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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 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 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, you 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 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!)

These recommendations are based solely on our knowledge and experience. If you purchase an item through one of our links, PrepScholar may receive a commission.

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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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How to Study Effectively When You Work Full Time

do homework while working

Having a full-time job can be exhausting all by itself. Add classes and all the homework and studying that come with them, and you have a recipe for an overwhelming day. Juggling these tasks can seem incredibly daunting. So, how in the world do you balance both a full-time job and study sessions?

As crazy as it sounds, it is possible to have a full-time job, be a full-time student, and have a social life. So how do you study effectively while working a full-time job? Here is a list of some techniques you can use to study while working a full-time job:

  • Use a Time-Management System to manage your time
  • Quick Study Sessions During Work Breaks
  • Wake up an hour earlier each day and study
  • Set aside time in the evening to study
  • Study on days off
  • Record and listen to lectures during commutes to work

It is essential to find balance in these things, so you don’t end up burnt out. There are many different ways to do this. Once you find ways that work for you, you will realize that although your day may be hectic, you can absolutely be a full-time employee and successful student.

Before we get started, if you are looking to improve your writing, you should really check out Grammarly . Grammarly is a godsend for those who have to write term papers, dissertations, or anything else you write that needs to be grammatically correct. Grammarly doesn’t just check grammar either. It helps you to write clearly and effectively by checking for overused words and unclear phrases. Best of all, Grammarly has a great free tier to get started with. For more information on Grammarly, click the link below:

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If you are looking for the best study tools out there, you should read our article on the best study tools to enhance your studying at the link below:

The Ultimate Study Tools You Must Use to Succeed!

Why is it Essential to Have a Job While a Student?

According to studies conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, students who have jobs have higher GPAs than those who do not work. Having a job also helps reduce your student loan debt because you are more able to afford college. Having a job will also teach you career skills that are vital experience for your future. Networking is also super beneficial because connections can lead to careers. You may also have benefits, which not all students have the luxury of having. Working your way through college can be overwhelming at times, but it can also provide you with valuable experiences that you will thank yourself for down the road.

do homework while working

Of course, there can also be cons to having a job while in college. Having a job and being a student means less free time and ultimately added stress . You have to weigh these possible challenges in order to determine if having a job while also a student is worth it for you.

So, How Do I Go About Studying When I Work Full-Time?

Studying can seem like a full-time job, so having an actual full-time job on top of that can seem impossible. Here are some ways to be able to study and work full-time simultaneously:

During your breaks at work, get a quick study sesh in. Bring some flashcards with you to work, so you can practice even when you have just a couple of seconds to spare. Also, if you have a lapse during work where there are no customers, or you don’t have any tasks to do, ask your superior if it’s alright for you to read your textbook or look over your notes.

do homework while working

As difficult as it may be, try to wake up earlier and study in the morning before you go to work . Setting your alarm for an hour earlier will allow you some quiet, alone time while also allowing you to get some studying in. You don’t have to do this every day, but a couple or a few times a week could be really beneficial in the end.

Take advantage of days off and vacation days . Don’t take an off day from work as a free day to stay in bed and sleep all day. Use that free day to get homework done and lots of studying in. Take advantage of these opportunities to help yourself get ahead and work at a more beneficial pace.

do homework while working

Do you have a commute in order to get to work? Take advantage of it! Instead of blasting Harry Styles’ new album on the way to your workplace, download audio versions of your textbooks and other reading material and listen to them on your way. You could also record your professor’s lectures and listen to those as well. Listening to music, talk radio, or sitting in silence can be relaxing and enjoyable, but unfortunately, they won’t help you obtain your degree. Don’t waste that pesky commute; use it to your advantage. You will be making the most of your time while also making drive time less of a burden.

Become the king or queen of multi-tasking. Cooking dinner? Are you working out? Are you cleaning the bathroom? Find ways to study while also doing those things . It may seem odd, but you will be shocked when you realize how many tasks you do throughout the day are perfect for multi-tasking. You can look over your notes and cook taco meat at the same time. I Promise.

Learn to balance your attention and energy. Don’t overwork yourself . Doing both work and school full-time requires a lot of energy. Take care of your responsibilities and demands, but don’t go above and beyond. Burnout will cause you to be unable to do either. Work and school take so much physical and mental energy. Your body and mind running on fumes could become disastrous. Listen to your body and stop when you know you need to stop.

Where are the Best Places to Work as a Student?

do homework while working

One of the best places to work as a student is on campus . Before or after your shift, you are already on campus to attend classes and study by yourself or with classmates. Also, if you need to study while on shift, your bosses and co-workers will understand because they are in the same boat as you. Some universities also offer work-study programs that give you class credit for working. You could work in the bookstore, be a tutor, a resident assistant, or work in a campus market, in addition to other things depending on what your campus has and offers.

If you desire to work off-campus, you should choose to work in the area in which you are obtaining a degree . For example, if you want to be a graphic designer, you could work at an art supply store. If you’re going to be a sports journalist, work at a sports merchandise store. If you want to work in hospitality, get a job at a hotel. Having a job that includes something you love and are passionate about will make it easier to go to work every day . Enjoying your situation and what you do will make working more enjoyable and less of a chore.

An internship is also a perfect way for you to get work experience in your career path, yet also make some money. Unpaid internships are not allowed in many states anymore and are becoming less and less frequent. Try to find a paid internship within your major. Again, many universities give class credit for this as well.

do homework while working

You could also look into being a babysitter or dog walker. Sounds cliché, but these are perfect ways to make some cash and also be able to study at the same time . I mean, who doesn’t love dogs and kids?

The Realities of Working in College

According to Forbes, around 15 million college students work at a job while pursuing their degrees . Most of these students are doing this out of financial necessity. These jobs do offer more than just a paycheck, though.

Having a job allows students to apply classroom concepts to the real world. This is why I suggested getting a job that has to do with your major in some way. Your primary reason for getting a job may be monetary, but you will also learn people skills, time management, organization, and scheduling.

do homework while working

One mantra that I live by is, “If you have a job that you love, you will never work a day in your life.” If your job does not fulfill you in this way, then it is not a job worth doing. The best jobs fill more than just the need or desire for a paycheck. Yes, we want to be able to pay our rent and phone bill, but we also need to gain something within from experience as well. You may learn what you want out of a career and what you definitely do not want out of your career.

Learning how to balance your work, school, and social life is a skill you will be able to use to your advantage for the rest of your life. It teaches you that life is hard and overwhelming sometimes. Managing stress and time, as well as communication, is vital in this day in age . We are all always on-the-go and invested in what we are doing. In order to do this, we must learn balance.

The Cons of Working While in School

Working while in school allows you to earn and income and gain professional experience, but there are cons to consider as well.

The first con obviously being losing time that could be devoted to your studies. I have mentioned many ways that you can try to combat this, but there will always be some time lost to work that you could have used to study. This could also lead you to become burnt out and overworked. College is stressful enough, but having a job on top of that may stretch you too thin.

do homework while working

Your social life could also suffer if you have a job while in college . Some people love having free time to devote to friends in college. We all know frat parties and social gatherings are some people’s favorite things to do while in college. If you are one of these people, a job could take away these opportunities from you.

You never want to give up your degree for any reason, especially for your job. A much better career path awaits you within your major. Students may see no point in going to school if they are getting paid for doing a job that doesn’t require a degree. Of course, there are tons of people who have succeeded in careers without a degree, but in this day in age, it is so much more beneficial to have one.

Even though having an income can give you peace of mind while in school, it could also be too much for a full-time student to handle. It is up to you to know yourself and what you can manage.

Working While in College can be Risky

Ultimately, you need to determine if your reason for obtaining a degree is more so about money or doing something that you love.

do homework while working

“ The optimal outcome, of course, is for student to both work and complete a degree ,” said Daniel Douglas, a senior researcher at the Education and Employment Research Center at Rutgers University . “ Then they get the premium from work during college, and they also get the premium associated with completing a degree .” ( Source )

Doing both can be overwhelming but rewarding if you are able to find balance and weigh the pros and cons based on how you function. There is genuinely no downside to making money while in college — student debt and not having enough money for a trip to Trader Joe’s sucks. You just can’t let your grades suffer in order to make money.

You can try selling old clothes on Mercari or use websites like Crowdtap to earn gift cards for doing surveys if you need some extra spending money. There are ways to study when you work full time, but you have to be up for the challenge.

In Conclusion

Working full-time is beneficial for obvious reasons. Being a student is beneficial for obvious reasons. But working full-time AND being a student at the same time can be super stressful.

do homework while working

It is absolutely possible for you to study when you work full-time, but you have to do so strategically. Use any free time , even a bathroom break. Yes, a bathroom break to study. Use flashcards when you have no customers to help, listen to audiobook versions of your textbooks while commuting to work or school, review notes while on your lunch break. Anything helps because small amounts of studying are better than no studying at all. Your grades will thank you in the future.

College costs a lot of money. Student loan debt sucks. Having a job helps take the pressure off of your shoulders when it comes to these hurdles. Knowing that you will be able to afford groceries for the week and the scantrons you need for your next exam may help ease some of your academic stress.

Getting a job on campus can also help ease some of your stress. You won’t have a commute, everyone will understand your situation, and the university library and study areas are all close by. You can also do a job like tutoring to keep your brain going even while on the job.

do homework while working

It may also be beneficial to get a job doing something that pertains to your major and career path . Some students even get paid internships, because they are a way to work while also earning college credit.

25% of college students work full-time in addition to their studies . If you work full-time and are a full-time student, you aren’t the only one. Most college students do work, which can be a good and a bad thing. There are pros and cons to both sides of the spectrum. You have to know how you work as a person and how much stress you can handle and balance. As long as you are determined to obtain your degree and complete your studies, you are on the right path.

If you work full-time and find it challenging to find time to study , try some of the methods I mentioned in this article. Not all of them will work for you, but if one or some do, your education will be much better off. As long as you see your goals and strive to reach them every day, you will be successful . You should never have to choose between food on your table and your education. Finding your balance between both is critical. Take care of your responsibilities and demands, but keep your mental and physical health in mind. Balance your work, job, social life, and family life- but never lose sight of your degree.

“I never dreamt of success. I worked for it.” – Estee Lauder

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Top 10 Tips on How to Study While Working

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For many, the idea of going back to college or university (or considering a certification) while working a full time job can be daunting.

Handling a full time job and your studies at the same time requires a good level of planning and prioritisation. While some students would choose not to work while furthering their education, there is a massive group of students who are balancing a job while studying for a degree. There are various reasons for this but, generally speaking, money is key.

Studying while working gives you the confidence you need as you have financial control as a student. At the same time, the professional qualifications that you can acquire over time will give you a good head start in developing your career.

