on homework and how much the student enjoyed it. The research quoted students as saying they often do homework they see as "pointless" or "mindless" in order to keep their grades up.   "This kind of busy work, by its very nature, discourages learning and instead promotes doing homework simply to get points," said Pope, who is also a co-founder of Challenge Success , a nonprofit organization affiliated with the GSE that conducts research and works with schools and parents to improve students' educational experiences..   Pope said the research calls into question the value of assigning large amounts of homework in high-performing schools. Homework should not be simply assigned as a routine practice, she said.   "Rather, any homework assigned should have a purpose and benefit, and it should be designed to cultivate learning and development," wrote Pope.   High-performing paradox   In places where students attend high-performing schools, too much homework can reduce their time to foster skills in the area of personal responsibility, the researchers concluded. "Young people are spending more time alone," they wrote, "which means less time for family and fewer opportunities to engage in their communities."   Student perspectives   The researchers say that while their open-ended or "self-reporting" methodology to gauge student concerns about homework may have limitations – some might regard it as an opportunity for "typical adolescent complaining" – it was important to learn firsthand what the students believe.   The paper was co-authored by Mollie Galloway from Lewis and Clark College and Jerusha Conner from Villanova University.

Clifton B. Parker is a writer at the Stanford News Service .

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How long does homework take on average?

best places to do homework

Homework assignments can be a part of the learning experience when they are done well. However, it is not always the case. Many different types of homework may be assigned, and there is no scientific answer as to how much time your assignment will take.

This article discusses homework, how long it usually takes, and some common questions for which there are answers at the end of this article in FAQ format.

Table of Contents

1. How long does homework usually take?

For preschool through 2nd grade, most homework takes about 30 minutes. This can include a variety of different types of assignments ranging from literature and art projects to math problems.

Some work may take longer to complete, but studies have shown that 30 minutes is the average time for preschool, kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade.

2. Is it true that the rules in each state are different?

Although there are differences in the rules for when and how long students should do their work, it does not mean that each state is different from the others.

The rules do not vary as much between states as locally within a particular state. This is because the amount of time a child spends on homework is usually decided by the parent(s) who have ultimate control over the schedule.

3. How long does homework take on average in middle school?

A study by Time4Learning showed that students from grades 6-8 spent an average of 35 minutes a day doing homework.

This number can vary from year to year and stage to rise, but this was the standard for that group of children.

So, based on this fact, if you were to do 10 minutes per night for about 5 days a week, it would only take 20 days until it finished.

4. How long does homework take in high school?

A recent study showed that students from grades 9-12 spent an average of 90 minutes a day doing homework, not including the time they spent before or after class.

This would be an average of 15 minutes per day if you did 10 minutes each night, 5 days a week. Therefore, completing your assignment would take about 64 days if you met it one day at a time.

5. How long does it take for kids to do their homework?

According to the article, Is Homework Good for Kids? It depends on how much time is spent on the assignment each night and what math, science, or language arts level is taught.

Without researching and asking the child, there is no way to tell how long a child will spend on their homework .

If they spend less than 30 minutes per night, this would be a good indicator that they may be spending too much time on tasks while in school.

6. Why is it essential to complete all assignments?

Schools are taking a more individualized approach by using reports, tests, and other assessments to gauge the student’s knowledge. However, they do not complete all required assignments because they do not understand them or have an ongoing desire to finish the job quickly.

This can negatively affect your grades by parents or teachers receive notices from your teacher that you missed deadlines for doing work. So, it is essential to do all of your homework on time.

7. What is the reason for adding extra work at home?

Not all assignments are created equal, and students learn differently based on their strengths and weaknesses. Many different assignments can be given to students, from literature projects to math problems; everything depends on what level the teacher feels is appropriate for each student in the classroom.

If a student were having trouble learning, this would be an excellent assignment to help her understand what is being taught in class. This could also determine if you skipped class or missed all of the lectures or tests given in class.

8. What is the difference between passing and failing?

Many students are concerned that they want to get a good grade on all their assignments but fear failing because they will not be able to do any subsequent time.

While it is essential to do well on all your homework to pass, this should never be the only reason you are entirely focused on completing everything.

If you were learning something new or doing something new, this could help you learn more about that subject in school and for future assignments. So, some students may choose to complete work first and make sure it is correct before doing other projects so that if they do not understand it, they can eliminate it from their grade.

Easy Table – How long does homework take

How long does it take to finish college.

Studies on the school term length show that students could graduate at 18 if they have found a local college. This is an average time for students and varies greatly depending on the course of study and level of education that you are receiving in school.

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How Much Homework Is Enough? Depends Who You Ask

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Editor’s note: This is an adapted excerpt from You, Your Child, and School: Navigate Your Way to the Best Education ( Viking)—the latest book by author and speaker Sir Ken Robinson (co-authored with Lou Aronica), published in March. For years, Robinson has been known for his radical work on rekindling creativity and passion in schools, including three bestselling books (also with Aronica) on the topic. His TED Talk “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” holds the record for the most-viewed TED talk of all time, with more than 50 million views. While Robinson’s latest book is geared toward parents, it also offers educators a window into the kinds of education concerns parents have for their children, including on the quality and quantity of homework.

The amount of homework young people are given varies a lot from school to school and from grade to grade. In some schools and grades, children have no homework at all. In others, they may have 18 hours or more of homework every week. In the United States, the accepted guideline, which is supported by both the National Education Association and the National Parent Teacher Association, is the 10-minute rule: Children should have no more than 10 minutes of homework each day for each grade reached. In 1st grade, children should have 10 minutes of daily homework; in 2nd grade, 20 minutes; and so on to the 12th grade, when on average they should have 120 minutes of homework each day, which is about 10 hours a week. It doesn’t always work out that way.

In 2013, the University of Phoenix College of Education commissioned a survey of how much homework teachers typically give their students. From kindergarten to 5th grade, it was just under three hours per week; from 6th to 8th grade, it was 3.2 hours; and from 9th to 12th grade, it was 3.5 hours.

There are two points to note. First, these are the amounts given by individual teachers. To estimate the total time children are expected to spend on homework, you need to multiply these hours by the number of teachers they work with. High school students who work with five teachers in different curriculum areas may find themselves with 17.5 hours or more of homework a week, which is the equivalent of a part-time job. The other factor is that these are teachers’ estimates of the time that homework should take. The time that individual children spend on it will be more or less than that, according to their abilities and interests. One child may casually dash off a piece of homework in half the time that another will spend laboring through in a cold sweat.

Do students have more homework these days than previous generations? Given all the variables, it’s difficult to say. Some studies suggest they do. In 2007, a study from the National Center for Education Statistics found that, on average, high school students spent around seven hours a week on homework. A similar study in 1994 put the average at less than five hours a week. Mind you, I [Robinson] was in high school in England in the 1960s and spent a lot more time than that—though maybe that was to do with my own ability. One way of judging this is to look at how much homework your own children are given and compare it to what you had at the same age.

Many parents find it difficult to help their children with subjects they’ve not studied themselves for a long time, if at all.

There’s also much debate about the value of homework. Supporters argue that it benefits children, teachers, and parents in several ways:

  • Children learn to deepen their understanding of specific content, to cover content at their own pace, to become more independent learners, to develop problem-solving and time-management skills, and to relate what they learn in school to outside activities.
  • Teachers can see how well their students understand the lessons; evaluate students’ individual progress, strengths, and weaknesses; and cover more content in class.
  • Parents can engage practically in their children’s education, see firsthand what their children are being taught in school, and understand more clearly how they’re getting on—what they find easy and what they struggle with in school.

Want to know more about Sir Ken Robinson? Check out our Q&A with him.

Q&A With Sir Ken Robinson

Ashley Norris is assistant dean at the University of Phoenix College of Education. Commenting on her university’s survey, she says, “Homework helps build confidence, responsibility, and problem-solving skills that can set students up for success in high school, college, and in the workplace.”

That may be so, but many parents find it difficult to help their children with subjects they’ve not studied themselves for a long time, if at all. Families have busy lives, and it can be hard for parents to find time to help with homework alongside everything else they have to cope with. Norris is convinced it’s worth the effort, especially, she says, because in many schools, the nature of homework is changing. One influence is the growing popularity of the so-called flipped classroom.

In the stereotypical classroom, the teacher spends time in class presenting material to the students. Their homework consists of assignments based on that material. In the flipped classroom, the teacher provides the students with presentational materials—videos, slides, lecture notes—which the students review at home and then bring questions and ideas to school where they work on them collaboratively with the teacher and other students. As Norris notes, in this approach, homework extends the boundaries of the classroom and reframes how time in school can be used more productively, allowing students to “collaborate on learning, learn from each other, maybe critique [each other’s work], and share those experiences.”

Even so, many parents and educators are increasingly concerned that homework, in whatever form it takes, is a bridge too far in the pressured lives of children and their families. It takes away from essential time for their children to relax and unwind after school, to play, to be young, and to be together as a family. On top of that, the benefits of homework are often asserted, but they’re not consistent, and they’re certainly not guaranteed.

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How to Do Homework

Last Updated: February 15, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Ronitte Libedinsky, MS . Ronitte Libedinsky is an Academic Tutor and the Founder of Brighter Minds SF, a San Francisco, California based company that provides one-on-one and small group tutoring. Specializing in tutoring mathematics (pre-algebra, algebra I/II, geometry, pre-calculus, calculus) and science (chemistry, biology), Ronitte has over 10 years of experience tutoring to middle school, high school, and college students. She also tutors in SSAT, Terra Nova, HSPT, SAT, and ACT test prep. Ronitte holds a BS in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MS in Chemistry from Tel Aviv University. There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 953,222 times.

Even though your parents probably complain about how hard it was in their day, students nowadays have more homework than ever before, even when just starting their first year at middle school. That homework doesn't need to be a struggle now. Learning to plan out an efficient schedule for completing your homework, working on it effectively, and knowing when to get help with difficult assignments can help take the stress out of studying. Don't put it off any longer. See Step 1 for more information.

Working on Homework

Step 1 Make sure you have everything you need before you start.

Once you go into your space and start working, try not to leave until you've got a break scheduled. If you want a quick snack or drink, get it now before you start. Hit the bathroom and make sure you'll be able to work for the amount of time before your next break, uninterrupted.

Step 2 Eliminate as many distractions as possible.

  • It's common that students will try to multi-task, watching TV or listening to the radio or continuing to chat on Facebook or Instagram while also trying to do homework. It'll be so much more fun to do those things after you're already done with your homework, though, and your homework will take half as much time if you're focused on doing nothing but your homework.
  • Check your phone or your social networking sites during your study break, but not before. Use these distractions as a carrot, not as a pacifier.

Step 3 Concentrate on one task at a time.

If one assignment proves challenging and time-consuming, it's okay to switch for a while to something else. Just make sure to save enough time to circle back and give it another shot.

Step 4 Take a break every hour.

  • Try to figure out what works best for you. Some students might like to start their homework immediately after school to get it done as quickly as possible, while it may be better to give yourself an hour to relax before starting in on it and decompress from the long school day. Don't wait for the last minute.
  • While it may seem like a better idea to work straight through and finish, it's possible that the quality of the work you're doing will start to suffer if you don't give your mind a rest. It's difficult to think hard for more than 45 minutes at a time on a particular subject. Give yourself a rest and come back refreshed.

Step 5 Dive back in after study breaks.

  • The first fifteen minutes after a break are your most effective minutes, because your mind will be cleared, and ready to work hard. Give yourself a pep talk and dive back in, refreshed and ready.

Step 6 Create incentives to finish.

  • If you have trouble staying focused, get a parent, sibling, or friend to help keep you honest. Give them your phone while you're working to avoid the temptation to check it, or give them the video game controller so you won't be able to plug in for a few minutes of alien-hunting when you're supposed to be doing your homework. Then, when you're finished, show them the finished product and earn back your fun. Make it impossible to cheat.

