The metrics of vet school – how many hours does a vet student have to study?

Week one of the new four-week blog project! This week is all about how many hours the average vet student devotes to schoolwork per week. The first day of university, the student counselor told us that according to the school’s surveys, the average vet student at our school studied for about 42/43 hours per week. That adds up to more than six hours of schoolwork per day. If you compare that to the average 100% full-time work week, which for most Norwegians is about 37,5 hours per week, that’s more than 112%(!)

Of course, there are some biases to be taken into consideration, such as self-report biases and social desirability biases. These, as well as many other factors, can affect the survey responders’ credibility. Of course, this is the case for myself as well, but I’ve tried to be as accurate as possible. So, without further ado, here’s this week’s total:

As you can see from the image, the Tuesday and Wednesday “homework” sections differ from the rest of the days, and are pulling my average down quite a bit. My family was visiting from out of town, so I wanted to spend some time with them. If this was an average “work week”, I would probably have put in about 2-3 hours of homework those two days as well, bringing my daily average up to about 5,5 hours per day, including lectures and study group. This would still be less than the average vet student. In my experience, I feel like that’s enough time to acquaint myself with tomorrow’s lecture subjects, and do the revising from the earlier chapters.

I like to take one day completely off from studying, usually Saturdays, and I normally call it a day after the final lectures on Friday afternoon. Some may look at this and think we have it easy, and others might think it’s a bit too excessive.

So, how many hours does a vet student have to study then?

As you can see from my numbers, although it varies from student to student, you have to expect at least an hour or two of studying per day. The main takeaway from this should be: study enough so that you get a rough overview of what the following lecture will be about, and get a certain understanding of the key points. You should also try to do some revision tasks, whether you get designated study group worksheets like we do, or you have tasks in your textbooks. If task-based learning is not how you prefer to work, try other alternatives, like creating posters or flowcharts (I’m currently making one about blood vessels!).  

I hope this was useful for some prospective vet students out there, and if it was, stay tuned for the next Sunday entry – “What should you know before starting vet school? – What background knowledge and animal experience is useful to have?”