To help you juggle your two lives with a breeze, here are our top 10 tips on how to study while working.

1. Create a Plan

At the start of every semester, get all your syllabi and record all the examination schedules along with the deadlines for the papers required.

Use a different marker for each of your classes to see easily when these due dates are coming up for every course. Likewise, make sure to mark any company meetings or work deadlines you may know of in your planner.

See our page on Organising Skills for more information.

2. Update Your Employer

Assure your employers that you can manage your work schedules.

It is also a way to get their attention, and consider you to be really eager to work for them. If possible, sacrifice holidays and breaks to show that you are serious about your job.

If you prove your dedication, it will be easy to negotiate with them a more study-friendly schedule.

3. Use Your Free Time Productively

If you are studying and working at the same time, it may seem that you have no free time at all.

However, it’s important that you use the free time that you do have constructively as this will help you balance your day job and your course work more effectively.

For example, you can read a book on the way to work if you are a commuter. Also, use a few minutes of your lunch or break time to study.

4. Look After Yourself

Having a heavy work schedule and studying will inevitably cause you to stress out every now and then.

Therefore, you should be able to handle your stress in a positive way. Exercise at the gym or go for a walk a couple of times a week, because physical exercise is an effective stress reliever .

You can listen to music, write in a journal , have a massage, visit the salon, etc. Try to devote at least 30 minutes of your day to doing something you enjoy as a way to reduce stress.

See our pages: Top Tips for Managing Stress and Looking After Your Mind for more information.

5. Don’t Overdo It

Be realistic about the time you need to spend studying and work.

If you think you can only take one study course at a time together with your workload, then focus on that course. For example, if you are studying to become an accountant you may want to take the AAT course first before you look at other options.

If you work full-time, determine exactly how many classes you can take for every semester. When it comes to work or study, people tend to bite off more than they can chew. Having a full time job in any industry can have its challenges and expectations. If you add education to an already busy schedule, it will just increase the amount of pressure.

Keep in mind that you can only do what you are able to do.

6. Take Advantage of Technology

Class notes are essential. In spite of this, many students do not know how to take down notes properly.

Avoid jotting down every single word, as this will just get you far behind and miss out on important details. Find your own way of abbreviating words and phrases, so you can keep up with your teacher.

Take advantage of the technology today and use the necessary study apps. There are plenty of programs available that help students with every aspect of studying.

You may also find our page on Note Taking helpful.

7. Find Your Comfort Zone

With regards to the ideal place and time to study , everybody has their own idea.

Whether it is at the library after school, at a quiet coffee shop or your bedroom at night, find your study area and a suitable time for studying that will work for you.

Make sure you stick to it.

Where you opt to study is equally as important as the way you study. Remove any distractions such as turning off your phone. Have everything you need once you start, so you do not need to stop just to look for a pen.

See our page: Getting Organised for Study for more tips and advice about this.

8. Make Sure You Get Enough Sleep

Do not cut back on sleep.

You can wake up at 5 a.m. and study for about an hour, rather than burning the midnight oil, then go back to sleep until 7 a.m. You should wake up feeling reasonably rested. Doing this is much better than waking up and feeling tired from staying up half the night. In addition, you should take breaks when you are studying, especially if you are feeling worn out .

In any case, working or studying for too long can reduce your performance.

Learn more about sleep on our page: The Importance of Sleep .

9. Turn off the TV

Procrastination is definitely not one of our top tips.

At times, finishing your favorite TV series, taking a nap or chatting with friends will seem more interesting than starting or completing a course assignment. But bear in mind that the earlier you begin, the sooner you are done.

Check out your project and do the easy part first. As you begin to build momentum, the more difficult parts will just flow.

Get more tips on our page: Avoiding Procrastination .

10. Eat Properly

A hectic day at work requires endurance and focus. It means that you cannot let yourself go 8 to 10 hours without eating a healthy meal.

Take care of your body and it will also take care of you. Avoid eating foods that are high in saturated fats and calories, such as pastries, cakes, pies and meat products in order to address your hunger pains. This can contribute to the increase of your cholesterol levels, affect your metabolism and increase your weight.

See our page on Diet and Nutrition and also explore the relationship between Stress and Diet and Nutrition .

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide for Students

The Skills You Need Guide for Students

Skills You Need

Develop the skills you need to make the most of your time as a student.

Our eBooks are ideal for students at all stages of education, school, college and university. They are full of easy-to-follow practical information that will help you to learn more effectively and get better grades.

Living both the student and professional life can be tough and put a lot of strain on your personal life. Then again, you can turn this strain into motivation and get great results.

Apply these top 10 tips and you will benefit in the long run.

About the Author

Matthew Marley is the content specialist at ICS Learn, one of the UK's leading distance learning providers.

ICS Learn are pioneers in teaching skills and qualifications at a distance for over 125 years, giving students the opportunity to learn while earning and to fulfil their ambitions

Continue to: Stress Management Study Skills Tips

See also: Study Smart - Infographic Essential Strategies to Succeed with Online Learning from Home Time Management Tips for International Students: Balancing Academic work, Paid work, and Social Life

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Doing Homework At Work: How to do your Assignment Fast

Doing Homework At Work: How to do your Assignment Fast

Doing Homework At Work

Doing Homework At Work

Without homework, studying will be ineffective. Teachers and instructors use homework to reinforce learning and make students retain what they learned in class. In essence, it helps to establish independent learning and studying habits in students.

However, despite the unquestionable significance of homework, students lack time to do it effectively. This is why others will prefer to tackle their assignments at work and avoid late submissions.

do homework while working

Is Doing Homework At Work OK?

lots of homework

Squeezing in time to handle your class assignment while at work is perfectly fine. Adult students struggle to strike a balance between class work and their jobs.

If you are working full time, creating time for class homework and family matters is quite a challenge.

If you plan well, you can get time to handle your assignments while at work. Do it in a manner that will not indicate you are cheating your employer.

Reasons For Doing Homework At Work

1. overwhelmed by assignments.

Today’s university and college studies are tough and demanding. Depending on the course you are studying, it can be difficult to finish assignments on time even for students who are not working.

If you have a full-time or part-time job, class assignments are likely to overpower you. This leaves students who work with no option but to try and tackle these assignments during work time.

2. Creating Time for Other Activities

As a college student, many extra-curricular and family activities are equally important to you. Spending time with friends, taking a vacation to relax or visiting family is important.

If you have plenty of class assignments, you have to devise clever ways of tackling them to create time for these activities. One such way is doing homework while at work so that you can have a free evening or weekend for these activities.

This also gives you a chance to clear your head and enhance your well-being.

3. Lack of Time Management Skills

time management skills

Working and attending college classes is not for the lazy. It needs dedication because there will be no time to waste. If you are not a good planner, the situation is likely to be worse for you.

You have to plan your class assignments and work schedule so that you have time for each section. Failure to plan will force you to start doing class homework when you are at work.

The repercussion of this is the inability to do class assignments effectually and lack of proper concentration at work which can affect your productivity. 

4. Seeking Academic Help

It is possible to have successful students in your place of work. If you are struggling in particular subjects of a course, a workmate who has done the course can be of good help. Students prefer to handle the homework while at work to get assistance from colleagues who are doing the same course. 

5. Procrastination

School homework is the full responsibility of the student. If you treat it this way and take it as a chore, you can avoid postponing it . It is good to start the homework immediately after you receive it and not wait until the time it needs to be completed.

A bad attitude towards homework will weigh you down and kill the determination to do it.         

If you make postponing a habit and you are working, it forces you to do the assignment at work because of a lack of time. Deadlines could be fast approaching making you squeeze in-class assignments between working hours.

Procrastinating on homework will make it seem like there are too many assignments . However, if you tackle your homework immediately, it gives you plenty of time to finish it bit by bit. 

How To Create Time To Do Assignments At Work

create study time

Not all employers will be comfortable when their employees do class homework during working hours.

There are those employees who can take this arrangement as an investment because you will be more valuable to them with an extra degree or certificate.

Some employers can make arrangements for their workers to do an additional course while they work. 

Nonetheless, even when employers support your desire to pursue educational goals, most of them will not be comfortable when you use their time. Before you consider doing homework at work, try and understand all aspects of the implications.

The following are ways of creating time to do assignments while at work:

Find a Working Principle

The best approach to start tackling your homework at work is, to be honest with your higher authorities. Jobs that have plenty of downtime are the best for busy students. Whenever the workflow is down, find a quiet place and carry on with your studies.

Squeeze in between and tackle homework assignments when you do not have clients to attend to. 

However, this approach may not work if you are in an exceedingly demanding job. Squeezing in-class assignments may end up causing you more stress. Always try to establish reasonable time blocks that can give you room to handle your homework.

Consider your Homework   

Homework assignments are different. Some will need sheer concentration with minimal interruptions. This type of homework is not good when you are at work.

Tackle homework assignments that are short and not demanding. If it is homework that you can comfortably tackle as you work, doing it at the workplace is not a bad idea.

The multitasking of work and class assignments should not overwhelm you. If this happens, you might end up not fully understanding the homework. Not every course-based assignment can be handled while you are at work.

Assignments that require undivided attention will be best done at home. In the end, it is not a matter of what works for the boss but your ability to work and still do homework with concentration and effectively.

Make Sacrifices         

making sacrifices

Doing homework while you are a full-time worker is not easy. You have to make difficult sacrifices which will end up creating time for homework.

For instance, you can carry lunch to work and do your homework as you take it.

You can also report to work one hour earlier and have time to do assignments before your working schedule begins.

Apart from lunchtime, there are also other regular breaks during working time. You can take advantage of these breaks and make a sacrifice to do your homework.

Discuss with your Boss

Whenever you get a chance to talk to your boss, get his attention by explaining your situation. If you let your immediate boss or supervisor know the significance of your course, you can strike an understanding and working formula that will let you handle homework during downtime.

Explain that you will handle class assignments that do not need a lot of concentration. 

With proper enlightenment, make an impression that your work duties will always be first and not be affected by the school assignments. With time, prove to your boss that you have what it takes to handle class homework and your duty responsibilities perfectly.

A boss who understands the significance of academic achievements will be comfortable seeing you multitask successfully and still be productive at work.

Move Straight to Homework After Work

To create quality time for your homework, integrate your classwork with the work day. You can do this by studying shortly before work or immediately after work. It can be a challenge to switch directly to classwork when you go home.

Family matters at home are likely to bombard you and take your time. As such, go somewhere quiet when you leave work and spend 1-2 hours doing your classwork. A library or coffee café can be a perfect place to finish your homework and separate it from family issues before you get home. 

do homework while working

With over 10 years in academia and academic assistance, Alicia Smart is the epitome of excellence in the writing industry. She is our chief editor and in charge of the writing department at Grade Bees.