Step 7 Let the homework take as long as it needs.

  • You can make yourself take enough time by having your gate-keeper (the person with your phone or video game controller) check over your homework for quality when you're done. If you know you're not going to get it anyway unless it's done right, you won't have any reason to rush. Slow down and do it right.

Step 8 Review your work after you finish.

Planning Your Homework

Step 1 Write out your daily homework in a list.

  • It's common to quickly write out the math problems you're supposed to do at the top of your notes, or scribble down the page number of the English reading on a textbook page, but try to recopy this information into a specific homework list so you will be sure to remember to do it.
  • Write down as many details as you can about each assignment. It's good to include the due date, corresponding textbook pages, and additional instructions from your teacher. This will help you plan your night of homework more effectively. Also, it's a good idea to write about your homework in a planner.

Step 2 Make sure you understand each assignment.

  • Homework doesn't have to wait until you get home. Look through an assignment as soon as it's been given, so you'll have the time to ask your teacher any questions you might have before you leave school for the day.

Step 3 Create a comfortable homework spot

  • At home , a desk in your bedroom might be the best place. You can shut the door and tune out any distractions. For some students, though, this is a good way to get distracted. You might have video games, computers, guitars, and all sorts of other distractions in your bedroom. It might be a better idea to sit at the kitchen table, or in the living room, where your parents can call you out for procrastinating. You'll get it done more quickly without the temptation of distraction.
  • In public , the library is a great place to study and do homework. At all libraries, it's a rule that you have to be quiet, and you won't have any of the distractions of home. The school library will often stay open after school ends, making it a good option for finishing up homework before heading home, or your school may even have an after-school study spot specifically for the purpose. [11] X Research source
  • Try to switch it up . Studying in the same place too often can make work more difficult. Some studies have shown that a change in environment can make your mind more active, since it's processing new information. You'll be able to vary your routine and remember what you learned more effectively.

Step 4 Choose the most important assignments to work on.

  • Try starting with the most difficult homework . Do you really hate the idea of getting into the algebra homework? Does reading for English take the longest? Start with the most challenging homework to give yourself the most time to complete it, then move on to the easier tasks you can complete more quickly.
  • Try starting with the most pressing homework . If you've got 20 math problems to do for tomorrow, and 20 pages to read in a novel for Friday, it's probably better to start with the math homework to make sure you'll have enough time to complete it. Make homework due the next day the priority.
  • Try starting with the most important homework . Your math homework might be difficult, but if it's only worth a few completion points, it might be less important to spend a lot of time on it than the big project for Social Studies that's due in two days. Devote the most time to the most valuable assignments.

Step 5 Make a timetable.

  • Set an alarm or a timer to keep yourself honest. The less time you spend procrastinating and checking your text messages, the more quickly you'll be done. If you think you can finish everything in a half hour, set a timer and work efficiently to finish in that amount of time. If you don't quite finish, give yourself a few extra minutes. Treat it like a drill.
  • Keep track of how long you usually spend on particular assignments on average. If your math homework typically takes you 45 minutes to finish, save that much time each night. If you start plugging away for an hour, give yourself a break and work on something else to avoid tiring out.
  • Schedule 10 minutes of break time for every 50 minutes of work time. It's important to take study breaks and give your mind a rest, or you'll work less effectively. You're not a robot!

Finding Extra Time

Step 1 Start working on it now.

  • Do you really need an hour of TV or computer after school to decompress? It might be easier to just dive into your homework and get it done while the skills are still fresh in your mind. Waiting a couple hours means you'll have to review your notes and try to get back to the same place you already were. Do it while it's fresh.
  • If you've got three days to read an assignment, don't wait until the last evening to do it all. Space it out and give yourself more time to finish. Just because you've got a due date that's a long time away doesn't mean it wouldn't be easier to finish now. Stay ahead of the game. Try either waking up earlier or going to bed later. But don't get too tired!

Step 2 Steal some homework time on the bus.

  • If you've got to read a bunch of stuff for homework, read on the bus. Pop in some headphones to white noise that'll drown out the shouting of other students and tune into your book.
  • The bus can be distracting, or it can be a great resource. Since it's full of your classmates, try to get other students to work with you and get things done more quickly. Work together on the math problems and try to figure out things together. It's not cheating if everyone's doing the work and no one's just copying. Also, you might make some new friends while you're at it!

Step 3 Work on your homework in between class periods.

  • Don't rely on this time to finish homework just before it's due. Rushing to finish your last few problems in the five minutes before you need to turn it in looks bad in front of the teacher, plus it doesn't give you any time to review your homework after you finish it. Rushing is a good way to make mistakes. And always check difficult problems you had trouble with.

Step 4 Work on homework during long waits.

  • Work on your homework while you're waiting for a ride, while you're killing time at your brother's soccer game, or while you're waiting for your friend to come over. Take advantage of any extra time you have in the day.

Getting Homework Help

Step 1 Talk to your teacher about difficult assignments.

  • Asking for help with your homework isn't a sign that you're bad at the subject or that you're "stupid." Every teacher on the planet will respect a student that takes their homework seriously enough to ask for help. Especially ask if you weren't there that day!
  • Asking for help isn't the same thing as complaining about the difficulty of homework or making excuses. Spending ten minutes doing half your math problems and leaving most of them blank because they were hard and then telling your teacher you need help isn't going to win you any favors on the due date. If it's hard, see your teacher ahead of time and find the time to get help.

Step 2 Visit the tutoring center or help desk at school.

  • If there's not an organized homework help group at your school, there are many private tutoring organizations that work both for-pay and non-profits. Sylvan Learning Center and other businesses have after-school hours that you can schedule appointments at to get help studying and completing your homework, while community centers like the YMCA, or even public libraries will often have homework help hours in your area.
  • Getting help doesn't mean that you're bad at your homework. All variety of students visit tutoring centers for extra help, just to make sure they have enough time and motivation to get everything done. It's hard being a student! There's no shame in extra help. Imagine being afraid to ask for anything! You wouldn't be able to ask in restaurants, shops, anywhere!

Step 3 Work with other students.

  • Make sure that your group study sessions don't cross the line into cheating. Dividing up an assigned so your friend does half and you copy each other's answers is considered cheating, but discussing a problem and coming up with a solution together isn't. As long as you each do the work separately, you shouldn't have any problems.

Step 4 Talk to your parents.

  • Some parents don't necessarily know how to help with your homework and might end up doing too much. Try to keep yourself honest. Asking for help doesn't mean asking your parent to do your work for you.
  • Likewise, some older relatives have outdated ways of completing specific tasks and might suggest forcefully that something you learned in class is wrong. Always use your teacher's approach as the correct approach, and discuss these alternative ways of completing an assignment with your teacher if necessary.

Supercharge Your Studying with this Expert Series

1 - Study For Exams

Expert Q&A

Ronitte Libedinsky, MS

  • If you missed school that day, then you should call a friend to get the notes and/or homework from that day. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Make sure your little study space is well lit, quiet, and comfortable. This will make it much easier to do your homework properly. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Take a piece of paper or wipe board and create a schedule for your homework. Be generous with the amount of time that you give for each task. If you end up finishing a task earlier than the schedule says, you will feel accomplished and will have extra time to complete the next task. It makes homework get done quicker than usual. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

Tips from our Readers

  • Make sure you have what you need handy when you get stuck on homework. Don't be afraid to ask questions if you're confused — asking helps you understand things better. And get enough sleep since it's easier to get your work done when you're well-rested.
  • Don't put off starting homework just to have more playtime. Jumping in early leaves more free time for later but ensures you don't miss out on sleep. Plus, the class material is still fresh right after school, so you'll understand your homework better.
  • Do your homework as soon as you get home every day except Fridays. On Fridays, give yourself permission to relax for the evening. Also, take short breaks as you work to help you focus. Play a quick game, eat a healthy snack, or use the bathroom.
  • Ask for help when you need it, but don't rely on others to give you all the answers. The point of homework is for you to practice what you've learned, so try to work through problems yourself before asking for hints or explanations.
  • Write down homework assignments in your planner right when your teacher gives them so you don't forget details later. Knowing exactly what work you need to do keeps you from being surprised.
  • Break big assignments down into smaller pieces that feel more manageable. Taking things step-by-step makes big tasks feel less overwhelming, and helps you stay motivated.

how long does homework usually take

  • Never leave unfinished homework for the next day because you might have other homework to do and you will have to do both. Thanks Helpful 24 Not Helpful 0
  • If you forget your homework, your teacher might not accept late work or may even give you more homework. Thanks Helpful 7 Not Helpful 1

Things You'll Need

  • Writing equipment, such as pencils, rulers, and erasers.
  • Resources that may help you work faster.
  • A comfy place to sit while doing homework.

You Might Also Like

Excuse Yourself from Unfinished Homework

  • ↑ https://www.warnerpacific.edu/5-tips-for-dealing-with-too-much-homework/
  • ↑ https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mental-wealth/201206/10-tips-make-homework-time-less-painful
  • ↑ Ronitte Libedinsky, MS. Academic Tutor. Expert Interview. 26 May 2020.
  • ↑ https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/plan-for-college/college-prep/stay-motivated/take-control-of-homework
  • ↑ https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/homework.html
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/understanding-assignments/
  • ↑ https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/homework.html
  • ↑ http://kidshealth.org/teen/school_jobs/school/homework.html#a_Create_a_Homework_Plan
  • ↑ https://tutorial.math.lamar.edu/Extras/StudyMath/Homework.aspx
  • ↑ https://learningcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/studying-101-study-smarter-not-harder/
  • ↑ https://kidshealth.org/en/kids/homework-help.html

About This Article

Ronitte Libedinsky, MS

If you need to do homework, find a quiet, comfortable spot where you won’t be distracted. Turn off any electronics, like your TV, phone, or radio, and gather all of the supplies you’ll need before you get started. Work on the most important or hardest assignments first to get them out of the way, and if you have a homework assignment that actually seems fun, save it for last to motivate you to finish your other work faster. Keep reading to learn how to find extra time to get your homework done, like working on it on the way home from school! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How Much Time Should Be Spent on Homework Based on Grade?

  • 18 July 2020
  • Posted by: ryan
  • Category: Tutoring

A common question that parents always ask is, “How much time should my child dedicate to homework every day?” It’s not an easy question to answer. As we all know, every student learns differently from each other. While some kids do, substantially, better in school, by completing one hour of homework every day. There might be some others, who require two hours of homework, but only see a slight improvement in their grades.

To get to the bottom of this, we went to the experts for the answers! So here’s a break down of how much time your child should spend on homework according to their grade.

What is The Recommended Homework Time in Elementary School?

So before we give you a solid figure. We took a look at the results of a May 2012 study from the Los Angeles Unified School District . (Figure 1 below)

how long does homework usually take

If your child is starting out in kindergarten and they receive some basic worksheets to complete for homework, the standard time they should spend on completing homework is 10 minutes per night.

Keep in mind, kindergarten childen might have shorter attention spans, than older kids, and might need a few intervals in between to complete their homework. So let them do it for 5 minutes, then take a 5 minute break, then continue for another 5 minutes to complete.

Usually,  Grade 1 – 3 students receive one to three homework assignments per week. They suggest that your child spend at least 20 – 30 minutes per night on homework.

Grade 4 – 5 students who receive two to four assignments per week, should focus between 40 – 50 minutes on completing each assignment.

What is The Recommended Homework Time in Middle and High school?

As your child enters middle and high school, naturally, their home work time will increase. As subjects get harder and more information needs to be retained for exams, more time is needed to practice. Here are the home work time estimations for older students from the Los Angeles Unified School District . (Figure 2 below)

how long does homework usually take

Students in middle school are from Grades 6 – 8.  As class subjects require more attention and practice, middle school students get assigned three to five sets of assignments per week. We recommend that your child spend between 45 – 75 minutes per night.

