Understanding engineering freshman study habits: The transition from high school to college

Mary R. Anderson-Rowland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


The transition from high school to college is traumatic for most students. For the first time, most freshman students are on their own and no one is watching to see that they attend class, do their assignments, get proper sleep, and eat healthy. Many freshmen college engineering students who did very well in high school may tend to believe that since they were successful in high school, they need little or no help in making it in college as an engineering major. The author has surveyed freshmen for several years to learn that the average number of hours they studied a week outside of class during their last semester in high school was about two or three hours. Many engineering freshmen do not put in the time that they should be in learning their classes until they hit the first quizzes or a midterm and suddenly realize that they have a lot of learning to make up to be on top of the class material. Many students do not know how to learn material. This paper will explore the transition from high school to college relative to the number of study hours a freshman engineering student devotes each week and the "solutions" that have been used to help with this problem through a literature search. The paper will discuss how much engineering students study their last year in high school, how much the students plan to "study" in college, and the reasons students will acknowledge a need to study more in college. A partial solution to poor study habits, the Guaranteed 4.0 Plan, will be discussed, as well as the excuses and rationalizations that students use for not following such a plan, and evaluations by engineering students who have adopted the 4.0 Plan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2009
Event2009 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Austin, TX, United States
Duration: Jun 14 2009Jun 17 2009


Other2009 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAustin, TX

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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