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How to Help Students Develop the Skills They Need to Complete Homework

Middle and high school students can learn to work more efficiently by using strategies that improve their executive function skills.

Middle school-aged girl doing homework

The effects of homework are mixed. While adolescents across middle and high school have an array of life situations that can make doing homework easier or harder, it’s well known that homework magnifies inequity . However, we also know that learning how to manage time and work independently outside of the school day is valuable for lifelong learning. From the homework wars  to students who have little time for homework to students who don’t even know where to begin, everyone can agree that kids who can self-regulate and engage in independent rehearsal are better positioned for whatever the future holds.

How can we empower students to overcome barriers to doing homework well?

Executive Functioning

Homework is partially an assessment of executive functioning. Executive functioning and self-regulation take time to develop. They depend on three types of critical brain function: working memory, mental flexibility, and self-regulation .

Let’s break this down to consider how to improve their efficiency.

Working memory: Don’t hold everything in your head; it is not possible. When doing homework, students should write down their ideas, whether they are notes while reading, numbers when working through a math problem, or non-school-related reminders about chores, such as remembering to take the dog for a walk. Clearing working memory for the immediate task at hand allows the brain to focus as the strain is reduced.

Mental flexibility: As students build their independence and grow their homework routines, seeing an array of strategies, or more than one way to solve a problem, is important. Consider the results when a child gets stuck and doesn’t know what to do to get unstuck or when one keeps trying the same failed approach. Chunking homework helps simplify the process. When stuck, a student looks at a smaller piece, which makes it easier to see other solutions. More practice with mental flexibility happens when others model thinking in different ways, and students practice flexible thinking with partners by asking them: What is another way? Use this bubble map to chart out multiple ways.

Self-regulation: Learning how to prioritize work and stick with it by not giving in to impulses is a skill that students develop over time . One way to teach self-regulation is to have students practice control by concentrating for short periods of time with the goal of building up to longer, more sustained periods of time as the year progresses. For a child who struggles with reading for an extended time, start with five minutes and then build from there.

Another self-regulation tip is creating a plan to overcome distractions. What happens when the child stumbles? Three minutes into reading and a student is reaching for their cell phone. Recommend that they practice moving the cell phone away from the homework area, and summarize before returning to the reading. Stops and starts are frustrating and often result in lost homework time. Have students practice responses to distraction, and make this part of their homework. When a student struggles to stay on task, they should be encouraged to remove any distraction in order to regain focus.

Use classroom assessment as a tool to plan for and support student homework. Record the following information for students:

  • Do they write, read, and/or solve problems in class? For how many minutes independently?
  • What is the quality of their work? Are they actually learning, or are they just going through the motions?
  • Do they know how to strategize on their own or get help from a peer when they’re stuck? Observe them and take notes, and/or have them reflect on this question.

We cannot expect that students will independently practice a skill they don’t engage with during class. If it doesn't happen in the classroom, it's not going to happen at home. The teacher should be able to realistically gauge how much and what students might achieve at home. A suggestion to build independence is to use task analysis . Here is a model . For students who struggle with getting homework done, at first they may not actually do homework; rather, they practice the routines of setting up and getting started.

Direct Instruction

The following are some techniques that help students with homework:

  • Mindful meditation to gain focus
  • Prioritizing and estimating time
  • Filtering out distractions

Peers as Partners

Class partnership routines need practice. With strong partnerships, kids learn how to support and learn from each other. Access to teachers will never match the unlimited access to peers. The hours that students who achieve at high levels put in after class are often spent alone rehearsing the content or with peers who push each other to improve.

Class-to-Home Connection

While some students struggle with executive functioning, others rush through their homework. The most important step in having homework count is to make it seamless, not separate from class. Homework flows from classwork. Especially with a mix of synchronous and asynchronous work, now there is no homework, just work done for our classes. Consistent instructional goals with engaging and meaningful tasks help students see the value in working beyond the last bell.

Does Homework Really Help Students Learn?

A conversation with a Wheelock researcher, a BU student, and a fourth-grade teacher

child doing homework

“Quality homework is engaging and relevant to kids’ lives,” says Wheelock’s Janine Bempechat. “It gives them autonomy and engages them in the community and with their families. In some subjects, like math, worksheets can be very helpful. It has to do with the value of practicing over and over.” Photo by iStock/Glenn Cook Photography

Do your homework.

If only it were that simple.

Educators have debated the merits of homework since the late 19th century. In recent years, amid concerns of some parents and teachers that children are being stressed out by too much homework, things have only gotten more fraught.

“Homework is complicated,” says developmental psychologist Janine Bempechat, a Wheelock College of Education & Human Development clinical professor. The author of the essay “ The Case for (Quality) Homework—Why It Improves Learning and How Parents Can Help ” in the winter 2019 issue of Education Next , Bempechat has studied how the debate about homework is influencing teacher preparation, parent and student beliefs about learning, and school policies.

She worries especially about socioeconomically disadvantaged students from low-performing schools who, according to research by Bempechat and others, get little or no homework.

BU Today  sat down with Bempechat and Erin Bruce (Wheelock’17,’18), a new fourth-grade teacher at a suburban Boston school, and future teacher freshman Emma Ardizzone (Wheelock) to talk about what quality homework looks like, how it can help children learn, and how schools can equip teachers to design it, evaluate it, and facilitate parents’ role in it.

BU Today: Parents and educators who are against homework in elementary school say there is no research definitively linking it to academic performance for kids in the early grades. You’ve said that they’re missing the point.

Bempechat : I think teachers assign homework in elementary school as a way to help kids develop skills they’ll need when they’re older—to begin to instill a sense of responsibility and to learn planning and organizational skills. That’s what I think is the greatest value of homework—in cultivating beliefs about learning and skills associated with academic success. If we greatly reduce or eliminate homework in elementary school, we deprive kids and parents of opportunities to instill these important learning habits and skills.

We do know that beginning in late middle school, and continuing through high school, there is a strong and positive correlation between homework completion and academic success.

That’s what I think is the greatest value of homework—in cultivating beliefs about learning and skills associated with academic success.

You talk about the importance of quality homework. What is that?

Quality homework is engaging and relevant to kids’ lives. It gives them autonomy and engages them in the community and with their families. In some subjects, like math, worksheets can be very helpful. It has to do with the value of practicing over and over.

Janine Bempechat

What are your concerns about homework and low-income children?

The argument that some people make—that homework “punishes the poor” because lower-income parents may not be as well-equipped as affluent parents to help their children with homework—is very troubling to me. There are no parents who don’t care about their children’s learning. Parents don’t actually have to help with homework completion in order for kids to do well. They can help in other ways—by helping children organize a study space, providing snacks, being there as a support, helping children work in groups with siblings or friends.

Isn’t the discussion about getting rid of homework happening mostly in affluent communities?

Yes, and the stories we hear of kids being stressed out from too much homework—four or five hours of homework a night—are real. That’s problematic for physical and mental health and overall well-being. But the research shows that higher-income students get a lot more homework than lower-income kids.

Teachers may not have as high expectations for lower-income children. Schools should bear responsibility for providing supports for kids to be able to get their homework done—after-school clubs, community support, peer group support. It does kids a disservice when our expectations are lower for them.

The conversation around homework is to some extent a social class and social justice issue. If we eliminate homework for all children because affluent children have too much, we’re really doing a disservice to low-income children. They need the challenge, and every student can rise to the challenge with enough supports in place.

What did you learn by studying how education schools are preparing future teachers to handle homework?

My colleague, Margarita Jimenez-Silva, at the University of California, Davis, School of Education, and I interviewed faculty members at education schools, as well as supervising teachers, to find out how students are being prepared. And it seemed that they weren’t. There didn’t seem to be any readings on the research, or conversations on what high-quality homework is and how to design it.

Erin, what kind of training did you get in handling homework?

Bruce : I had phenomenal professors at Wheelock, but homework just didn’t come up. I did lots of student teaching. I’ve been in classrooms where the teachers didn’t assign any homework, and I’ve been in rooms where they assigned hours of homework a night. But I never even considered homework as something that was my decision. I just thought it was something I’d pull out of a book and it’d be done.

I started giving homework on the first night of school this year. My first assignment was to go home and draw a picture of the room where you do your homework. I want to know if it’s at a table and if there are chairs around it and if mom’s cooking dinner while you’re doing homework.

The second night I asked them to talk to a grown-up about how are you going to be able to get your homework done during the week. The kids really enjoyed it. There’s a running joke that I’m teaching life skills.

Friday nights, I read all my kids’ responses to me on their homework from the week and it’s wonderful. They pour their hearts out. It’s like we’re having a conversation on my couch Friday night.

It matters to know that the teacher cares about you and that what you think matters to the teacher. Homework is a vehicle to connect home and school…for parents to know teachers are welcoming to them and their families.

Bempechat : I can’t imagine that most new teachers would have the intuition Erin had in designing homework the way she did.

Ardizzone : Conversations with kids about homework, feeling you’re being listened to—that’s such a big part of wanting to do homework….I grew up in Westchester County. It was a pretty demanding school district. My junior year English teacher—I loved her—she would give us feedback, have meetings with all of us. She’d say, “If you have any questions, if you have anything you want to talk about, you can talk to me, here are my office hours.” It felt like she actually cared.

Bempechat : It matters to know that the teacher cares about you and that what you think matters to the teacher. Homework is a vehicle to connect home and school…for parents to know teachers are welcoming to them and their families.

Ardizzone : But can’t it lead to parents being overbearing and too involved in their children’s lives as students?

Bempechat : There’s good help and there’s bad help. The bad help is what you’re describing—when parents hover inappropriately, when they micromanage, when they see their children confused and struggling and tell them what to do.

Good help is when parents recognize there’s a struggle going on and instead ask informative questions: “Where do you think you went wrong?” They give hints, or pointers, rather than saying, “You missed this,” or “You didn’t read that.”

Bruce : I hope something comes of this. I hope BU or Wheelock can think of some way to make this a more pressing issue. As a first-year teacher, it was not something I even thought about on the first day of school—until a kid raised his hand and said, “Do we have homework?” It would have been wonderful if I’d had a plan from day one.

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Sara Rimer

Sara Rimer A journalist for more than three decades, Sara Rimer worked at the Miami Herald , Washington Post and, for 26 years, the New York Times , where she was the New England bureau chief, and a national reporter covering education, aging, immigration, and other social justice issues. Her stories on the death penalty’s inequities were nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and cited in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision outlawing the execution of people with intellectual disabilities. Her journalism honors include Columbia University’s Meyer Berger award for in-depth human interest reporting. She holds a BA degree in American Studies from the University of Michigan. Profile

She can be reached at [email protected] .