Once your child is in highschool, Grade 9 – 12 students usually receive four to five sets of homework per week. According to Figure 2,  high school students should focus about 25-30 minutes on each subject.

For example, if your child is in Grade 10 and has a Math and English assignment to do for homework, they should spend at least 30 minutes on English and 30 minutes on Math. If they take one or two short breaks, it works out to be 75 – 150 minutes per set to complete both assignments.

Get Homework Help For Your Kids At ICan Education! 

how long does homework usually take

Does your child need help completing their homework? ICan Education can help as we offer flexible Homework Help with tutors in Brampton, Mississauga, Milton, and Burlington!

ICAN Education tutoring centre has several locations in the GTA West, Mississauga, Brampton, Milton, and Burlington. To locate the closest ICAN Education centre near you, click  here .

Do you have any tips to share with other parents and students about completing homework? Let us know by posting your comments below and let’s move the conversation to our Twitter Page @icanedu. Don’t forget to ‘Like’  ICAN Education’s Facebook  and say ‘hi!’!

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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, how to do homework: 15 expert tips and tricks.

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Everyone struggles with homework sometimes, but if getting your homework done has become a chronic issue for you, then you may need a little extra help. That’s why we’ve written this article all about how to do homework. Once you’re finished reading it, you’ll know how to do homework (and have tons of new ways to motivate yourself to do homework)! 

We’ve broken this article down into a few major sections. You’ll find: 

  • A diagnostic test to help you figure out why you’re struggling with homework
  • A discussion of the four major homework problems students face, along with expert tips for addressing them 
  • A bonus section with tips for how to do homework fast

By the end of this article, you’ll be prepared to tackle whatever homework assignments your teachers throw at you . 

So let’s get started! 


How to Do Homework: Figure Out Your Struggles 

Sometimes it feels like everything is standing between you and getting your homework done. But the truth is, most people only have one or two major roadblocks that are keeping them from getting their homework done well and on time. 

The best way to figure out how to get motivated to do homework starts with pinpointing the issues that are affecting your ability to get your assignments done. That’s why we’ve developed a short quiz to help you identify the areas where you’re struggling. 

Take the quiz below and record your answers on your phone or on a scrap piece of paper. Keep in mind there are no wrong answers! 

1. You’ve just been assigned an essay in your English class that’s due at the end of the week. What’s the first thing you do?

A. Keep it in mind, even though you won’t start it until the day before it’s due  B. Open up your planner. You’ve got to figure out when you’ll write your paper since you have band practice, a speech tournament, and your little sister’s dance recital this week, too.  C. Groan out loud. Another essay? You could barely get yourself to write the last one!  D. Start thinking about your essay topic, which makes you think about your art project that’s due the same day, which reminds you that your favorite artist might have just posted to Instagram...so you better check your feed right now. 

2. Your mom asked you to pick up your room before she gets home from work. You’ve just gotten home from school. You decide you’ll tackle your chores: 

A. Five minutes before your mom walks through the front door. As long as it gets done, who cares when you start?  B. As soon as you get home from your shift at the local grocery store.  C. After you give yourself a 15-minute pep talk about how you need to get to work.  D. You won’t get it done. Between texts from your friends, trying to watch your favorite Netflix show, and playing with your dog, you just lost track of time! 

3. You’ve signed up to wash dogs at the Humane Society to help earn money for your senior class trip. You: 

A. Show up ten minutes late. You put off leaving your house until the last minute, then got stuck in unexpected traffic on the way to the shelter.  B. Have to call and cancel at the last minute. You forgot you’d already agreed to babysit your cousin and bake cupcakes for tomorrow’s bake sale.  C. Actually arrive fifteen minutes early with extra brushes and bandanas you picked up at the store. You’re passionate about animals, so you’re excited to help out! D. Show up on time, but only get three dogs washed. You couldn’t help it: you just kept getting distracted by how cute they were!

4. You have an hour of downtime, so you decide you’re going to watch an episode of The Great British Baking Show. You: 

A. Scroll through your social media feeds for twenty minutes before hitting play, which means you’re not able to finish the whole episode. Ugh! You really wanted to see who was sent home!  B. Watch fifteen minutes until you remember you’re supposed to pick up your sister from band practice before heading to your part-time job. No GBBO for you!  C. You finish one episode, then decide to watch another even though you’ve got SAT studying to do. It’s just more fun to watch people make scones.  D. Start the episode, but only catch bits and pieces of it because you’re reading Twitter, cleaning out your backpack, and eating a snack at the same time.

5. Your teacher asks you to stay after class because you’ve missed turning in two homework assignments in a row. When she asks you what’s wrong, you say: 

A. You planned to do your assignments during lunch, but you ran out of time. You decided it would be better to turn in nothing at all than submit unfinished work.  B. You really wanted to get the assignments done, but between your extracurriculars, family commitments, and your part-time job, your homework fell through the cracks.  C. You have a hard time psyching yourself to tackle the assignments. You just can’t seem to find the motivation to work on them once you get home.  D. You tried to do them, but you had a hard time focusing. By the time you realized you hadn’t gotten anything done, it was already time to turn them in. 

Like we said earlier, there are no right or wrong answers to this quiz (though your results will be better if you answered as honestly as possible). Here’s how your answers break down: 

  • If your answers were mostly As, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is procrastination. 
  • If your answers were mostly Bs, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is time management. 
  • If your answers were mostly Cs, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is motivation. 
  • If your answers were mostly Ds, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is getting distracted. 

Now that you’ve identified why you’re having a hard time getting your homework done, we can help you figure out how to fix it! Scroll down to find your core problem area to learn more about how you can start to address it. 

And one more thing: you’re really struggling with homework, it’s a good idea to read through every section below. You may find some additional tips that will help make homework less intimidating. 


How to Do Homework When You’re a Procrastinator  

Merriam Webster defines “procrastinate” as “to put off intentionally and habitually.” In other words, procrastination is when you choose to do something at the last minute on a regular basis. If you’ve ever found yourself pulling an all-nighter, trying to finish an assignment between periods, or sprinting to turn in a paper minutes before a deadline, you’ve experienced the effects of procrastination. 

If you’re a chronic procrastinator, you’re in good company. In fact, one study found that 70% to 95% of undergraduate students procrastinate when it comes to doing their homework. Unfortunately, procrastination can negatively impact your grades. Researchers have found that procrastination can lower your grade on an assignment by as much as five points ...which might not sound serious until you realize that can mean the difference between a B- and a C+. 

Procrastination can also negatively affect your health by increasing your stress levels , which can lead to other health conditions like insomnia, a weakened immune system, and even heart conditions. Getting a handle on procrastination can not only improve your grades, it can make you feel better, too! 

The big thing to understand about procrastination is that it’s not the result of laziness. Laziness is defined as being “disinclined to activity or exertion.” In other words, being lazy is all about doing nothing. But a s this Psychology Today article explains , procrastinators don’t put things off because they don’t want to work. Instead, procrastinators tend to postpone tasks they don’t want to do in favor of tasks that they perceive as either more important or more fun. Put another way, procrastinators want to do things...as long as it’s not their homework! 

3 Tips f or Conquering Procrastination 

Because putting off doing homework is a common problem, there are lots of good tactics for addressing procrastination. Keep reading for our three expert tips that will get your homework habits back on track in no time. 

#1: Create a Reward System

Like we mentioned earlier, procrastination happens when you prioritize other activities over getting your homework done. Many times, this happens because homework...well, just isn’t enjoyable. But you can add some fun back into the process by rewarding yourself for getting your work done. 

Here’s what we mean: let’s say you decide that every time you get your homework done before the day it’s due, you’ll give yourself a point. For every five points you earn, you’ll treat yourself to your favorite dessert: a chocolate cupcake! Now you have an extra (delicious!) incentive to motivate you to leave procrastination in the dust. 

If you’re not into cupcakes, don’t worry. Your reward can be anything that motivates you . Maybe it’s hanging out with your best friend or an extra ten minutes of video game time. As long as you’re choosing something that makes homework worth doing, you’ll be successful. 

#2: Have a Homework Accountability Partner 

If you’re having trouble getting yourself to start your homework ahead of time, it may be a good idea to call in reinforcements . Find a friend or classmate you can trust and explain to them that you’re trying to change your homework habits. Ask them if they’d be willing to text you to make sure you’re doing your homework and check in with you once a week to see if you’re meeting your anti-procrastination goals. 

Sharing your goals can make them feel more real, and an accountability partner can help hold you responsible for your decisions. For example, let’s say you’re tempted to put off your science lab write-up until the morning before it’s due. But you know that your accountability partner is going to text you about it tomorrow...and you don’t want to fess up that you haven’t started your assignment. A homework accountability partner can give you the extra support and incentive you need to keep your homework habits on track. 

#3: Create Your Own Due Dates 

If you’re a life-long procrastinator, you might find that changing the habit is harder than you expected. In that case, you might try using procrastination to your advantage! If you just can’t seem to stop doing your work at the last minute, try setting your own due dates for assignments that range from a day to a week before the assignment is actually due. 

Here’s what we mean. Let’s say you have a math worksheet that’s been assigned on Tuesday and is due on Friday. In your planner, you can write down the due date as Thursday instead. You may still put off your homework assignment until the last minute...but in this case, the “last minute” is a day before the assignment’s real due date . This little hack can trick your procrastination-addicted brain into planning ahead! 


If you feel like Kevin Hart in this meme, then our tips for doing homework when you're busy are for you. 

How to Do Homework When You’re too Busy

If you’re aiming to go to a top-tier college , you’re going to have a full plate. Because college admissions is getting more competitive, it’s important that you’re maintaining your grades , studying hard for your standardized tests , and participating in extracurriculars so your application stands out. A packed schedule can get even more hectic once you add family obligations or a part-time job to the mix. 

If you feel like you’re being pulled in a million directions at once, you’re not alone. Recent research has found that stress—and more severe stress-related conditions like anxiety and depression— are a major problem for high school students . In fact, one study from the American Psychological Association found that during the school year, students’ stress levels are higher than those of the adults around them. 

For students, homework is a major contributor to their overall stress levels . Many high schoolers have multiple hours of homework every night , and figuring out how to fit it into an already-packed schedule can seem impossible. 

3 Tips for Fitting Homework Into Your Busy Schedule

While it might feel like you have literally no time left in your schedule, there are still ways to make sure you’re able to get your homework done and meet your other commitments. Here are our expert homework tips for even the busiest of students. 

#1: Make a Prioritized To-Do List 

You probably already have a to-do list to keep yourself on track. The next step is to prioritize the items on your to-do list so you can see what items need your attention right away. 

Here’s how it works: at the beginning of each day, sit down and make a list of all the items you need to get done before you go to bed. This includes your homework, but it should also take into account any practices, chores, events, or job shifts you may have. Once you get everything listed out, it’s time to prioritize them using the labels A, B, and C. Here’s what those labels mean:

  • A Tasks : tasks that have to get done—like showing up at work or turning in an assignment—get an A. 
  • B Tasks : these are tasks that you would like to get done by the end of the day but aren’t as time sensitive. For example, studying for a test you have next week could be a B-level task. It’s still important, but it doesn’t have to be done right away. 
  • C Tasks: these are tasks that aren’t very important and/or have no real consequences if you don’t get them done immediately. For instance, if you’re hoping to clean out your closet but it’s not an assigned chore from your parents, you could label that to-do item with a C. 

Prioritizing your to-do list helps you visualize which items need your immediate attention, and which items you can leave for later. A prioritized to-do list ensures that you’re spending your time efficiently and effectively, which helps you make room in your schedule for homework. So even though you might really want to start making decorations for Homecoming (a B task), you’ll know that finishing your reading log (an A task) is more important. 

#2: Use a Planner With Time Labels 

Your planner is probably packed with notes, events, and assignments already. (And if you’re not using a planner, it’s time to start!) But planners can do more for you than just remind you when an assignment is due. If you’re using a planner with time labels, it can help you visualize how you need to spend your day.

