Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by chris.nugent13, Oct 1, 2011.
During the academic year, how much time would a plebe or any other mids get to study per day?
With everything included for a Plebe I would think about twenty four hours a day. During Academic year I think it is about two hours study and work per one hour class. They don't "get to study". They learn very quickly how to use time wisely. There are some breaks during the academic day and they can use them as they wish.
There are designated study hours but it is usually not enough. Consequently, all successful midshipman do two things very well:
1) Make efficient use of the study hours, and
2) Make efficient use of what little spare time they have outside of study hours.
Time management and good study habits are the keys. Some have it, and some don't.
From what I understand from my plebe, not much time. They have dedicated study hours from 8-10PM but it is definitely not enough time. Every second counts, quite literally. Not only do you have classes to attend, but also physical and military training and, of course, plebes have extra things to learn on top of their class time. I would definitely recommend a good class in speed reading and good study techniques!
As MEMPHIS says: Time Management is the key!!!
As DS says, there is no time for activities that waste time. His days and nights are full with classes, sports, clubs. Fortunately, he considers his sport to be 'fun time'. With 20 units, he has only one day during the school week that has a 2 hour break, but other than that he's in class until his team practices in the afternoon.
He has become a fan of the index card and seams to always have a stack of 'flash cards' with him wherever he goes. He has a little bit of downtime on Sunday.
He's a Youngster now, and actually feels like he has more time on his hands than when he was a Plebe! Plebe year he used his weekends to get caught up. That year, he learned to be organized, always prepared, tried to not be caught off guard. The mids in his company that didn't do as well, put things off for another day. If you start out that way, you'll never catch up.
There is a designated block of time that is deemed "study hour" from 1930-2300. Plebes have to be in bed no later than 2300 and no earlier than 2200 (unless this has changed from my time there). Upperclass can stay up as late as they want. Classes normally end around 1600 or so, but there is usually drill or sports after that time frame. Between academics, military knowledge and everything else plebes usually don't feel like they have enough time to finish everything. It is meant to be that way to teach time management, planning, organization, and prioritization. Midshipmen will have a few free class periods also that can be utilized for studying. Plebes more than others, as most upperclassman are carrying 18-22 credits. The normal plebe course load first semester is slightly less to get them into the swing up things. Second semester, if memory serves me right, is more towards the 18-19 range. The pro knoweldge and all the other rates plebe have to learn also tends to get "easier" as time goes on, as it is more committed to memory.
Cannot emphasize this enough. Most mids really focus during study hours and also study on WEs.
I really don't want to beat the dead horse, but I believe there are three key elements to take away from USNA:
1. Leadership Skills
2. Time Management
3. Prioritization and Planning
In partially answering the question above, most professors at USNA understand the amount of food on MIDN plates and realize that some deadlines can be fluid, especially if tasked with higher priority items. Therefore, if you go to your professor explain your situation and why something can't be turned in on time and state your PLAN to ACCOMPLISH their assignment, normally the professor will help you out. Keep in mind, I am not referring to "long term" projects; hence item #3 in my list. These exceptions are normally seen with 4/C (due to training environment) and 1/C (Brigade responsibilities).
One of the biggest problems plebes (and mids in general) have is getting into "dragon-slaying" mode, in which they go after the closet crocodile to the canoe/Indian to the wagon/25 meter target/whatever other metaphor at the expense of actually distributing the workload over the course of the week (or semester) and doing it right.
To kind of put this into perspective, if your time is completely budgeted literally from 0530-2200+ by the training staff, sports, and school, you have to do a balancing act to get it all to work out. Plebes honestly don't get that much work (compared to upperclass, that is), but a lot of them are seriously deficient in study skills.
Unfortunately, that usually means cramming homework into free periods, between classes or after lunch and studying over the weekend, which most plebes don't want to do because you only get so much liberty. It's very tempting to let any free period or moment to yourself turn into facebook-time, leading to the "dragon-slaying" mentality where you look only to the following day rather than the week as a whole.
How are your study habits now? How is your time management now? Think about the last few weekends; did you have assignment due on Monday that you were just starting to work on? If you're a "last-minute-Louie" now you'll have some major adjustments to make. If, OTOH, you keep up with assignments, get your HW done ahead of schedule, use your free time during the day to get your work done (as opposed to hanging out with friends) then you'll probably be fine.
As a Plebe, my Youngster had enough free time that she could read for pleasure, watch movies (when allowed), actually get some sleep regularly. Her roommates were not so well prepared. Now, even though she's overloading units, she has time to volunteer for even more fun stuff.
So take a good hard look at yourself in the mirror and the answer to your question will be staring back at you.
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