Comments & Discussion

Boston University moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (EST) and can only accept comments written in English. Statistics or facts must include a citation or a link to the citation.

There are 81 comments on Does Homework Really Help Students Learn?

Insightful! The values about homework in elementary schools are well aligned with my intuition as a parent.

when i finish my work i do my homework and i sometimes forget what to do because i did not get enough sleep

same omg it does not help me it is stressful and if I have it in more than one class I hate it.

Same I think my parent wants to help me but, she doesn’t care if I get bad grades so I just try my best and my grades are great.

I think that last question about Good help from parents is not know to all parents, we do as our parents did or how we best think it can be done, so maybe coaching parents or giving them resources on how to help with homework would be very beneficial for the parent on how to help and for the teacher to have consistency and improve homework results, and of course for the child. I do see how homework helps reaffirm the knowledge obtained in the classroom, I also have the ability to see progress and it is a time I share with my kids

The answer to the headline question is a no-brainer – a more pressing problem is why there is a difference in how students from different cultures succeed. Perfect example is the student population at BU – why is there a majority population of Asian students and only about 3% black students at BU? In fact at some universities there are law suits by Asians to stop discrimination and quotas against admitting Asian students because the real truth is that as a group they are demonstrating better qualifications for admittance, while at the same time there are quotas and reduced requirements for black students to boost their portion of the student population because as a group they do more poorly in meeting admissions standards – and it is not about the Benjamins. The real problem is that in our PC society no one has the gazuntas to explore this issue as it may reveal that all people are not created equal after all. Or is it just environmental cultural differences??????

I get you have a concern about the issue but that is not even what the point of this article is about. If you have an issue please take this to the site we have and only post your opinion about the actual topic

This is not at all what the article is talking about.

This literally has nothing to do with the article brought up. You should really take your opinions somewhere else before you speak about something that doesn’t make sense.

we have the same name

so they have the same name what of it?

lol you tell her

totally agree

What does that have to do with homework, that is not what the article talks about AT ALL.

Yes, I think homework plays an important role in the development of student life. Through homework, students have to face challenges on a daily basis and they try to solve them quickly.I am an intense online tutor at 24x7homeworkhelp and I give homework to my students at that level in which they handle it easily.

More than two-thirds of students said they used alcohol and drugs, primarily marijuana, to cope with stress.

You know what’s funny? I got this assignment to write an argument for homework about homework and this article was really helpful and understandable, and I also agree with this article’s point of view.

I also got the same task as you! I was looking for some good resources and I found this! I really found this article useful and easy to understand, just like you! ^^

i think that homework is the best thing that a child can have on the school because it help them with their thinking and memory.

I am a child myself and i think homework is a terrific pass time because i can’t play video games during the week. It also helps me set goals.

Homework is not harmful ,but it will if there is too much

I feel like, from a minors point of view that we shouldn’t get homework. Not only is the homework stressful, but it takes us away from relaxing and being social. For example, me and my friends was supposed to hang at the mall last week but we had to postpone it since we all had some sort of work to do. Our minds shouldn’t be focused on finishing an assignment that in realty, doesn’t matter. I completely understand that we should have homework. I have to write a paper on the unimportance of homework so thanks.

homework isn’t that bad

Are you a student? if not then i don’t really think you know how much and how severe todays homework really is

i am a student and i do not enjoy homework because i practice my sport 4 out of the five days we have school for 4 hours and that’s not even counting the commute time or the fact i still have to shower and eat dinner when i get home. its draining!

i totally agree with you. these people are such boomers

why just why

they do make a really good point, i think that there should be a limit though. hours and hours of homework can be really stressful, and the extra work isn’t making a difference to our learning, but i do believe homework should be optional and extra credit. that would make it for students to not have the leaning stress of a assignment and if you have a low grade you you can catch up.

Studies show that homework improves student achievement in terms of improved grades, test results, and the likelihood to attend college. Research published in the High School Journal indicates that students who spent between 31 and 90 minutes each day on homework “scored about 40 points higher on the SAT-Mathematics subtest than their peers, who reported spending no time on homework each day, on average.” On both standardized tests and grades, students in classes that were assigned homework outperformed 69% of students who didn’t have homework. A majority of studies on homework’s impact – 64% in one meta-study and 72% in another – showed that take home assignments were effective at improving academic achievement. Research by the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) concluded that increased homework led to better GPAs and higher probability of college attendance for high school boys. In fact, boys who attended college did more than three hours of additional homework per week in high school.

So how are your measuring student achievement? That’s the real question. The argument that doing homework is simply a tool for teaching responsibility isn’t enough for me. We can teach responsibility in a number of ways. Also the poor argument that parents don’t need to help with homework, and that students can do it on their own, is wishful thinking at best. It completely ignores neurodiverse students. Students in poverty aren’t magically going to find a space to do homework, a friend’s or siblings to help them do it, and snacks to eat. I feel like the author of this piece has never set foot in a classroom of students.

THIS. This article is pathetic coming from a university. So intellectually dishonest, refusing to address the havoc of capitalism and poverty plays on academic success in life. How can they in one sentence use poor kids in an argument and never once address that poor children have access to damn near 0 of the resources affluent kids have? Draw me a picture and let’s talk about feelings lmao what a joke is that gonna put food in their belly so they can have the calories to burn in order to use their brain to study? What about quiet their 7 other siblings that they share a single bedroom with for hours? Is it gonna force the single mom to magically be at home and at work at the same time to cook food while you study and be there to throw an encouraging word?

Also the “parents don’t need to be a parent and be able to guide their kid at all academically they just need to exist in the next room” is wild. Its one thing if a parent straight up is not equipped but to say kids can just figured it out is…. wow coming from an educator What’s next the teacher doesn’t need to teach cause the kid can just follow the packet and figure it out?

Well then get a tutor right? Oh wait you are poor only affluent kids can afford a tutor for their hours of homework a day were they on average have none of the worries a poor child does. Does this address that poor children are more likely to also suffer abuse and mental illness? Like mentioned what about kids that can’t learn or comprehend the forced standardized way? Just let em fail? These children regularly are not in “special education”(some of those are a joke in their own and full of neglect and abuse) programs cause most aren’t even acknowledged as having disabilities or disorders.

But yes all and all those pesky poor kids just aren’t being worked hard enough lol pretty sure poor children’s existence just in childhood is more work, stress, and responsibility alone than an affluent child’s entire life cycle. Love they never once talked about the quality of education in the classroom being so bad between the poor and affluent it can qualify as segregation, just basically blamed poor people for being lazy, good job capitalism for failing us once again!

why the hell?

you should feel bad for saying this, this article can be helpful for people who has to write a essay about it

This is more of a political rant than it is about homework

I know a teacher who has told his students their homework is to find something they are interested in, pursue it and then come share what they learn. The student responses are quite compelling. One girl taught herself German so she could talk to her grandfather. One boy did a research project on Nelson Mandela because the teacher had mentioned him in class. Another boy, a both on the autism spectrum, fixed his family’s computer. The list goes on. This is fourth grade. I think students are highly motivated to learn, when we step aside and encourage them.

The whole point of homework is to give the students a chance to use the material that they have been presented with in class. If they never have the opportunity to use that information, and discover that it is actually useful, it will be in one ear and out the other. As a science teacher, it is critical that the students are challenged to use the material they have been presented with, which gives them the opportunity to actually think about it rather than regurgitate “facts”. Well designed homework forces the student to think conceptually, as opposed to regurgitation, which is never a pretty sight

Wonderful discussion. and yes, homework helps in learning and building skills in students.

not true it just causes kids to stress

Homework can be both beneficial and unuseful, if you will. There are students who are gifted in all subjects in school and ones with disabilities. Why should the students who are gifted get the lucky break, whereas the people who have disabilities suffer? The people who were born with this “gift” go through school with ease whereas people with disabilities struggle with the work given to them. I speak from experience because I am one of those students: the ones with disabilities. Homework doesn’t benefit “us”, it only tears us down and put us in an abyss of confusion and stress and hopelessness because we can’t learn as fast as others. Or we can’t handle the amount of work given whereas the gifted students go through it with ease. It just brings us down and makes us feel lost; because no mater what, it feels like we are destined to fail. It feels like we weren’t “cut out” for success.

homework does help

here is the thing though, if a child is shoved in the face with a whole ton of homework that isn’t really even considered homework it is assignments, it’s not helpful. the teacher should make homework more of a fun learning experience rather than something that is dreaded

This article was wonderful, I am going to ask my teachers about extra, or at all giving homework.

I agree. Especially when you have homework before an exam. Which is distasteful as you’ll need that time to study. It doesn’t make any sense, nor does us doing homework really matters as It’s just facts thrown at us.

Homework is too severe and is just too much for students, schools need to decrease the amount of homework. When teachers assign homework they forget that the students have other classes that give them the same amount of homework each day. Students need to work on social skills and life skills.

I disagree.

Beyond achievement, proponents of homework argue that it can have many other beneficial effects. They claim it can help students develop good study habits so they are ready to grow as their cognitive capacities mature. It can help students recognize that learning can occur at home as well as at school. Homework can foster independent learning and responsible character traits. And it can give parents an opportunity to see what’s going on at school and let them express positive attitudes toward achievement.

Homework is helpful because homework helps us by teaching us how to learn a specific topic.

As a student myself, I can say that I have almost never gotten the full 9 hours of recommended sleep time, because of homework. (Now I’m writing an essay on it in the middle of the night D=)

I am a 10 year old kid doing a report about “Is homework good or bad” for homework before i was going to do homework is bad but the sources from this site changed my mind!

Homeowkr is god for stusenrs

I agree with hunter because homework can be so stressful especially with this whole covid thing no one has time for homework and every one just wants to get back to there normal lives it is especially stressful when you go on a 2 week vaca 3 weeks into the new school year and and then less then a week after you come back from the vaca you are out for over a month because of covid and you have no way to get the assignment done and turned in

As great as homework is said to be in the is article, I feel like the viewpoint of the students was left out. Every where I go on the internet researching about this topic it almost always has interviews from teachers, professors, and the like. However isn’t that a little biased? Of course teachers are going to be for homework, they’re not the ones that have to stay up past midnight completing the homework from not just one class, but all of them. I just feel like this site is one-sided and you should include what the students of today think of spending four hours every night completing 6-8 classes worth of work.

Are we talking about homework or practice? Those are two very different things and can result in different outcomes.

Homework is a graded assignment. I do not know of research showing the benefits of graded assignments going home.

Practice; however, can be extremely beneficial, especially if there is some sort of feedback (not a grade but feedback). That feedback can come from the teacher, another student or even an automated grading program.

As a former band director, I assigned daily practice. I never once thought it would be appropriate for me to require the students to turn in a recording of their practice for me to grade. Instead, I had in-class assignments/assessments that were graded and directly related to the practice assigned.