A planner with time labels breaks your day down into chunks, and you assign tasks to each chunk of time. For example, you can make a note of your class schedule with assignments, block out time to study, and make sure you know when you need to be at practice. Once you know which tasks take priority, you can add them to any empty spaces in your day. 

Planning out how you spend your time not only helps you use it wisely, it can help you feel less overwhelmed, too . We’re big fans of planners that include a task list ( like this one ) or have room for notes ( like this one ). 

#3: Set Reminders on Your Phone 

If you need a little extra nudge to make sure you’re getting your homework done on time, it’s a good idea to set some reminders on your phone. You don’t need a fancy app, either. You can use your alarm app to have it go off at specific times throughout the day to remind you to do your homework. This works especially well if you have a set homework time scheduled. So if you’ve decided you’re doing homework at 6:00 pm, you can set an alarm to remind you to bust out your books and get to work. 

If you use your phone as your planner, you may have the option to add alerts, emails, or notifications to scheduled events . Many calendar apps, including the one that comes with your phone, have built-in reminders that you can customize to meet your needs. So if you block off time to do your homework from 4:30 to 6:00 pm, you can set a reminder that will pop up on your phone when it’s time to get started. 


This dog isn't judging your lack of motivation...but your teacher might. Keep reading for tips to help you motivate yourself to do your homework.

How to Do Homework When You’re Unmotivated 

At first glance, it may seem like procrastination and being unmotivated are the same thing. After all, both of these issues usually result in you putting off your homework until the very last minute. 

But there’s one key difference: many procrastinators are working, they’re just prioritizing work differently. They know they’re going to start their homework...they’re just going to do it later. 

Conversely, people who are unmotivated to do homework just can’t find the willpower to tackle their assignments. Procrastinators know they’ll at least attempt the homework at the last minute, whereas people who are unmotivated struggle with convincing themselves to do it at a ll. For procrastinators, the stress comes from the inevitable time crunch. For unmotivated people, the stress comes from trying to convince themselves to do something they don’t want to do in the first place. 

Here are some common reasons students are unmotivated in doing homework : 

  • Assignments are too easy, too hard, or seemingly pointless 
  • Students aren’t interested in (or passionate about) the subject matter
  • Students are intimidated by the work and/or feels like they don’t understand the assignment 
  • Homework isn’t fun, and students would rather spend their time on things that they enjoy 

To sum it up: people who lack motivation to do their homework are more likely to not do it at all, or to spend more time worrying about doing their homework than...well, actually doing it.

3 Tips for How to Get Motivated to Do Homework

The key to getting homework done when you’re unmotivated is to figure out what does motivate you, then apply those things to homework. It sounds tricky...but it’s pretty simple once you get the hang of it! Here are our three expert tips for motivating yourself to do your homework. 

#1: Use Incremental Incentives

When you’re not motivated, it’s important to give yourself small rewards to stay focused on finishing the task at hand. The trick is to keep the incentives small and to reward yourself often. For example, maybe you’re reading a good book in your free time. For every ten minutes you spend on your homework, you get to read five pages of your book. Like we mentioned earlier, make sure you’re choosing a reward that works for you! 

So why does this technique work? Using small rewards more often allows you to experience small wins for getting your work done. Every time you make it to one of your tiny reward points, you get to celebrate your success, which gives your brain a boost of dopamine . Dopamine helps you stay motivated and also creates a feeling of satisfaction when you complete your homework !  

#2: Form a Homework Group 

If you’re having trouble motivating yourself, it’s okay to turn to others for support. Creating a homework group can help with this. Bring together a group of your friends or classmates, and pick one time a week where you meet and work on homework together. You don’t have to be in the same class, or even taking the same subjects— the goal is to encourage one another to start (and finish!) your assignments. 

Another added benefit of a homework group is that you can help one another if you’re struggling to understand the material covered in your classes. This is especially helpful if your lack of motivation comes from being intimidated by your assignments. Asking your friends for help may feel less scary than talking to your teacher...and once you get a handle on the material, your homework may become less frightening, too. 

#3: Change Up Your Environment 

If you find that you’re totally unmotivated, it may help if you find a new place to do your homework. For example, if you’ve been struggling to get your homework done at home, try spending an extra hour in the library after school instead. The change of scenery can limit your distractions and give you the energy you need to get your work done. 

If you’re stuck doing homework at home, you can still use this tip. For instance, maybe you’ve always done your homework sitting on your bed. Try relocating somewhere else, like your kitchen table, for a few weeks. You may find that setting up a new “homework spot” in your house gives you a motivational lift and helps you get your work done. 


Social media can be a huge problem when it comes to doing homework. We have advice for helping you unplug and regain focus.

How to Do Homework When You’re Easily Distracted

We live in an always-on world, and there are tons of things clamoring for our attention. From friends and family to pop culture and social media, it seems like there’s always something (or someone!) distracting us from the things we need to do.

The 24/7 world we live in has affected our ability to focus on tasks for prolonged periods of time. Research has shown that over the past decade, an average person’s attention span has gone from 12 seconds to eight seconds . And when we do lose focus, i t takes people a long time to get back on task . One study found that it can take as long as 23 minutes to get back to work once we’ve been distracte d. No wonder it can take hours to get your homework done! 

3 Tips to Improve Your Focus

If you have a hard time focusing when you’re doing your homework, it’s a good idea to try and eliminate as many distractions as possible. Here are three expert tips for blocking out the noise so you can focus on getting your homework done. 

#1: Create a Distraction-Free Environment

Pick a place where you’ll do your homework every day, and make it as distraction-free as possible. Try to find a location where there won’t be tons of noise, and limit your access to screens while you’re doing your homework. Put together a focus-oriented playlist (or choose one on your favorite streaming service), and put your headphones on while you work. 

You may find that other people, like your friends and family, are your biggest distraction. If that’s the case, try setting up some homework boundaries. Let them know when you’ll be working on homework every day, and ask them if they’ll help you keep a quiet environment. They’ll be happy to lend a hand! 

#2: Limit Your Access to Technology 

We know, we know...this tip isn’t fun, but it does work. For homework that doesn’t require a computer, like handouts or worksheets, it’s best to put all your technology away . Turn off your television, put your phone and laptop in your backpack, and silence notifications on any wearable tech you may be sporting. If you listen to music while you work, that’s fine...but make sure you have a playlist set up so you’re not shuffling through songs once you get started on your homework. 

If your homework requires your laptop or tablet, it can be harder to limit your access to distractions. But it’s not impossible! T here are apps you can download that will block certain websites while you’re working so that you’re not tempted to scroll through Twitter or check your Facebook feed. Silence notifications and text messages on your computer, and don’t open your email account unless you absolutely have to. And if you don’t need access to the internet to complete your assignments, turn off your WiFi. Cutting out the online chatter is a great way to make sure you’re getting your homework done. 

#3: Set a Timer (the Pomodoro Technique)

Have you ever heard of the Pomodoro technique ? It’s a productivity hack that uses a timer to help you focus!

Here’s how it works: first, set a timer for 25 minutes. This is going to be your work time. During this 25 minutes, all you can do is work on whatever homework assignment you have in front of you. No email, no text messaging, no phone calls—just homework. When that timer goes off, y ou get to take a 5 minute break. Every time you go through one of these cycles, it’s called a “pomodoro.” For every four pomodoros you complete, you can take a longer break of 15 to 30 minutes. 

The pomodoro technique works through a combination of boundary setting and rewards. First, it gives you a finite amount of time to focus, so you know that you only have to work really hard for 25 minutes. Once you’ve done that, you’re rewarded with a short break where you can do whatever you want. Additionally, tracking how many pomodoros you complete can help you see how long you’re really working on your homework. (Once you start using our focus tips, you may find it doesn’t take as long as you thought!) 


Two Bonus Tips for How to Do Homework Fast 

Even if you’re doing everything right, there will be times when you just need to get your homework done as fast as possible. (Why do teachers always have projects due in the same week? The world may never know.) 

The problem with speeding through homework is that it’s easy to make mistakes. While turning in an assignment is always better than not submitting anything at all, you want to make sure that you’re not compromising quality for speed. Simply put, the goal is to get your homework done quickly and still make a good grade on the assignment! 

Here are our two bonus tips for getting a decent grade on your homework assignments , even when you’re in a time crunch. 

#1: Do the Easy Parts First 

This is especially true if you’re working on a handout with multiple questions. Before you start working on the assignment, read through all the questions and problems. As you do, make a mark beside the questions you think are “easy” to answer . 

Once you’ve finished going through the whole assignment, you can answer these questions first. Getting the easy questions out of the way as quickly as possible lets you spend more time on the trickier portions of your homework, which will maximize your assignment grade. 

(Quick note: this is also a good strategy to use on timed assignments and tests, like the SAT and the ACT !) 

#2: Pay Attention in Class 

Homework gets a lot easier when you’re actively learning the material. Teachers aren’t giving you homework because they’re mean or trying to ruin your weekend... it’s because they want you to really understand the course material. Homework is designed to reinforce what you’re already learning in class so you’ll be ready to tackle harder concepts later. 

When you pay attention in class, ask questions, and take good notes, you’re absorbing the information you’ll need to succeed on your homework assignments. (You’re stuck in class anyway, so you might as well make the most of it!) Not only will paying attention in class make your homework less confusing, it will also help it go much faster, too. 


What’s Next? 

If you’re looking to improve your productivity beyond homework, a good place to begin is with time management. After all, we only have so much time in a day...so it’s important to get the most out of it! To get you started, check out this list of the 12 best time management techniques that you can start using today.

You may have read this article because homework struggles have been affecting your GPA. Now that you’re on the path to homework success, it’s time to start being proactive about raising your grades. This article teaches you everything you need to know about raising your GPA so you can

Now you know how to get motivated to do homework...but what about your study habits? Studying is just as critical to getting good grades, and ultimately getting into a good college . We can teach you how to study bette r in high school. (We’ve also got tons of resources to help you study for your ACT and SAT exams , too!) 

Need more help with this topic? Check out Tutorbase!

Our vetted tutor database includes a range of experienced educators who can help you polish an essay for English or explain how derivatives work for Calculus. You can use dozens of filters and search criteria to find the perfect person for your needs.

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Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.

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College Homework: What You Need to Know

  • April 1, 2020

Samantha "Sam" Sparks

  • Future of Education

Despite what Hollywood shows us, most of college life actually involves studying, burying yourself in mountains of books, writing mountains of reports, and, of course, doing a whole lot of homework.

Wait, homework? That’s right, homework doesn’t end just because high school did: part of parcel of any college course will be homework. So if you thought college is harder than high school , then you’re right, because in between hours and hours of lectures and term papers and exams, you’re still going to have to take home a lot of schoolwork to do in the comfort of your dorm.

College life is demanding, it’s difficult, but at the end of the day, it’s fulfilling. You might have had this idealized version of what your college life is going to be like, but we’re here to tell you: it’s not all parties and cardigans.

How Many Hours Does College Homework Require?

Stress from homework

Here’s the thing about college homework: it’s vastly different from the type of takehome school activities you might have had in high school.

See, high school students are given homework to augment what they’ve learned in the classroom. For high school students, a majority of their learning happens in school, with their teachers guiding them along the way.

In college, however, your professors will encourage you to learn on your own. Yes, you will be attending hours and hours of lectures and seminars, but most of your learning is going to take place in the library, with your professors taking a more backseat approach to your learning process. This independent learning structure teaches prospective students to hone their critical thinking skills, perfect their research abilities, and encourage them to come up with original thoughts and ideas.

Sure, your professors will still step in every now and then to help with anything you’re struggling with and to correct certain mistakes, but by and large, the learning process in college is entirely up to how you develop your skills.

