“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.”

Albert Einstein

Understand that time is a fundamental component of learning. Both the duration and frequency of your study sessions will have a significant impact on your retention rate. Increase the information you can learn and decrease the time learning takes by following tips in “Best Time for Learning” on this web page.

Consider whether you actually have enough time to do the work. Figure out how many hours of your time each week your class will demand. (Go to Course Work Hours Calculator.) Write down your weekly schedule plan. Include time commitments for other responsibilities, like work, home and family. Be realistic.


Make sure you are available during specific days or times as required by the course. Some online classes meet online on a specific schedule, like Mondays and Thursdays 1:00-2:30pm. Some courses require specific dates and time windows for testing. Verify that you can attend during those times.

Best Times for Learning

Time of Day

Study for a few minutes right before you go to bed, followed by studying the same material immediately upon awakening the following morning.
It is a proven fact that retention of new information will greatly improve.


Study frequently throughout the day. Three or four short 10-20 minute study sessions are better than a single 90 minute session.


Limit the length of your study sessions to 30-45 minutes. At most an hour. Your brain begins to shut down after about 30-45 minutes of studying. Take a break, then study again later.