I would really like to read articles on “homework” that truly distinguish between the two.

oof i feel bad good luck!

thank you guys for the artical because I have to finish an assingment. yes i did cite it but just thanks

thx for the article guys.

Homework is good

I think homework is helpful AND harmful. Sometimes u can’t get sleep bc of homework but it helps u practice for school too so idk.

I agree with this Article. And does anyone know when this was published. I would like to know.

It was published FEb 19, 2019.

Studies have shown that homework improved student achievement in terms of improved grades, test results, and the likelihood to attend college.

i think homework can help kids but at the same time not help kids

This article is so out of touch with majority of homes it would be laughable if it wasn’t so incredibly sad.

There is no value to homework all it does is add stress to already stressed homes. Parents or adults magically having the time or energy to shepherd kids through homework is dome sort of 1950’s fantasy.

What lala land do these teachers live in?

Homework gives noting to the kid

Homework is Bad

homework is bad.

why do kids even have homework?

Comments are closed.

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How to Find Motivation to Do Homework

Last Updated: January 31, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Jake Adams and by wikiHow staff writer, Megaera Lorenz, PhD . Jake Adams is an academic tutor and the owner of Simplifi EDU, a Santa Monica, California based online tutoring business offering learning resources and online tutors for academic subjects K-College, SAT & ACT prep, and college admissions applications. With over 14 years of professional tutoring experience, Jake is dedicated to providing his clients the very best online tutoring experience and access to a network of excellent undergraduate and graduate-level tutors from top colleges all over the nation. Jake holds a BS in International Business and Marketing from Pepperdine University. There are 13 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 1,703,044 times.

Even if you love school, it can be hard to stay excited about doing homework. Just like with any other kind of work, it’s important to set personal goals and find your own inspiration to keep going. You can also help yourself focus by minimizing distractions and caring for yourself while you work. Finally, organize your time wisely and break your homework up into manageable pieces so it doesn’t feel too overwhelming.

Finding Your Drive and Inspiration

Step 1 Reward yourself when you meet a homework goal.

  • Give yourself bigger rewards for bigger accomplishments. For example, you might go out for pizza with a friend after handing in an important paper.

Step 2 Treat yourself before you start working, too.

  • Just make sure you limit yourself to a specific amount of time (like 10 minutes, for example) so that you don’t end up getting totally distracted and wasting a few hours.

Did you know? Researchers in Japan recently discovered that looking at pictures or videos of baby animals before you start working can make you much more productive. [3] X Trustworthy Source PLOS ONE Online peer-reviewed, open access scientific research journal Go to source So, go ahead and watch a couple of cute kitten videos on YouTube the next time you need to work on a boring assignment. It might help!

Step 3 Work with a motivated study buddy.

  • Doing homework with a friend doesn’t necessarily mean collaborating on the same assignments. You can just spend time together while you each do your own work. Only get your parent to help you if you need help.
  • Check with your teacher first before working together with a friend on an assignment. They may want you to do the work by yourself.

Step 4 Determine when and where you work best.

  • For example, if you’re a morning person, try doing your homework right after you eat breakfast.
  • If you tend to get distracted while working at your desk at home, experiment with doing your homework in the library or a coffee shop instead.
  • Some people also find it helpful to change their routine from time to time. If you find yourself getting bored, try working at a different time from usual or finding a new study space.

Step 5 Set some SMART...

  • Setting vague goals can lead to frustration. Instead of saying, “I’m going to get all my homework done this week,” try something more specific—e.g., “I’m going to work on my English essay for 1 hour every day this week.”

Step 6 Remind yourself of why you’re in school in the first place.

  • For example, maybe you want to get good grades so you can get into your dream college, or possibly you’re working towards an exciting career.
  • Doing a good job in your classes can also be its own reward—knowing that you worked hard and did your best is a great self-esteem booster!

Keeping Yourself Focused and Alert

Step 1 Take care of your physical needs before working.

  • If you feel physically tense, do some yoga or light stretches before you begin to work.
  • Doing breathing exercises can also help you feel more comfortable and alert.
  • If you’re not already in comfy clothes, get changed before you start working. This may mean joggers, sweatpants, pjs, shorts, underwear, or even being completely naked. It's your choice.

Step 2 Find a quiet and comfortable work space.

  • You’ll want a place where you can sit comfortably, but don’t get too comfortable. If you do homework in bed or on a cozy couch, you may be tempted to fall asleep!
  • If you have to work at home, ask anyone who lives with you to give you a little quiet time while you do your homework.

Step 3 Put away your phone and other distractions.

  • If you can’t resist messing around on your phone or visiting time-wasting websites on your computer, consider installing an app or a browser extension that blocks tempting apps and sites.
  • Don’t try to work with a TV or radio on. If you listen to music while you do your homework, choose something that’s quiet and not too exciting, like some gentle classical music.

Step 4 Energize yourself with water and healthy snacks.

  • Whole grains
  • Healthy proteins, like fish, beans, or nuts
  • Blueberries
  • Leafy greens

Step 5 Take frequent breaks while you work.

  • During your breaks, you can go for a walk, have a snack, do a little meditation , or even put your head down for a quick power nap .
  • You can also use your breaks to reward yourself with a fun video or a quick game on your phone.

Did you know? Walking can improve your thinking skills. If you’re feeling stuck on a problem, going for a quick walk or even hopping on a treadmill can help! [13] X Research source

Step 6 Switch between different tasks to help you stay sharp.

  • For example, if you’ve been working on an essay for an hour or two, take a break and then switch to doing some math problems.
  • Don’t try to do more than one task at once, though. Trying to multitask will disrupt your focus and cause you to make more mistakes.

Organizing Your Time Effectively

Step 1 Create a daily work and study schedule.

  • Setting a schedule also makes it easier to avoid procrastinating .
  • Make sure to schedule in time for breaks and relaxation, too!

Tip: You can avoid unpleasant surprises by writing important dates and deadlines into your schedule. For example, make note of when you have tests or quizzes coming up or when different assignments are due.

Step 2 Prioritize your assignments and do the most urgent or difficult ones first.

  • Make an ordered list of all your tasks. Try to prioritize ones that are due soon, count towards a major part of your grade, or seem like they will be the most complicated to complete.
  • Put assignments that aren’t due for a while or that you know you can finish quickly and easily at the bottom.

Step 3 Break your assignments down into manageable pieces.

  • For example, if you’re writing a big paper, you might break it up into pieces like doing the research, composing a bibliography, writing an outline, drafting the introduction, and so on.

Step 4 Try a productivity app to help you stay organized.

  • Productivity apps are helpful for some people, but they’re not for everyone. Make sure you don’t spend so much time worrying about the app that it starts to cut into your homework time! [19] X Research source

Supercharge Your Studying with this Expert Series

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Tips from our Readers

  • Start your homework as soon as you get home from school (you may need a small snack first) instead of watching tv or using the computer. If you start another activity, it will be harder to stop it to switch to homework. Go straight to homework and think of TV and the computer as your reward for finishing.
  • Sometimes I have a lot of work to do and it seems overwhelming, even if the work isn't hard. If I close my eyes and imagine myself doing my homework, it doesn't feel as intimidating and gives me the feeling that I can do it.
  • Make a homework playlist in your music app and play every time you sit down to study. If music with lyrics distracts you, try looking up "study playlists" and "homework playlists," as they're usually just instrumentals.
  • If you can, have your parents drop you off at the library after school for an hour (or however long your homework would take) so you can stay focused. There isn't much to do at the library and it's quiet.
  • Take short breaks to rest your mind for a little while so that it is ready to get back to work. This works for a lot of people who just need to decompress after a long period of working and hard thinking!
  • Think about having free time after the homework to do what you want. Also, think about having the homework done, being stress-free, and not getting in trouble because you didn't do your homework.
  • Dedicate a space in your house to homework and decorate it. Make your homework space a place you like to be.
  • Work with a buddy who doesn't get as distracted as you. This way, your buddy can help you stay focused.
  • Chewing on gum can help you stay alert and focused if you're feeling tired or distracted.

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Stay on Top of Homework

  • ↑ Jake Adams. Academic Tutor & Test Prep Specialist. Expert Interview. 20 May 2020.
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Jake Adams

To find the motivation to do your homework, give yourself small rewards after you accomplish a goal, like a 5 minute video after finishing a reading assignment. For larger accomplishments, like completing an important paper, give yourself a bigger reward, like going out for pizza with friends. You can also try giving yourself a treat, like a scoop of ice cream or 10 minutes to text your best friend, before you begin working to lift your mood and make you more productive. If you have a friend who won’t distract you, see if they want to do homework together so you can keep each other on track. To learn how to pick the best time and place to do your homework, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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School Life Balance , Tips for Online Students

The Pros and Cons of Homework

Updated: December 7, 2023

Published: January 23, 2020


Homework is a word that most students dread hearing. After hours upon hours of sitting in class , the last thing we want is more schoolwork over our precious weekends. While it’s known to be a staple of traditional schooling, homework has also become a rather divise topic. Some feel as though homework is a necessary part of school, while others believe that the time could be better invested. Should students have homework? Have a closer look into the arguments on both sides to decide for yourself.

A college student completely swamped with homework.

Photo by  from  Pexels

Why should students have homework, 1. homework encourages practice.

Many people believe that one of the positive effects of homework is that it encourages the discipline of practice. While it may be time consuming and boring compared to other activities, repetition is needed to get better at skills. Homework helps make concepts more clear, and gives students more opportunities when starting their career .

2. Homework Gets Parents Involved

Homework can be something that gets parents involved in their children’s lives if the environment is a healthy one. A parent helping their child with homework makes them take part in their academic success, and allows for the parent to keep up with what the child is doing in school. It can also be a chance to connect together.

3. Homework Teaches Time Management

Homework is much more than just completing the assigned tasks. Homework can develop time management skills , forcing students to plan their time and make sure that all of their homework assignments are done on time. By learning to manage their time, students also practice their problem-solving skills and independent thinking. One of the positive effects of homework is that it forces decision making and compromises to be made.

4. Homework Opens A Bridge Of Communication

Homework creates a connection between the student, the teacher, the school, and the parents. It allows everyone to get to know each other better, and parents can see where their children are struggling. In the same sense, parents can also see where their children are excelling. Homework in turn can allow for a better, more targeted educational plan for the student.

5. Homework Allows For More Learning Time

Homework allows for more time to complete the learning process. School hours are not always enough time for students to really understand core concepts, and homework can counter the effects of time shortages, benefiting students in the long run, even if they can’t see it in the moment.