This is the reason why college homework is voluminous: it’s designed to teach you how to basically learn on your own. While there is no set standard on how much time you should spend doing homework in college, a good rule-of-thumb practiced by model students is 3 hours a week per college credit . It doesn’t seem like a lot, until you factor in that the average college student takes on about 15 units per semester. With that in mind, it’s safe to assume that a single, 3-unit college class would usually require 9 hours of homework per week.

But don’t worry, college homework is also different from high school homework in how it’s structured. High school homework usually involves a take-home activity of some kind, where students answer certain questions posed to them. College homework, on the other hand, is more on reading texts that you’ll discuss in your next lecture, studying for exams, and, of course, take-home activities.

Take these averages with a grain of salt, however, as the average number of hours required to do college homework will also depend on your professor, the type of class you’re attending, what you’re majoring in, and whether or not you have other activities (like laboratory work or field work) that would compensate for homework.

Do Students Do College Homework On the Weekends?

Again, based on the average number we provided above, and again, depending on numerous other factors, it’s safe to say that, yes, you would have to complete a lot of college homework on the weekends.

Using the average given above, let’s say that a student does 9 hours of homework per week per class. A typical semester would involve 5 different classes (each with 3 units), which means that a student would be doing an average of 45 hours of homework per week. That would equal to around 6 hours of homework a day, including weekends.

That might seem overwhelming, but again: college homework is different from high school homework in that it doesn’t always involve take-home activities. In fact, most of your college homework (but again, depending on your professor, your major, and other mitigating factors) will probably involve doing readings and writing essays. Some types of college homework might not even feel like homework, as some professors encourage inter-personal learning by requiring their students to form groups and discuss certain topics instead of doing take-home activities or writing papers. Again, lab work and field work (depending on your major) might also make up for homework.


Remember: this is all relative. Some people read fast and will find that 3 hours per unit per week is much too much time considering they can finish a reading in under an hour.The faster you learn how to read, the less amount of time you’ll need to devote to homework.

College homework is difficult, but it’s also manageable. This is why you see a lot of study groups in college, where your peers will establish a way for everyone to learn on a collective basis, as this would help lighten the mental load you might face during your college life. There are also different strategies you can develop to master your time management skills, all of which will help you become a more holistic person once you leave college.

So, yes, your weekends will probably be chock-full of schoolwork, but you’ll need to learn how to manage your time in such a way that you’ll be able to do your homework and socialize, but also have time to develop your other skills and/or talk to family and friends.

College Homework Isn’t All That Bad, Though


Sure, you’ll probably have time for parties and joining a fraternity/sorority, even attend those mythical college keggers (something that the person who invented college probably didn’t have in mind). But I hate to break it to you: those are going to be few and far in between. But here’s a consolation, however: you’re going to be studying something you’re actually interested in.

All of those hours spent in the library, writing down papers, doing college homework? It’s going to feel like a minute because you’re doing something you actually love doing. And if you fear that you’ll be missing out, don’t worry: all those people that you think are attending those parties aren’t actually there because they, too, will be busy studying!

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Understanding and Estimating Instructional Time and Homework


What counts as “class time” — especially when you are adapting a course to a new format like hybrid or online? How do you structure time to maximize engagement and (in online or hybrid situations) get the most out of synchronous or in-person time? Here we explain the relationship between instructional time, homework, and credit hours, so you can understand what Champlain and our accreditors require. We also discuss some options for instructional time that may be very different from what you would do in the classroom.

Credit Hours, Instructional Time, and Out-of-Class Work

Students’ class loads are measured in credit hours; a typical full-time load at Champlain is 15 hours, usually equaling five three-hour classes, although this may vary. The number of credit hours associated with a course is determined by the number of hours it “meets” per week — that is, the amount of instructional time. (This will vary for capstones, internships, and some other course types.)

Most faculty who teach in person are not used to thinking about instructional time. Instead, we think about the hours that we are in the classroom with our students each week. But we can learn from Champlain College Online and other online or blended modes of learning that instructional time can take different forms, many of which might not involve synchronous or in-person interaction.

The key characteristic of instructional time is interaction between instructor and students. The New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE), Champlain’s accreditor, requires that we provide quality learning experiences that include “ regular, substantive academic interaction ” between instructor and students. Regular interaction means that the faculty member connects with students fairly frequently, in a way that students can grow to expect. Substantive interaction means that the faculty-student interaction is academic in nature and initiated by the instructor.

Therefore, in a hybrid or online course, instructional time is the total hours your students spend in synchronous activities AND asynchronous instructional equivalents like watching recorded lectures, taking quizzes via Canvas, participating in discussion forums, and activities you might normally do as a group, such as a virtual field trip or service project.

According to NECHE, alongside instructional time each week, students should spend approximately twice the number of hours they spend “in class” doing work for that class. That is, if a course is worth three credits (about two and a half hours of instructional time), on average students should be doing approximately five hours of preparation and out-of-class assignments each week, for a total of seven and a half hours of time committed to that course. Rice University’s Center for Teaching Excellence provides an interactive tool for estimating out-of-class student time commitments.

For more information on how this math works, please see Albright College’s explanation of Carnegie Units and credit hours .

Planning Online or Hybrid Instructional Time Equivalents

In the classroom, we know what constitutes instructional time: things we do when we are physically present with students. In fully online situations, we must consider the amount of time students are expected to spend on asynchronous instructional equivalents. In hybrid situations, we must carefully consider the mix of in-person and virtual interaction to calculate instructional time.

Virtual instructional time can involve adaptations of in-person instruction. It can also involve different kinds of activities. Some strategies for interactive, engaging instruction that does not take place through videoconference lecturing include:

Possible Adaptations of In-Person Instruction

  • Recorded lecture
  • Synchronous small group discussions, critiques, labs, projects, etc.
  • Asynchronous discussion forums
  • Quizzes and tests delivered via Canvas
  • Guest speaker virtual “visit” or webinar
  • Library education sessions or consultations with a research librarian (currently offered virtually)

Possible Instructional Time Innovations

  • One-on-one or small-group synchronous conversations with the instructor (similar to the tutorial system )
  • Individual real-world experiences shared through reflection or discussion (e.g., plant observation walk, interviewing a professional in the field, service learning, etc)
  • Virtual tours and field trips
  • Lecture-style slides, or written instructor-created content that would normally be delivered via lecture in class
  • Collaborative whiteboard, brainstorming, and/or problem-solving activities (synchronous or asynchronous)
  • Collaborative reading and annotation using a tool like Hypothesis or Perusall
  • Remote/virtual labs
  • Low-stakes surveys, quizzes, or check-ins
  • Peer review (synchronous or asynchronous)
  • Contributing to and commenting on a virtual gallery

There are many options! This list is not intended to be exhaustive. When deciding on instructional time activities, you should focus on options that are highly interactive (student-faculty and/or student-student) and/or focus on experiences like labs, field trips, interviews, or service learning.

Estimating Workloads

This wide range of strategies is great, and it raises an important question: how long does it take students to do these things? How do you get the amount of instructional time equivalents to roughly mirror the number of hours you would spend in a classroom with your students, when you students are completing tasks on their own time and may not work at the same speed?

First of all, something to consider: students generally work a lot less hard when they are sitting in a classroom taking part in an all-class discussion than they do when everyone is required to contribute a discussion post or two on Canvas. A group lab may be less work than a virtual one. The great thing about this is that your instruction can become much richer as students branch out into the things that most pique their interest. However, be aware that asynchronous instructional time can be much more mental labor and organizational work than some forms of classroom instruction, and so your students may be working harder for the same amount of instructional time, or may be spending more time than you think. Create your prompts, assignments, and grading schemes in a way that acknowledges this increased effort.

Pragmatically, here are some estimated amounts of time students might spend doing common virtual learning tasks. (We’re skipping over tasks that have a clearer time commitment like lecture videos and timed quizzes.)

  • Discussion posts: minimum of 30 minutes for a 250-word/one-paragraph post and skimming other posts. Direct responses to other students’ posts may take a little less time.
  • Blog post: approximately 30 minutes for a 250-word reflection post. If you require research or longer posts, allot at least an hour.
  • Case study activities: account for reading time as well as writing time, which will vary widely depending on the exercise. An optimal adult reader who reads visually, does not have reading-related disabilities, and is fluent in English can read about 300 words per minute with no new concepts. For new concepts, writing for an academic audience (eg. journal articles), special genres of writing (e.g. legal cases), or texts you want students to analyze deeply, estimate 150 words per minute. Allow writing time as above. Thus a case study analysis based on a news article–which is a great option for a discussion forum!–with a 250-word response might take 30-45 minutes. On the other hand, analysis of a fifteen-page journal article with a 250-word response could easily take an hour and a half or more.
  • Independently arranged interview, field trip, or service learning experience: make sure to add an estimate of the time it takes to arrange an experience (if students are doing that work) to the experience itself.

These suggested times may seem slow to you–but remember, you are estimating based on the speed of an average student.

We also provide a resource on strategies for balancing synchronous and asynchronous teaching , as well as some slides with examples of how to balance and estimate synchronous and asynchronous instructional time equivalents in different types of classes.

Works Consulted

Other institutions’ approaches.

  • Course Workload Estimator , Rice University Center for Teaching Excellence
  • Credit and Contact Hour and Instructional Equivalencies Guidelines , Valdosta State University
  • Guidelines for Instructional Time Equivalencies Across Formats/Assignment of Credit Hours , Misericordia University
  • Instructional Equivalencies Chart , Albright College

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How Much Time Should Be Dedicated To Completing Homework Assignments?

8 minutes reading time

A man staring at his laptop in frustration

  • 01. Why is Homework Important
  • 02. Research Findings
  • 03. Organizing All The Work That You Need To Do
  • 04. The Benefits Of Homework
  • 05. How Long Should Homework Really Take?
  • 06. Do Your Homework Without Any Hassle

Parents often wonder: 'how much time should my child dedicate to homework every day?' It is a difficult question to answer because every student has a different pace at which they learn.

So Is homework necessary if students' grades aren't improving? Quality of homework ensures the progress of grades is not declining.

But why should students have homework? Students always complain about the academic practice of assigning homework.

But, on the contrary, parents, and teachers agree that homework is an effective tool for educating children. But studies about homework being effective have been conflicting over the years and past practice.

Likewise, students don't like doing homework after a long tiring day at school. And, parents cannot help their kids with homework all their lives .

However, it is the parents' responsibility to encourage children to complete homework. Moreover, it can create a rift between them because students are resisting their parent's orders.

Let's take a detailed look at why homework is an integral part of a child's upbringing and how long they should take to do it.


Why is Homework Important

Homework is an essential part of every student's academic life. Let's take a look at what makes it so important :

A cup of coffee and writing material on a table

Helps Them Develop Analytical Skills

Homework requires a lot of focus. When students sit down to do their assignments, they have to actively think about how they can get all their work done in the best way possible.

Furthermore, it teaches them to tackle work pressure and improves their analytical abilities.

Teaches Them To Find Resources

Homework teaches students to be resourceful. It allows them to self-evaluate the skills needed to do particular tasks.

Furthermore, students learn how to conduct research. They understand how they can take help from books and encyclopedias. Moreover, they may discover the joy of learning about a particular subject in detail.

Monitor Academic Progress

One of the important reasons students should have homework is because it allows parents to monitor their children's progress.

Research shows that parents guiding their children when they are doing their homework can help progress in their academic life.

In addition, doing homework together strengthens the bond between parents and children and helps develop greater understanding while removing the communication gap.

Review Classroom Reviews

Homework is an excellent medium for parents to keep a check on their child's progress. It shows whether they understand what they are learning in class and can apply it correctly.

Research Findings

According to Harris Cooper, it is important that students must be assigned homework. His meta-analysis says studies have shown a correlation between completing homework and academic success.

The professor recommends a 10-minute rule . This means students should be assigned 10 minutes worth of homework a day in first grade and ten additional minutes as they move up a grade.

As a result, students will be completing 120 minutes worth of homework every day by the twelfth grade.