6. Homework Reduces Screen Time

Many students in North America spend far too many hours watching TV. If they weren’t in school, these numbers would likely increase even more. Although homework is usually undesired, it encourages better study habits and discourages spending time in front of the TV. Homework can be seen as another extracurricular activity, and many families already invest a lot of time and money in different clubs and lessons to fill up their children’s extra time. Just like extracurricular activities, homework can be fit into one’s schedule.

A female student who doesn’t want to do homework.

The Other Side: Why Homework Is Bad

1. homework encourages a sedentary lifestyle.

Should students have homework? Well, that depends on where you stand. There are arguments both for the advantages and the disadvantages of homework.

While classroom time is important, playground time is just as important. If children are given too much homework, they won’t have enough playtime, which can impact their social development and learning. Studies have found that those who get more play get better grades in school , as it can help them pay closer attention in the classroom.

Children are already sitting long hours in the classroom, and homework assignments only add to these hours. Sedentary lifestyles can be dangerous and can cause health problems such as obesity. Homework takes away from time that could be spent investing in physical activity.

2. Homework Isn’t Healthy In Every Home

While many people that think homes are a beneficial environment for children to learn, not all homes provide a healthy environment, and there may be very little investment from parents. Some parents do not provide any kind of support or homework help, and even if they would like to, due to personal barriers, they sometimes cannot. Homework can create friction between children and their parents, which is one of the reasons why homework is bad .

3. Homework Adds To An Already Full-Time Job

School is already a full-time job for students, as they generally spend over 6 hours each day in class. Students also often have extracurricular activities such as sports, music, or art that are just as important as their traditional courses. Adding on extra hours to all of these demands is a lot for children to manage, and prevents students from having extra time to themselves for a variety of creative endeavors. Homework prevents self discovery and having the time to learn new skills outside of the school system. This is one of the main disadvantages of homework.

4. Homework Has Not Been Proven To Provide Results

Endless surveys have found that homework creates a negative attitude towards school, and homework has not been found to be linked to a higher level of academic success.

The positive effects of homework have not been backed up enough. While homework may help some students improve in specific subjects, if they have outside help there is no real proof that homework makes for improvements.

It can be a challenge to really enforce the completion of homework, and students can still get decent grades without doing their homework. Extra school time does not necessarily mean better grades — quality must always come before quantity.

Accurate practice when it comes to homework simply isn’t reliable. Homework could even cause opposite effects if misunderstood, especially since the reliance is placed on the student and their parents — one of the major reasons as to why homework is bad. Many students would rather cheat in class to avoid doing their homework at home, and children often just copy off of each other or from what they read on the internet.

5. Homework Assignments Are Overdone

The general agreement is that students should not be given more than 10 minutes a day per grade level. What this means is that a first grader should be given a maximum of 10 minutes of homework, while a second grader receives 20 minutes, etc. Many students are given a lot more homework than the recommended amount, however.

On average, college students spend as much as 3 hours per night on homework . By giving too much homework, it can increase stress levels and lead to burn out. This in turn provides an opposite effect when it comes to academic success.

The pros and cons of homework are both valid, and it seems as though the question of ‘‘should students have homework?’ is not a simple, straightforward one. Parents and teachers often are found to be clashing heads, while the student is left in the middle without much say.

It’s important to understand all the advantages and disadvantages of homework, taking both perspectives into conversation to find a common ground. At the end of the day, everyone’s goal is the success of the student.

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How to Do Homework in Class

Last Updated: June 4, 2020

This article was co-authored by Alexander Peterman, MA . Alexander Peterman is a Private Tutor in Florida. He received his MA in Education from the University of Florida in 2017. This article has been viewed 29,992 times.

Forgetting to do a homework assignment is something that most of us have done. While it's not an ideal situation, you can still try to work on the homework assignment during another class. However, keep in mind that most teachers won't allow you to do this. You will need to be careful and avoid getting caught while you work to finish your homework.

Keeping Your Homework Hidden

Step 1 Sit away from the teacher.

  • The closer you are to your teacher, the harder it will be to hide your homework.
  • Think about where your teacher usually walks during class and try to sit away from them.
  • If you have an assigned seat, don’t bring unnecessary attention to yourself. Do things as normal as you can.

Step 2 Get your materials out.

  • Have your regular class book and material out on top of your desk.
  • Try to make it look like your focus is the current class material.

Step 4 Start working on your homework.

  • Keep an eye out for your teacher. You may need to hide your homework quickly.
  • Don't get too involved with your homework. Remember, you are trying to look like you are just taking a few notes.

Step 5 Be ready to hide your homework.

  • Put your homework away and pay attention to the teacher for a few minutes.
  • Try asking questions and answering questions during class. Ask open-ended and broad topic questions.
  • Every few minutes, look away from your homework.
  • Keep taking the occasional note for your current class.

Visiting The Restroom

Step 1 Get your materials ready.

  • Fold your homework or worksheet up neatly and slip it in your pocket.
  • Hide your pen or pencil in a pocket.
  • If you need another textbook, you might try quickly visiting your locker to pick it up.

Step 2 Ask to use the restroom.

  • Use the stall walls as a solid writing surface, doing your homework while standing up.
  • Put the lid on the toilet down and sit down to get your homework done, using your lap as a writing surface.
  • Use the top-back section of the toilet tank as a makeshift desk.

Step 4 Go back to class.

  • Remember to hide your homework again in your pocket before returning to class.
  • It's probably a good idea to work no longer than five minutes before going back to class.
  • If you have to actually use the bathroom, make sure you do so while you’re there. You don’t want to run to the restroom twice in one period.

Getting Homework Done On Time

Step 1 Create a schedule.

  • Write down your assignment and what it requires. This can help you know how much time it might take. Use a calendar or planner to keep track of the deadlines.
  • Use your study halls to do your homework.
  • Generally, you will need around 1 to 3 hours per night for homework. This is dependent on the courses you are taking, so always estimate for more time rather than less.
  • You can try scheduling your day in hour blocks to visually see how much time you have.

Step 2 Work in a good environment.

  • Turn off any televisions or loud music.
  • Close a window if it is too noisy outside.
  • Try to avoid doing homework in a loud public space.

Step 3 Do difficult projects first.

  • Save easy problems for later, as they take less energy to do.
  • Doing the hard problems first will leave you with only the easy problems to do in class, should you forget to finish the assignment.
  • If you’re an individual that is motivated by seeing workload decrease, consider doing some simpler problems followed by a difficult one.
  • Always prioritize based on due dates or on how many points the project is worth.

Step 4 Take regular breaks.

  • Take about a 15 minute break for every hour of work.
  • Don't go too far from your workplace. Make it easy on yourself to get back to work after the break.

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Schedule your time to get homework done before it's due. Thanks Helpful 3 Not Helpful 0
  • Sit far away from your teacher. Thanks Helpful 3 Not Helpful 0
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James M. Kerr

Does Remote Work Have You Feeling Down?

Seven ways to overcome feelings of isolation in remote work situations..

Posted April 16, 2024 | Reviewed by Hara Estroff Marano

  • What Is a Career
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  • Feelings of isolation often stem from the physical separation from colleagues that employees experience.
  • The lack of a structured environment and a routine in remote work can exacerbate feelings of isolation.
  • There are steps you can take to overcome isolation and feel better connected in remote-work situations.

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Feelings of isolation in remote work situations typically stem from the physical separation from colleagues that remote workers experience. Without the daily interactions and shared spaces of a traditional office, individuals may find themselves lacking the face-to-face contact that fosters a sense of connection and belonging. Additionally, the reliance on virtual communication tools, while necessary for remote collaboration , can sometimes feel impersonal and not conducive to building relationships.

Moreover, the lack of a structured environment and routine in remote work can exacerbate feelings of isolation. Without clear boundaries between work and personal life, individuals can struggle to establish a healthy balance, leading to a sense of being constantly on-call and disconnected from their non-work identities. These factors combined can contribute to a pervasive feeling of loneliness and disconnection among remote workers, highlighting the need for proactive measures to foster community and support in virtual environments.

Overcoming feelings of isolation in remote work situations requires intentional effort from both workers and employers. Here are some strategies:

1. Establish a Healthy Routine: Create a daily routine that includes breaks, exercise, and time for social interaction. Routines can help provide a sense of normalcy and structure in your day.

I use my phone and email calendar, for example, to reinforce my daily routine, which includes several stretch breaks and a workout. When I have a deadline, I have a tendency to power through to completion without ever leaving my desk, and that’s not healthy. So, I set reminders on my phone to get up and stretch. These breaks keep me refreshed and centered when working remotely with my clients.

2. Prioritize Well-Being: Make self-care activities such as exercise, meditation , and hobbies that promote mental and emotional well-being a top priority.

Indeed, I advise the leaders that I coach to lead by example, by prioritizing their own self-care and modeling healthy work-life balance behaviors.

By demonstrating a commitment to self-care activities, these leaders are better equipping their people to manage stress , stay motivated, and perform at their best, ultimately contributing to a positive and supportive remote work culture.

3. Establish Friend-Focused Communication: Actively engage in regular communication with colleagues through video calls, instant messaging, or email. Schedule virtual coffee breaks or informal chats to maintain social connections.

For example, I have a consulting client that has implemented a "virtual watercooler" initiative to maintain social connections among remote employees. They schedule regular virtual coffee breaks twice a week, during which team members gather for informal chats over video calls.

Of note, these sessions are not focused on work-related discussions but rather on fostering personal connections and casual conversations. Employees share updates about their lives and interests, creating opportunities for bonding and relationship-building outside of formal work settings.

This practice has been instrumental in combating feelings of isolation and enhancing team cohesion, ultimately contributing to a more engaged and connected remote workforce.

4. Sponsor Worthwhile Virtual Events: Attend virtual team meetings, workshops, and social events organized by your company to stay connected with coworkers.

One of my clients, a tech company, regularly organizes virtual workshops on topics ranging from technical skills to wellness and mindfulness . They provide employees with opportunities to expand their knowledge, connect with industry experts, and engage in meaningful discussions with colleagues. By sponsoring such virtual events, the company enables employee learning and development while bolstering connection.

do homework while working

5. Join Online Communities: Participate in online communities or forums related to your industry or interests to connect with like-minded professionals outside of your immediate work environment.

The talent and sports representation giant Creative Artists Agency, for example, encourages its staffers to engage in online forums and social media groups dedicated to marketing trends and industry news.

By participating in such communities, employees have the opportunity to share insights and connect with peers from around the world.

6. Set Burnout Boundaries: Establish boundaries between work and personal life to prevent burnout and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Create a dedicated workspace and set specific work hours to signal when you are on and off duty.

One of my clients, a software company, encourages employees to establish clear boundaries between their work and personal lives by defining specific work hours and designating a dedicated workspace at home. They provide resources and guidance on time- management techniques and encourage employees to prioritize self-care activities outside of work hours.

7. Reach Out for Support: Don't hesitate to reach out to your manager or HR department if you're feeling isolated or struggling with remote work. They may be able to provide additional resources or support.

For example, I encourage my coaching clients to find a support buddy for regular check-ins and mutual support.

They are encouraged to reach out to their buddies for assistance with work-related issues, as well as for emotional support and encouragement during challenging times. It really works in diminishing the feelings of isolation that can emerge in remote work-settings.

By proactively implementing these strategies, it is possible to mitigate feelings of isolation and maintain a sense of connection in the evolving remote work world.

As a whole, these seven approaches foster communication, prioritize self-care, and leverage proven techniques to bridge the gap between physical distance and social connection. We can create remote work environments that promote well-being, collaboration, and a sense of belonging, ultimately leading to happier, more engaged, and productive people, by simply embracing them.

James M. Kerr

James M. Kerr is a management consultant and leadership coach specializing in culture and workplace transformation. His latest book is Indispensable: Build and Lead a Company Customers Can’t Live Without .

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What to Do When Your Team Blames You

  • Dina Denham Smith
  • Ron Carucci

do homework while working

Fair or not, you need to work through the experience while keeping important relationships intact.

When you’re a manager, at some point, regardless of how the circumstances arise, your team will blame you for something that’s making them unhappy, whether you have control over it or not. Being accused by your team of failing them in some way induces a threat state in your brain, impairing your ability to think clearly and triggering a variety of cognitive distortions and defensive behaviors. The authors offer several strategies to help you work through the experience while keeping important relationships intact.

Paul, an executive coaching client, reached out distraught, asking for guidance after a painful team meeting. During a routine project review, his employee, Elena, expressed concerns about the team’s heavy workload, exclaiming: “Six months ago we laid off more than half of the team, but you never reduced the workload the way you promised. We’re all working day and night, and you don’t seem to care.”

do homework while working

  • Dina Denham Smith is an executive coach to senior leaders at world-leading brands such as Adobe, Netflix, PwC, Dropbox, Stripe, and numerous high-growth companies. A former business executive herself, she is the founder and CEO of Cognitas , and helps leaders and their teams reach new heights of success. Connect with her on LinkedIn .
  • Ron Carucci is co-founder and managing partner at  Navalent , working with CEOs and executives pursuing transformational change. He is the bestselling author of eight books, including To Be Honest and Rising to Power . Connect with him on Linked In at  RonCarucci , and download his free “How Honest is My Team?” assessment.

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Published April 17, 2024

Tisch Interactive Media Arts: Everything You Need to Know

Kathryn Lee

Class of 2025

The Media, Technology and Arts facility at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts in Downtown Brooklyn.

  • The Interactive Media Arts (IMA) major is an interdisciplinary undergraduate program within NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
  • The major blends technology and creativity, with a lot of fun and unexpected opportunities in and out of the classroom.
  • As an IMA major, you have a range of exciting career options.

Choosing a major is a big decision, so it is important to know all your options. At NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts , the Interactive Media Arts (IMA) program, which explores digital interactivity, is quickly growing in popularity.

When I was in high school applying to colleges, I had a hard time choosing my potential major. Nothing felt like the right program for me, whether I was considering Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, or another similar major. However, NYU’s IMA program got me excited about the possibility of pursuing a major that aligns with my interests.

Let’s break down everything about the IMA major to learn if the program could be the right fit for you too!

Interactive Media Arts 101

Wait, i’m still not sure what this program is.

Interactive Media Arts highlights computation as a key skill to creativity in our digital world. The IMA program combines NYU’s liberal arts core with the ability to code, create physical and digital interactions, and explore new media.

The IMA curriculum emphasizes proficiency across many different areas of technology and creativity. This exploration starts in your first semester at NYU with two core classes that all IMA students take. First, Creative Computing taught me about the basics of technology and programming. Second, Communications Lab helped me improve my artistic abilities by teaching me to create different forms of media, such as short films and animations.

The author’s final project, Interactive Bookshelf, which she created to bridge two of their courses: Creative Computing and Communications Lab.

IMA classes fall into six categories to broaden students’ skill sets:

  • Programming and data
  • Physical computing
  • Design and fabrication
  • Tech and society
  • Project development and research

The major offers a high degree of flexibility, allowing me to choose courses that interest me. Liberal arts and sciences courses and general electives complete the rest of the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Additionally, there is enough space to double-major or minor in other disciplines. To learn more about the IMA program structure and view an example of a four-year plan, check out the IMA undergraduate curriculum .

The lobby area of the Department of Interactive Media Arts at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

That’s Really a College Class?

Yes, it is ima has some of the coolest classes you can find at nyu..

All my favorite NYU classes are from the Interactive Media Arts program! Since most IMA classes are project-based, I get to create projects instead of taking tests (which I prefer).

A tic-tac-toe board the author designed. She used a computer numerical control machine to form the star and moon shapes.

For example, I took an IMA course called Introduction to Digital Fabrication, which is one of the most popular courses offered. There, I learned various fabrication techniques and how to operate 3D printers, laser cutters, and computer numerical control machines. Our building in Downtown Brooklyn has a fabrication shop with high-end machines. In addition, we have access to the NYU Tandon School of Engineering MakerSpace across the street. Both places have all the resources you need to bring your ideas to life.

Last semester I took a course called Topics in Media Art: Typography and Technology. We learned about the history of type and had the opportunity to design our own fonts. For a field trip, we visited a printshop in Williamsburg and printed our work on a Risograph. These special printers mix screen printing and photocopying for posters, zines, graphic novels, and more.

Printed copies of the posters with the different modular alphabets the author and her peers designed.

One of my favorite classes was Useless Machines, where we explored the concept of “uselessness” and its application in the machines we come across every day. At the end of the semester, my class had the opportunity to showcase our work at a local gallery show!

The author, Katy, at her first gallery show for the Useless Machines course.

What Does the Future Hold?

What can i do with an ima degree.

Pretty much anything you want! The Interactive Media Arts program is versatile and can be applied to various fields and jobs after graduation. Today, my friends are pursuing jobs in user experience design, software engineering, gallery spaces, project management, graphic design, and more.

This program can be whatever you want to make of it, and the skills you learn can prepare you to succeed in whichever career you choose. IMA professors are pioneers in their chosen fields. As a result, they’re a valuable resource for learning and motivation. The department staff includes individuals with diverse experiences, including a YouTuber with millions of subscribers, a game studio owner based in Brooklyn, and a curator of art exhibitions.

In addition, IMA’s location in the heart of New York City allows us to connect with professionals in our field and take advantage of the amazing events and opportunities available. When I started this program, I never imagined the projects I would work on or the opportunities that would come my way. In short, I am so grateful for the experience and excited about what the future holds.

Open workspace on the IMA floor at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts in Brooklyn.

Have Any Lingering Questions About IMA? Find Your Answers Here!

Where is the main IMA building located? 

While some Tisch buildings are located at NYU’s Washington Square campus, the main academic building for IMA is located at NYU’s Downtown Brooklyn campus on the 4th floor of 370 Jay Street. The Downtown Brooklyn campus houses some other Tisch programs as well as the entirety of the Tandon School of Engineering . As an IMA student at NYU’s campus in New York City, you will take classes in both locations.

Where do you live, Brooklyn or Manhattan?

If you choose to live on campus during your first year at NYU as an IMA major, you will live in one of the Manhattan residence halls. After your first year, if you decide to continue living in an NYU residence hall, you can choose to live in any available residence hall across both campuses.

What is the difference between IMA (at the Tisch School of the Arts) and Integrated Design and Media (at the Tandon School of Engineering)? Why choose one over the other?

IMA and Integrated Design and Media (IDM) are similar programs, but there are some key differences. IMA students earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, while IDM students earn a Bachelor of Science degree. This is because the IMA major includes a liberal arts core, while the IDM major emphasizes an engineering core. As a result, each major requires different courses. However, the two programs collaborate often, and students can take classes in both programs to fulfill their degree requirements.

Why does NYU require a creative portfolio during the application process? 

The IMA department wants to get a sense of you as an individual and understand what kind of experience you can bring to the program! But don’t worry; there is no right or wrong portfolio. The best advice I can give is to be yourself. This portfolio can be very different from the traditional art portfolio, so don’t be afraid to add any fun projects that show off your creative side.

Katy Lee headshot

Katy (she/her) is a junior studying Interactive Media Arts at the Tisch School of the Arts and minoring in Technology, Management, and Design at the Tandon School of Engineering. In addition to working as an Admission Ambassador, Katy works with NYU Residential Life as a Residential Assistant on the Brooklyn Campus, as a Technical Assistant at the NYU MakerSpace, and leads the Events Team of Tech@NYU. Born and raised in the Bay Area, California, you can find her exploring NYC, playing board games, reading, and ice skating in her free time.

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Integrated Design and Media at NYU: Be a Creative Engineer

As an NYU Tandon student, NYU Ambassador Katrina combined an interest in STEM with a passion for the arts through the Integrated Design and Media Program.

At Tisch Discover the Art of Creative Research

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Watch CBS News

Haven't filed your taxes yet? Here's how to get an extension from the IRS.

By Aimee Picchi

Edited By Anne Marie Lee , Alain Sherter

Updated on: April 15, 2024 / 11:18 AM EDT / CBS News

If you're one of the millions of Americans who have procrastinated filing their taxes ahead of the April 15 deadline, there is a way to get some breathing room: File for an extension. 

The step gives taxpayers until October 15 to file their federal tax returns, and the process is fairly quick — and also free. About 90 million people have filed their 1040s with the IRS as of March 29, the tax agency says . But as it  expects about 128.7 million tax returns this year, that means almost 40 million people have pushed off filing until the last two weeks of the regular tax season.

Almost half of Americans delay working on their taxes, a new survey from tax prep company TaxAct found. Many are stressed by the task, but more than 1 in 4 is worried about owing money to the IRS, the study found.

"Some people don't want to pay the balance due, and say, 'I'll let the government come after me,'" Mark Jaeger, vice president of Tax Operations, at TaxAct, told CBS MoneyWatch. 

But other taxpayers may have had a major life event, like the birth of a child, that prompted them to put off their taxes, he noted. Sometimes an individual's tax forms can be delayed, which then causes the taxpayer to scramble, once the forms arrive, to get their 1040s filed by April 15. 

The good news is that getting an extension "is actually pretty simple," Jaeger said.

What time are taxes due on April 15? 

The regular deadline to file a 2023 tax return with the IRS is 11:59 p.m., in your time zone, on Monday, April 15. 

However, there are some exceptions. For instance, taxpayers in Massachusetts and Maine have until April 17 to file and pay taxes because of the Patriots' Day and Emancipation Day holidays. 