In addition, his analysis did not emphasize that homework made students do better or improve performance. Instead, he showed correlation, which showed committed kids who did their homework did better academically.

Researchers generally focus on the quality of homework rather than quantity. They say the repetition of tasks can be determined according to the nature of homework.

For instance, some middle school teachers have found success with online math and English homework. They assigned homework considering each student's level of performance.

Researchers at Indiana University stated that math and science homework might improve standardized test grades. Thus, they did not see any difference between those who did their homework and those who did not. However, research debates that homework can be helpful depending on the individual in question.

Some students need it badly, while others don't. It is for teachers to analyze which students should be assigned homework and which need other forms of mental stimulation.

One of the study's authors, Professor Adam Maltese, said that homework has more utilization potential than we realize.

During covid times, schools had to provide home learning, which dropped productivity rates.

Unfortunately, schools are waiting for the ease of COVID-19 restrictions to analyze the latest improvements in students' performance.

A pen, pencil, and a diary

Organizing All The Work That You Need To Do

There is no better way to get work done than for you to prepare beforehand. You set yourself up to get the job done much better than even intended by preparing in advance.

How Do You Plan?

There are multiple ways in which your work can be planned.

You can start by using a planner to make a tentative schedule for learning a specific topic. Then, based on that, you can plan your work, making it a lot easier to tackle it.

To start planning, you can begin by categorizing your subjects into different folders. In these folders, you can pool all the resources for each subject. For example, any books, homework guides , or past papers can be stored in separate folders.

By doing this, you will have all the necessary information available for you at the click of a button. In addition, using a service like Google Drive allows you to store all your info in one place.

All you need to do is log in with your Google account, and voila! You have everything right in front of you.

You can also permit other people to access these resources if they need them. This makes it not only easier for you but also for teachers or class fellows.

You've Planned – What Next?

After planning all of this, what do you need to do to get homework done in the best possible way?

Get Your Things Together

It would help if you started with prioritizing your homework based on importance, length, or difficulty. Then, whatever you think is the best – choose that.

Next, make sure you have all of your resources at the ready. Then, when you sit down to do your work, you need to only focus on your homework – not trying to find the things you need to get it done.

Find A Quiet Place To Get Started

To get your homework done, you need to be able to concentrate. Therefore, regardless of your resources, it would be best to focus on what you are doing to get it done.

Avoid working in a place with too many distractions such as noise, commotion, or people. Of course, not everyone will find this but make an effort to create the best environment possible.

If you work in a place where you cannot avoid such disturbances, chances are that you might skip something you wouldn't usually have.

Make Sure You Aren't Running On Empty

Your mind and body need sustenance to keep running. If they don't get the fuel they need, your system won't operate at its total capacity.

Make sure you have had something to eat before you start with your homework. To make sure you don't feel thirsty or waste any time, keep an entire bottle of water with you. Feeling thirsty means that your body needs water, i.e., it is dehydrated.

Avoid depriving your body of the things it needs to operate at optimal levels.

Take Breaks And Reward Yourself

Homework can be tiring – mentally and physically. Solving complex math problems or learning detailed theories can take its toll on you.

After every two hours of study, take a quick 10-minute breather to recharge your batteries. Then, once you've managed to let the information settle into your head, get back to it.

Not taking breaks can result in burnout. These can have lasting effects on your mental wellbeing, which can be avoided by giving yourself rest now and then.

After getting done with your homework, pat yourself on the back for doing what needed to be done.

Please don't wait for anyone else to come and reward you for this, do it on your own to make sure you are in control of your sense of accomplishment.

Once all of your work is done, do something you find peace and comfort in. This could be working out, playing video games, or hanging out with your friends or family.

Make sure you don't forget to reward yourself, or you might end up hating the process of doing homework – which can lead to you abandoning the process entirely.

A man working on his laptop while sitting on a park bench

The Benefits Of Homework

Is homework necessary? There are different schools of thought when it comes to homework. Some believe that a child need learns all they need to in the classroom, while others think the added work is an integral part of their development.

In corroboration with the latter, here are a few reasons why students should have homework:

  • Children can deepen their understanding of the stuff they study in school. Revising that day's lesson again can help them retain the information much better
  • Students can see where they stand in their understanding of a specific topic by sitting and solving problems independently. This can prompt them to reach out for assistance if needed
  • By evaluating a student's homework, a teacher can see where the student stands. Are they doing well enough? Do they need help? Is there a trend of issues that needs to be addressed?
  • With homework, parents can keep up with what their children are learning in class. This makes it easier for them to also correspond with their child's instructor regarding their progress

These are all things that can make your learning process a lot simpler. It makes it easier for students to retain what they have learned so that they don't run into a roadblock when exam season arrives.

Homework serves many purposes, none of which cause you any harm or foul. On the contrary, it is a way to improve your learning.  If you wonder why it is essential to do your homework, there is no proper answer.

Think of it as an exercise to improve what you are learning, just like you would in the gym. To maintain the physique you are building, you have to keep it that way constantly. The mind, after all, is also a muscle.

How Long Should Homework Really Take?

The answer to this question depends on different factors. Your grade, number of subjects, and level of difficulty all matter.

Two or three hours a day for all subjects is more than enough for a middle school student. As you go higher up, this can rise. As a medical student, you might have to spend upwards of nine to eleven hours a day studying.

Do Your Homework Without Any Hassle

If you would like to improve the speed with which your child does their homework, reverting to a homework help tutor might be a good idea. Superprof has a registry of tutors who are ready to teach willing students.

Enjoyed this article? Leave a rating.

how long does homework usually take

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How Long Should Homework Take?

27 May 2021

7 minutes reading time

A child doing homework

Homework is a little take-home exercise given to students to help them articulate, recap, and practice what they learn in the classroom. It offers students the opportunity to, at their own pace, put all the pieces of their class work together.

Learning takes place on two levels: passively and actively. A student who sits in class and listens to a tutor learns passively. You can learn a lot passively. You'll grab the basics, the concept, and even surface knowledge of the application. 

But real learning happens actively. Active learning occurs when a student participates practically in class. He also learns actively when he does his homework.

Doing homework allows students to conceptualize, imagine, and demonstrate some wit with their studies.

Find French homework help  here on Superprof.

A Student

It makes them better. Better at reading, studying, analyzing, researching, and so on. However, homework is meant to be enjoyed. To be fun and not seen as an arduous chore. 

The time a student spends doing homework can determine whether he/she enjoys the homework. That's why it's essential to ask: 

How long should homework take?

Because humans, including students, have a varying attention span, homework must strike a balance and stay considerably within the student's attention span.

Before we take a sneak peek at what the generally recommended timing for homework is, it'd be reasonable to ask this question. 

What's the point of homework?

The point of homework changes as students ascend through the academic ladder. 

For instance, in grade 1, students have little to no analytical skills of their own. Much of what they do is learning how to recognize and identify numbers and alphabets. At this level, their homework is essentially repetition.

In grades 2 and 3, students have a little more sophisticated task, but still within the context of repeating what's taught in class. 

In a word, we can say, at these levels, the point of homework is practice. Read more about homework help for kids.

However, as students mature, their homework grows beyond regular repetition and practice. It gets more sophisticated and includes analytical skills.

For instance, students in high school might be given problems in mathematics that are more involved than what they were taught in the class. This is to broaden their scope of thinking, creativity, and inferences. 

As you'd expect, because of the level of sophistication of assignments at various levels, time spent on homework varies considerably.

Attention span also increases with levels of education. Studies show that an average grade 1 student has a maximum of 20 minutes of attention span.

Haven taken care of that,

What's the recommended time for homework?

It may not be generally inclusive to set a fixed time for homework for all students on the go. Every student is different and unique in several ways. 

Their understanding, concentration, mental and environmental conditions play a crucial role in the time spent on homework.

Find English homework help  here on Superprof.

A student and teacher

But there's a recommended standard. 

One well-known standard guiding the time a student should spend on homework is the 10-minute homework rule .

The Los Angeles Unified School District published it here .

The 10 minutes rule says students should spend 10 minutes per night on homework per grade level. See more tips for doing homework easily.

What this means is that a 1st-grade student should spend 10 minutes on homework. A 2nd-grade student should spend 20 minutes. 3rd-grade student, 30 minutes. And a 5th grade, 50 minutes.

But from 6th-grade upward, the formula changes. 

A 6th-grade student's homework should take no more than 15 minutes per academic class. 7th and 8th-grade students should spend no more than 20 minutes. 9th and 10th-grade, 25 minutes. And finally, 11th and 12th-grade students should spend no more than 30 minutes per academic class.

Many students spend far too much time on their homework than they'd be willing to admit. It leads to frustration, stress, burnout, and even loss of interest in work.

Before we go ahead to look at ways a student can beat time spent on homework, let's quickly look at some of the reasons many students never get to finish their task in time.

Why students spend too much time on homework

  1. Lack of understanding

This is the number one reason students spend too much time on their homework. 

Happily, most homework is given as practice of whatever was taught in the class. A student who didn't understand the concept in class will find the homework challenging. They'd end up spending more time trying to figure out things than actually doing the work.

2. They don't enjoy doing Home works

Many students don't enjoy doing homework. Who does?

They want to watch their favorite shows, chat on social media, and hang out with family and friends. Homework is a spoiler.

It's ok to feel that way. But the downside is they'd end up spending more time on the homework than necessary. This is because approaching homework with a lack of interest hinders imagination, concentration, speed, coordination, and understanding. All of which are necessary to finish the homework quickly. 

Students usually have long stressful days. They prefer playing and having fun to resting. So, by the time they settle in to do their homework, their brain is already exhausted and sweating. The result is poorly done homework in a copious amount of time.

  • The homework is a Cracker

I'd be the first to admit that some homework could be extremely tough and out of the student's immediate grasp. Teachers sometimes give such homework to stretch students' creative thinking and analysis. It's normal for students to spend more time on such homework. 

  • Other reasons.

Such as laziness, or disturbance from family and friends, or students going through emotional tragedies. And so on. 

How To Beat The Time Spent on Homework.

What can parents do?

Parents are their children's first teachers and mentors. They remain the single most super heroes for their children.There are certain ways they can help their children quickly finish their homework. See how parents can help their kids plan their homework.

First, it's completely out of ethics for parents to take over their children's homework.

Many teachers hold the opinion that homework is a total waste of time and resources. They say so because of parents who hijack their children's homework.

A parent should help, but not take over the race. See how parents can help kids with homework.

As a dad or mum, you can help your children by ensuring that they maintain a constant habit of observing siesta to relax their brain before attempting their homework.

When they seem not to understand, help. By explaining the concept to them or by going through similar examples with them.

You can also help by ensuring that they do and take their homework seriously. Most times, children take their homework seriously according to how their parents persist on them doing the homework.

Help them cultivate the idea that homework is an integral part of education that must be taken just as serious. Learn the best tips for coping with too much homework.

What can teachers do?

There are a couple of ways teachers can help students finish their homework in time.

First, teachers can help by sizing the homework before issuing it out.

A student and a teacher

Brian Sztabnik, a veteran middle and high school English teacher suggests that teachers should ask valid questions before giving homework to students:

Teachers should follow the 10 minutes rule as a guide for giving their students homework. They can also help students see homework for what it truly is, homework.

They are meant to be fun and to enhance the understanding of the student. With a relaxed mind, students are more likely to finish their homework in time. Teachers should also be less rigid in the assessment of homework. They should focus more on the students' understanding of the subject matter than awarding marks.

What can the students do?

Students can help themselves reduce time spent on homework by:

Asking questions: As a student, if you don't understand the work, quickly ask questions. A few seconds of questions can save you several hours thereafter. Finishing your homework quickly starts with understanding what's required of you.

Enjoy the work: If you don't enjoy doing homework, it will torture you. You'd spend more time on it because your mind never completely settles on doing it. It helps to assign a specific time of the day to complete your work.

Resting : Resting helps the brain function better. A tired brain is never coordinated. if you rest well, you'll approach your homework with fresh views and it can help you get it done quickly.

Homework is a great way to enhance students' learning. But it doesn't have to eat up all their time. Students can get their homework done quickly if they rest well, understand the concept from class, set a specific time of the day to do homework, and take it seriously. On the same note, teachers and parents too can help students finish their homework in time.

Find homework help  here on Superprof.


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Marvis Osarhenrhen is a freelance SEO writer focused on helping businesses reach their target audience, get leads and increase revenue using optimized content.

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Analyzing ‘the homework gap’ among high school students

Subscribe to the brown center on education policy newsletter, michael hansen and michael hansen senior fellow - brown center on education policy , the herman and george r. brown chair - governance studies @drmikehansen diana quintero diana quintero former senior research analyst, brown center on education policy - the brookings institution, ph.d. student - vanderbilt university @quintero05diana.

August 10, 2017

Researchers have struggled for decades to identify a causal, or even correlational, relationship between time spent in school and improved learning outcomes for students. Some studies have focused on the length of a school year while others have focused on hours in a day and others on hours in the week .

In this blog post, we will look at time spent outside of school–specifically time spent doing homework–among different racial and socio-economic groups. We will use data from the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) to shed light on those differences and then attempt to explain those gaps, using ATUS data and other evidence.

What we know about out-of-school time

Measuring the relationship between out-of-school time and outcomes like test scores can be difficult. Researchers are primarily confounded by an inability to determine what compels students to choose homework during their time off over other activities. Are those who spend more time on homework just extra motivated? Or are they struggling students who need to work harder to keep up? What role do social expectations from parents or peers play?

Previous studies have examined the impact of this outside time use on educational outcomes for students. A 2007 study using data from Berea College in Kentucky identified a causal relationship between hours spent studying and a student’s academic performance through an interesting measure. The researchers took advantage of randomly assigned college roommates, paying attention to those who came to campus with a video game console in tow. They hypothesized students randomly assigned to a roommate without a video game console would study more, since all other factors remained equal. That hypothesis held up, and that group also received significantly higher grades, demonstrating the causal relationship.

Other research has relied on data collected through the American Time Use Survey, a study of how Americans spend their time, and shown the existence of a gender gap and a parental education gap in homework time. Other studies have looked at the relationship between holding a job and student’s time use in discretionary activities , like sleep, media consumption, and time spent on homework. We are curious about out-of-school differences in homework time by race and income.

Descriptive statistics of time use

We began with a general sample of 2,575 full-time high school students between the ages of 15 and 18 from the ATUS, restricting the sample to their answers about time spent on homework during weekdays and school months (September to May). Among all high school students surveyed (those that reported completing their homework and those that did not), the time allocated to complete homework amounted to less than an hour per day, despite the fact that high school teachers report they assign an average of 3.5 hours of homework per day.

To explore racial or income-based differences, in Figure 1, we plot the minutes that students reporting spending on homework separately by their racial/ethnic group and family income. We observed a time gap between racial groups, with Asian students spending the most time on homework (nearly two hours a day). Similarly, we observe a time gap by the students’ family income.

Time high school students spend on homework by race and parents' income

We can also use ATUS data to isolate when students do homework by race and by income. In Figure 2, we plot the percentage of high school students in each racial and income group doing homework by the time of day. Percentages remain low during the school day and then expectedly increase when students get home, with more Asian students doing more homework and working later into the night than other racial groups. Low-income students reported doing less homework per hour than their non-low-income peers.

Percentage of high school students doing homework by time of day, race, and income

Initial attempts to explain the homework gap

We hypothesized that these racial and income-based time gaps could potentially be explained by other factors, like work, time spent caring for others, and parental education. We tested these hypotheses by separating groups based on particular characteristics and comparing the average number of minutes per day spent on homework amongst the comparison groups.

Students who work predictably reported spending less time on educational activities, so if working disproportionately affected particular racial or income groups, then work could help explain the time gap. Students who worked allocated on average 20 minutes less for homework than their counterparts who did not work. Though low-income students worked more hours than their peers, they largely maintained a similar level of homework time by reducing their leisure or extracurricular activities. Therefore, the time gap on homework changed only slightly with the inclusion of work as a factor.

We also incorporated time spent taking care of others in the household. Though a greater percentage of low-income students take care of other household members, we found that this does not have a statistically significant effect on homework because students reduce leisure, rather than homework, in an attempt to help their families. Therefore, this variable again does not explain the time gaps.

Finally, we considered parental education, since parents with more education have been shown to encourage their children to value school more and have the resources to ensure homework is completed more easily. Our analysis showed students with at least one parent with any post-secondary degree (associate or above) reported spending more time on homework than their counterparts whose parents do not hold a degree; however, gaps by race still existed, even holding parental education constant. Turning to income levels, we found that parental education is more correlated with homework time among low-income students, reducing the time gap between income groups to only eight minutes.

Societal explanations

Our analysis of ATUS could not fully explain this gap in time spent on homework, especially among racial groups. Instead, we believe that viewing homework as an outcome of the culture of the school and the expectations of teachers, rather than an outcome of a student’s effort, may provide some reasons for its persistence.

Many studies, including recent research , have shown that teachers perceive students of color as academically inferior to their white peers. A 2016 study by Seth Gershenson et al. showed that this expectations gap can also depend on the race of the teacher. In a country where minority students make up nearly half of all public school students, yet minority teachers comprise just 18 percent of the teacher workforce, these differences in expectations matter.

Students of color are also less likely to attend high schools that offer advanced courses (including Advanced Placement courses) that would likely assign more homework, and thus access to rigorous courses may partially explain the gaps as well.

Research shows a similar, if less well-documented, gap by income, with teachers reporting lower expectations and dimmer futures for their low-income students. Low-income students and students of color may be assigned less homework based on lower expectations for their success, thus preventing them from learning as much and creating a self-fulfilling prophecy .

In conclusion, these analyses of time use revealed a substantial gap in homework by race and by income group that could not be entirely explained by work, taking care of others, or parental education. Additionally, differences in educational achievement, especially as measured on standardized tests, have been well-documented by race and by income . These gaps deserve our attention, but we should be wary of blaming disadvantaged groups. Time use is an outcome reflecting multiple factors, not simply motivation, and a greater understanding of that should help raise expectations–and therefore, educational achievement–all around.

Sarah Novicoff contributed to this post.

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How Long Does It Take To Do Your Homework?

How Long Does It Take To Do Your Homework?

It doesn’t matter how old you are or what grade you are in, few students actually enjoy homework. Still, it is an important element of every student’s education and must be done accordingly. So, how much homework do students get on average depending on whether they are in elementary, middle, high school, or college?

Well, as you can imagine, there is quite the discrepancy and it isn’t just in the amount of work either! To appreciate the differences in homework across the board, take a look at what students have to do at every stage of their academic career:

Elementary School

When it comes to primary or elementary school, teachers are meant to follow the rule of thumb for homework. This says that students should be given 10 minutes of homework each day for each grade that they have reached.

With this in mind, you will find that kindergarten students have about ten minutes of homework every day. Students in the first to third grade will receive between one to three assignments each work. As such, they will spend around 20 minutes to half an hour on homework.

For students in the fourth and fifth grade, the number of assignments range from two to four assignments per week. Therefore, they will be spending around 40 to 50 minutes on homework.

Middle School

As children move into middle school, their classes become more complex and they are expected to spend more time on their homework. At this point, though, the time spent on homework is calculated based on how much time should be given to each subject.

In the sixth grade, students should be given about 15 minutes of homework for every class that they have. For the seventh and the eighth grades, this goes up to around 20 minutes for each class, per day.

Students in these grades may be assigned around three to five sets of assignments every week. Based on this, they will spend around 45 to 75 minutes of homework every night.

High School

Most high school students experience their greatest workload between the grades of 9 and 12. Not only is there more work to do than ever before, but students are also expected to complete more complex work.

Ninth and tenth graders should do about 25 minutes of homework per class. Eleventh and twelfth graders should do about half an hour. They may receive between four to five sets of work each week. As a result, they can expect to spend anywhere between 75 and 150 minutes on homework.

Then, there are college students. Contrary to popular belief, college students have to do homework as well. However, professors don’t really refer to it as homework. This is because these are often quite different from the assignments that you get in lower grades.

There is a rule of thumb for how much homework you should get in college as well. Every college credit that you take should result in between two to three hours of homework every week. Most full-time students take enough courses for around 15 credits per semester. Due to this, you may have to spend between 30 and 45 hours of homework each week.

If this sounds impossible, you should remember that college isn’t structured in the same way that school is. From elementary to high school you spend around eight hours of your day in classes. In college, though, you spend only a few hours a day in class.

This is because much of college involves independent study. And, homework fits into this concept of self-study. Due to this, you are expected to spend four to six hours a day on your homework.

At the same time, this doesn’t mean that it is easy to get all of your homework done each day. In many instances, you are expected to do homework on the weekends as well. Even on the weekends you may have to do up to 6 hours of assignments. Of course, this does depend on how much of your work you have managed to get done during the week.

Another thing that you should be aware of is that homework in college is a lot more different to what you get in high school. Most college professors require you to do a lot of reading for their classes. Therefore, much of your homework time will be spent doing this.

You will also have to do problem sets, creative problems, multimedia presentations, etc. Therefore, you may have to expend a different amount of time and energy into these assignments.

How Much Homework Do Students Actually Get?

Now, the above figures are all averages or how many hours a student should ideally spend on homework. So, does this reflect reality? Do students actually get the amount of work that they are supposed to?

Well, the reports do vary quite a bit here. This is often because each school has their own guidelines for issuing homework. Not to mention, the numbers can be over or under reported making it tricky for educators to come to a conclusion.

There is some evidence, though, that shows that students do get more homework than they are supposed to. It was estimated that primary school students were getting just under 3 hours of work a week, per teacher. As these students tend to have around four main subjects, this accumulates to just under 12 hours of homework a week.

Some educators estimate that middle school students get about 3.2 hours per week. As a result, they end up doing close to 13 hours of homework each week. High school students completed about 3.5 hours of homework per week, per teacher. As a result, they were doing about 17.5 hours a week.

What this means that primary students are spending up to four times more than they should on homework. Middle school students are doing more than double, and high school students are doing upwards of 7 hours more than they should.

How Actual Time Varies Between Students

When calculating how long it takes to do homework, you should also appreciate that there is a great deal of discrepancy from one student to another. Therefore, just because a teacher assumes that a particular assignment will only take a certain amount of time, there is no guarantee that this is the case.

Less capable students or those that struggle with particular subjects will naturally take longer. This means that an already heavy workload can become even worse for them. Naturally, this can have an impact on their overall academic standing.

How to Do Homework Faster

If there isn’t anything that you can do about your homework load then you should find ways to do the work in a more efficient manner. Here are some of the tips and the tricks that you can try:

Find the Right Timing for You

Each person has their own time of their day where they are most mentally alert. For some, it is in the mornings, for others it is right after school, and for others still it is later on in the evening. This is why the first thing that you should do is to figure out what is the best time for you to do your homework.

When you find the ideal time for you, there is a greater chance that you can focus for longer. In turn, you will be able to complete the work more quickly rather than phasing out or feeling overwhelmed.

Make a List

Before you begin your homework, sit down and make a list of everything that should be completed. Add every single task, even if it is just re-reading your notes. This way, you have a clear idea of what you need to accomplish.

Then, estimate how long it is going to take for you to complete each of these tasks. Write this down next to the assignment. You can set yourself an alarm if you feel like this will help you to stay focused on the task.

Gather Your Supplies

It is surprising all the ways that you can distract yourself when you are supposed to be doing homework. To ensure that you don’t move around more than you have to, gather all the supplies that you will need for your assignments. This includes books, devices, stationary, etc. Even have food and drink if you think that you will need these.

It can be tricky to get any work done when so many devices are calling to you. Do yourself a favor and leave your phone outside your room or study area. If you don’t need the internet, turn off the connection on your computer. If you do need to use the internet, try to temporarily block or mute any sites or apps that can distract you during this time.

This is a guide to how long it takes to do your homework in a wide variety of grades. And, you can also take a look at the reality of the situation as well. Want to complete your work faster, you now know the top tips and tricks to help you!

Working After School: How Long Should You Spend Doing Homework?

25 February 2021

7 minutes to read

How long should students spend doing homework?

  • 01. Homework at Primary School
  • 02. How Much Time Should Secondary School Pupils Spend Doing Homework
  • 03. Homework in Sixth Form or College

The average 15-year-old pupil in the UK has 5 hours of homework each week . Generally, in countries where they get more homework, their academic performance doesn’t increase.

However, this doesn’t that homework is pointless. It can be used to consolidate a student’s understanding of the lessons they did during the day. The amount of homework generally increases with age and primary school pupils get a lot less than students studying for their GCSEs.

The 5 hours a week statistic is average for OECD countries. Chinese students get an average of 14 hours of homework each week but their PISA results are only marginally better than countries with between 3 and 6 hours of homework.

So how much time should you spend doing homework?


Homework at Primary School

Children in primary school should probably go back over what they’ve been learning during the day. Even if this is reading a passage or practising some times tables.

How long should young children spend doing homework?

They really shouldn’t have more than 24 hours a week of schooling with no more than 3 hours per half-day. Generally, they’ll be in school from 9:00 until 15:00 with breaks in the morning and afternoon as well as a lunch break. However, in some cases, they might only get a couple of breaks during the day.

Once they get home, the amount of homework they do should reflect their age and level.

Check out our guide to homework .

Younger primary school students or “infants” (Reception to Year 2) will learn to read, write, and count. While their days will be full of learning, they’ll also need to relax to aid concentration. At the end of the day, we recommend a snack and a break before they do any school work.

Usually, homework can take between 10 minutes and half an hour at this age and usually involves some reading, simple maths exercises, or a bit of writing. At 6 or 7, most pupils will need help from their parents when they go over their lessons and do their homework.

If your child is struggling at school or is tired, don’t hesitate to chat to them about school over lunch and quiz them on their time tables during bath time, for example. You’ll want them to see homework as something fun rather than a chore and private tutoring can help with this.

Juniors (Year 3 to Year 6)

Older primary school pupils still won’t get too much homework. Again, they can have a break and a snack before getting down to do their homework.

Children aged between 8 and 10 will probably only need between 20 and 40 minutes to do their homework.

Even though it’s a good idea for the parents to be there, the pupil should have some autonomy when it comes to doing their homework and the parents should only help if necessary. Of course, you can listen to them reading and correct them.

At a young age, you might want to avoid them doing homework at the weekend. We know that this isn’t always possible, but having them do homework on school days can help you organise your schedule more easily. If you don’t have the choice, allocate some time on a Saturday or Sunday to doing homework.

Find out more about planning and organising homework .

How Much Time Should Secondary School Pupils Spend Doing Homework

Once pupils reach secondary school, homework will take on a more important role. Going into Year 7 is a big step for a lot of pupils. They need to adapt to their new school and the idea of having several teachers instead of just one. They’ll also have different classes with different teachers.

How long should secondary school pupils spend doing homework?

A typical day will be slightly longer and the school may be farther away, which makes their overall day a bit longer, too. As they progress, they’ll get more choice in terms of the subjects they can study.

Learn how to get the most out of homework .

Year 7 will be the biggest change as they adjust to their new school. In a lot of cases with pupils coming from different primary schools, teachers will be trying to get all the pupils to the same level.

Students shouldn’t spend over 45 minutes each day on homework. They’ll also have opportunities during the day to do some of their homework.

Years 8 and 9

During Years 8 and 9, a lot of students get to make choices about some of the subjects they study, especially with foreign languages. They also get chances to try out different subjects before choosing their GCSE options at the end of Year 9.

At this age, between 45 minutes and an hour should be enough for focusing on their homework. Of course, this will depend on how well they study and how long they can concentrate.

Years 10 and 11

Year 10 is the first year of GCSE for students.

During this age, we recommend they spend an hour each day on their homework. This time will increase before exams or when they’re doing past papers.

If they still need help studying, it might be a good idea to get help from a private tutor.

Learn how to deal with a lot of homework .

Homework in Sixth Form or College

Once students have finished their GCSEs, they can move onto their A Levels. They can do this at their school if it has a sixth form or study at a college. At this age, courses aren’t about rote memory but rather an understanding of the subjects they’re studying.

How much homework should sixth formers get?

Lower Sixth or AS Level

At this age, students tend to have fewer hours of lessons but more time to dedicate to study. If they’re at school, they mightn’t be free to come and go as they please.

They may have a lot of gaps in their timetable and it’s a good idea for them to use this time to study or do homework.

Ideally, they won’t want to spend more than an hour each day outside of the typical school time studying or revising. They have a lot of freedom and control over their education at this point.

If they can stay on top of everything, they mightn’t need to dedicate any time outside of school or college to study.

A Level/Upper Sixth

Again, students will have a lot of freedom when it comes to their free and it’ll mainly fall on them to be responsible. They won’t have teachers pressing them to get work done and they’ll be expected to take control of doing homework and studying.

Can students get help with their homework from tutors?

We still recommend that they spend an hour to 90 minutes studying and doing homework and even doing a bit on the weekend, especially if they have exams coming up.

It can be useful for memory to go over the week’s classes at the weekend.

Learn how to help children with their homework .

If you or your child need help with homework or schoolwork, consider getting help from one of the many talented and experienced private tutors on Superprof. There are tutors for academic support, homework help, and specific subjects all over the country and around the world.

Private tutorials are either taught face-to-face, online, or in groups and each type of tutoring comes with advantages and disadvantages so think carefully about which one is right for you and your budget before hiring a private tutor.

One-on-one tutorials are just between the student and the tutor and can be tailored to suit the student's preferred learning style. This makes these types of tutorials incredibly effective as every minute is spent working to help the student. However, they also tend to be the most expensive type of tutoring available as you'll be paying for all the extra time and effort the tutor puts into planning and adapting their lessons to the student.

As they don't have to travel to each tutorial, online tutors can afford to charge less than face-to-face tutors and they often do. While these types of tutorials mightn't be as effective for certain hands-on subjects, they're excellent for academic subjects, study skills, revision, and help with homework.

Group tutorials are an excellent choice for families on a tight budget. With several students attending each session, there won't be as many opportunities for the tutor to adapt the lessons to the individual, but the cost will be shared amongst everyone participating, which makes these tutorials cheaper per student per hour.

Remember that a lot of the tutors on Superprof offer the first lesson or hour for free and you can use these sessions to try out several different tutors before deciding on the right one for you. Once you've chosen the perfect tutor, you can start working with them directly.

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how long does homework usually take

Joseph is a French and Spanish to English translator, language enthusiast, and blogger.

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Hi there, any chance I could see the sources you used for this article? Thanks!

How long does it take for you to finish your homework?

<p>Last year when I was a freshmen it took me 2-3 hours to do my homework and 1 hour to study. I hate it when my classmate or just some random person ask me if they can copy my homework. I spend like 1 hour doing notes and reading from my ap human geography textbook and it would take them 3-7 minutes to copy it!! Uh uh, that is not fair! Any way, I always do my homework from 7:30pm-10:30pm then I would wake up at 5:30 and finish it untill 6:30.</p>

<p>so you let them copy your hw?</p>

<p>If I took 45 minutes or more to work on any assignment then I wouldn’t let them copy it. I usually tell them straight out that I don’t like people copying my work, then I would offer to help them complete it. Also there was a time when this girl, who doesn’t do much than 30 minutes of homework a night, ask me if she could borrow my folder in spanish so she can erase all of my name and write hers for binder check. I told her that it would take a long time to replace all of my names because there is probably 130 pages worth of work. I can’t believe she had the nerve to ask that.</p>

<p>so do you let people copy your homework?</p>

<p>It typically doesn’t take me that long… maybe an hour on a bad night. Because of all my online class periods I am able to get most everything done at home. </p>

<p>I wouldn’t let people copy my homework, but seeing as no one can ask I don’t have to deal with that. :)</p>

<p>Lmao. My school is one big cheating circle. A ton of us freshman year had like all the same classes and first period we all had english honors which we did jack in there so, everyone would do like different homework, and we’d switch AP Human for Geometry Honors homework… Algebra 2 people would switch with Biology, it was actually kinda funny.</p>

<p>Of course, I didn’t participate. ;)</p>

<p>My teacher eventually goes;</p>

<p>Is there some sort of underground cheating ring of math homework going on in here? And everyone goes no, it’s much more than just math, lol.</p>

<p>But anyways, the only HW that takes me awhile to do is AP World</p>

<p>Like 30 minutes to an hour, if I have any at all. On the weekends I might do 2 or 3 hours in little segments. On bad nights where I have papers (not often), more than that.</p>

<p>Unless they’ve done something for me I don’t let them copy. If they need it really bad, I make them pay me some cash for it.</p>

<p>About 3 hours total each night, more on weekends. Subject to change.</p>

<p>It usually depends on how many homeworks there are that day…</p>

<p>on average: about 2 to 3 hrs?</p>

<p>I usually take 30 minutes but if I have a test i might spend more time on the homework. But i have a feeling it’s going to change with all the AP’s I’m going to be taking this year.</p>

<p>Mine, too. Urg. People copy each other’s work ALL THE TIME, and that doesn’t even consider cheating to most people anymore. What is more annoying is that they type all their notes in their calculator for tests, and get more than half of the answers to the test questions before they take it. I didn’t participate in their cheating circles, but those people make their cheating so obvious. Because the majority of the school population (or at least the majority of the smart kids) does this, it’s hard for someone to say something. </p>

<p>OK, back to the topic: the time takes to do my hw depends. I always wait until the last minute, and end up spending 4 or so hours on one assignment.</p>

<p>Time between start and finish: 10 hours Time actually spent doing work : 10 to 30 minutes…</p>

<p>-___- I have problems focusing.</p>

<p>I’m unbanned! Yes!</p>

<p>I usually finish all of my HW in my study hall, and so never actually have any work at home. </p>

<p>I occasionally get an assignment that requires uber-intensive computer work and can’t finish it at school, but those rarely take me more than half an hour or so to complete.</p>

<p>uhm i start doing my hw around 5~6 and dont get done until midnight/1 a.m. If i have a test , im up until like 2 or 3 a.m. depending on the subject (this was for APUSH and the teacher crammed and filled us up with useless hw and very wordy/detailed questions that came from that stupid America Paegant book). I hope my load is lightened up senior year…</p>

<p>It depends how much work I have, usually not much more than an hour, though I do need to spend a bit of time on memorization for japanese each night…</p>

W t f - why did you get banned? lol. I’m glad for you though, that you’re unbanned :]</p>

<p>I have 5 APs right now and really any homework I have [that I do at home anyway] is reading for AP Euro - maybe… 30 min-1 hour every night, because it’s heavy reading. Other than that, sometimes some calc bc work that I can do during my “advisement” class which is really just “do nothing/study/whatever” and only 20 minutes long.</p>

<p>I did most of my homework in school during my classes but whatever didn’t get done usually took me about 30 some minutes</p>

<p>Depends on what subject and if I understand it.</p>

<p>If it’s something easy like Math, then tops 30 min. If it’s something tough like Chemistry, then it can go on for the whole night.</p>

<p>I’m writing an AP Physics B outline right now, on Chapter 2, and it’s 12:20. I’ve been working for 2 hours :(</p>

<p>yah, I was banned for a week for, like, questioning moderator policy, or something. Silly ban, lol, but it helped me get off of CC for my first week of school!</p>


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  21. How long does it take for you to finish your homework?

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