Taxpayers living in some areas affected by extreme weather have  extensions  to file, while individuals and businesses impacted by the Oct. 7  attack on Israel  have also been given more time. Certain active-duty military members and citizens living abroad are also eligible for an extension.

How to request a tax extension

The IRS will give taxpayers an automatic extension if they file  Form 4868 . This one-page document asks for basic information such as your name, address and Social Security number. 

There's another way to request an extension that's even easier, Jaeger said. 

"The simplest way is to go through a do-it-yourself tax software or go to the IRS website and make a payment," he said. "Simply by making a payment, you are filing an extension."

Indeed, the IRS says it automatically counts payments made by the April 15 deadline as an extension, and by taking that step, you won't even need to file a separate Form 4868. 

You can make a payment via the IRS'  Direct Pay , the  Electronic Federal Tax Payment System  or with a  credit or debit card or digital wallet . 

If I get an extension, can I delay paying the IRS? 

Nope. That's because receiving an extension to file isn't an extension to pay what you owe the IRS. 

"Taxpayers who owe should pay their entire obligation, or as much as they can, by the April 15 deadline to avoid penalties and interest," the IRS said on Thursday.

Knowing how much to pay the IRS can be tricky for people who haven't yet filed their taxes, but Jaeger recommends looking at your federal tax payment in the prior year. If you paid, for example, $5,000 in the prior tax year, but have only paid $4,000 in the 2023 tax year, you should send the IRS a payment for the $1,000 difference, he noted.

What is the penalty for failing to pay?

The IRS charges a penalty if you don't pay what you owe the government, the amount if which is based on the percentage of the taxes you didn't pay. 

For instance, if you file an extension and owe the IRS but don't pay by April 15, you'll face the penalty. The IRS charges 0.5% of the unpaid taxes for each month, with a cap of 25% of the unpaid taxes. 

What is the fine for failing to file?

The IRS also levies a fine if you don't file or ask for an extension by April 15.

The failure-to-file penalty is 5% of unpaid taxes for each month or part of the month that the tax return is late. The fine is capped at 25% of your unpaid taxes. 

People who both neglect to file and fail to pay what they owe won't have to pay both fines, however. The IRS said it reduces the failure-to-file penalty by the amount of the failure-to-pay penalty for that month, so that the taxpayer will face a combined total penalty of 5% for each month their return is late. 

What if I can't pay what I owe the IRS?

The IRS will set up a payment plan with taxpayers who can't afford to pay the full amount they owe the tax agency. 

Aimee Picchi is the associate managing editor for CBS MoneyWatch, where she covers business and personal finance. She previously worked at Bloomberg News and has written for national news outlets including USA Today and Consumer Reports.

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Today's 15-year mortgage rates hold steady while 30-year rates rise | April 17, 2024

Thinking about taking out a mortgage loan here are the current mortgage rates and the top factors that influence them..

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Mortgage rates fluctuate almost daily based on economic conditions. Here are today’s mortgage rates and what you need to know about getting the best rate. ( iStock )

The interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 7.625% as of April 17, which is 0.125 percentage points higher than yesterday. Additionally, the interest rate on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 6.625%, which is unchanged from yesterday.

With mortgage rates changing daily, it’s a good idea to check today’s rate before applying for a loan. It’s also important to compare different lenders’ current interest rates, terms, and fees to ensure you get the best deal. 

Rates last updated on April 17, 2024. Rates are based on the assumptions shown here . Actual rates may vary. Credible, a personal finance marketplace, has 5,000 Trustpilot reviews with an average star rating of 4.7 (out of a possible 5.0).

How do mortgage rates work?

What determines the mortgage rate.

  • How to compare mortgage rates 
  • Pros and cons of mortgages 

How to qualify for a mortgage

How to apply for a mortgage, how to refinance a mortgage.

  • How to access your home’s equity

When you take out a mortgage loan to purchase a home, you’re borrowing money from a lender. In order for that lender to make a profit and reduce risk to itself, it will charge interest on the principal — that is, the amount you borrowed.

Expressed as a percentage, a mortgage interest rate is essentially the cost of borrowing money. It can vary based on several factors, such as your credit score , debt-to-income ratio (DTI), down payment , loan amount, and repayment term.

After getting a mortgage, you’ll typically receive an amortization schedule , which shows your payment schedule over the life of the loan. It also indicates how much of each payment goes toward the principal balance versus the interest.

Near the beginning of the loan term, you’ll spend more money on interest and less on the principal balance. As you approach the end of the repayment term, you’ll pay more toward the principal and less toward interest.

Your mortgage interest rate can be either fixed or adjustable. With a fixed-rate mortgage, the rate will be consistent for the duration of the loan. With an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), the interest rate can fluctuate with the market.

Keep in mind that a mortgage’s interest rate is not the same as its annual percentage rate (APR). This is because an APR includes both the interest rate and any other lender fees or charges.

Mortgage rates change frequently — sometimes on a daily basis. Inflation plays a significant role in these fluctuations. Interest rates tend to rise in periods of high inflation, whereas they tend to drop or remain roughly the same in times of low inflation. Other factors, like the economic climate, demand, and inventory can also impact the current average mortgage rates.

To find great mortgage rates, start by using Credible’s secured website, which can show you current mortgage rates from multiple lenders without affecting your credit score. You can also use Credible’s mortgage calculator to estimate your monthly mortgage payments.

Mortgage lenders typically determine the interest rate on a case-by-case basis. Generally, they reserve the lowest rates for low-risk borrowers — that is, those with a higher credit score, income, and down payment amount. Here are some other personal factors that may determine your mortgage rate:

  • Location of the home
  • Price of the home
  • Your credit score and credit history
  • Loan type (e.g., conventional or FHA)
  • Interest rate type (fixed or adjustable)
  • Down payment amount
  • Loan-to-value (LTV) ratio

Other indirect factors that may determine the mortgage rate include:

  • Current economic conditions
  • Rate of inflation
  • Market conditions
  • Housing construction supply, demand, and costs
  • Consumer spending
  • Stock market
  • 10-year Treasury yields
  • Federal Reserve policies
  • Current employment rate

How to compare mortgage rates

Along with certain economic and personal factors, the lender you choose can also affect your mortgage rate. Some lenders have higher average mortgage rates than others, regardless of your credit or financial situation. That’s why it’s important to compare lenders and loan offers.

Here are some of the best ways to compare mortgage rates and ensure you get the best one:

  • Shop around for lenders: Compare several lenders to find the best rates and lowest fees. Even if the rate is only lower by a few basis points, it could still save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.
  • Get several loan estimates: A loan estimate comes with a more personalized rate and fees based on factors like income, employment, and the property’s location. Review and compare loan estimates from several lenders.
  • Get pre-approved for a mortgage: Pre-approval doesn’t guarantee you’ll get a loan, but it can give you a better idea of what you qualify for and at what interest rate. You’ll need to complete an application and undergo a hard credit check.
  • Consider a mortgage rate lock: A mortgage rate lock lets you lock in the current mortgage rate for a certain amount of time — often between 30 and 90 days. During this time, you can continue shopping around for a home without worrying about the rate changing.
  • Choose between an adjustable- and fixed-rate mortgage: The interest rate type can affect how much you pay over time, so consider your options carefully.

One other way to compare mortgage rates is with a mortgage calculator. Use a calculator to determine your monthly payment amount and the total cost of the loan. Just remember, certain fees like homeowners insurance or taxes might not be included in the calculations.

Here’s a simple example of what a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage might look like versus a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage:

15-year fixed-rate

  • Loan amount: $300,000
  • Interest rate: 6.29%
  • Monthly payment: $2,579
  • Total interest charges: $164,186
  • Total loan amount: $464,186

30-year fixed-rate

  • Interest rate: 6.89%
  • Monthly payment: $1,974
  • Total interest charges: $410,566
  • Total loan amount: $710,565

Pros and cons of mortgages

If you’re thinking about taking out a mortgage, here are some benefits to consider:

  • Predictable monthly payments: Fixed-rate mortgage loans come with a set interest rate that doesn’t change over the life of the loan. This means more consistent monthly payments.
  • Potentially low interest rates: With good credit and a high down payment, you could get a competitive interest rate. Adjustable-rate mortgages may also come with a lower initial interest rate than fixed-rate loans.
  • Tax benefits: Having a mortgage could make you eligible for certain tax benefits, such as a mortgage interest deduction .
  • Potential asset: Real estate is often considered an asset. As you pay down your loan, you can also build home equity, which you can use for other things like debt consolidation or home improvement projects.
  • Credit score boost: With on-time payments, you can build your credit score.

And here are some of the biggest downsides of getting a mortgage:

  • Expensive fees and interest: You could end up paying thousands of dollars in interest and other fees over the life of the loan. You will also be responsible for maintenance, property taxes , and homeowners insurance.
  • Long-term debt: Taking out a mortgage is a major financial commitment. Typical loan terms are 10, 15, 20, and 30 years.
  • Potential rate changes: If you get an adjustable rate , the interest rate could increase.

Requirements vary by lender, but here are the typical steps to qualify for a mortgage:

  • Have steady employment and income: You’ll need to provide proof of income when applying for a home loan. This may include money from your regular job, alimony, military benefits, commissions, or Social Security payments. You may also need to provide proof of at least two years’ worth of employment at your current company.
  • Review any assets: Lenders consider your assets when deciding whether to lend you money. Common assets include money in your bank account or investment accounts.
  • Know your DTI: Your DTI is the percentage of your gross monthly income that goes toward your monthly debts — like installment loans, lines of credit, or rent. The lower your DTI, the better your approval odds.
  • Check your credit score: To get the best mortgage rate possible, you’ll need to have good credit. However, each loan type has a different credit score requirement. For example, you’ll need a credit score of 580 or higher to qualify for an FHA loan with a 3.5% down payment.
  • Know the property type: During the loan application process, you may need to specify whether the home you want to buy is your primary residence. Lenders often view a primary residence as less risky, so they may have more lenient requirements than if you were to get a secondary or investment property.
  • Choose the loan type: Many types of mortgage loans exist, including conventional loans, VA loans , USDA loans , FHA loans , and jumbo loans. Consider your options and pick the best one for your needs.
  • Prepare for upfront and closing costs: Depending on the loan type, you may need to make a down payment. The exact amount depends on the loan type and lender. A USDA loan, for example, has no minimum down payment requirement for eligible buyers. With a conventional loan, you’ll need to put down 20% to avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI). You may also be responsible for paying any closing costs when signing for the loan.

Here are the basic steps to apply for a mortgage , and what you can typically expect during the process:

  • Choose a lender : Compare several lenders to see the types of loans they offer, their average mortgage rates, repayment terms, and fees. Also, check if they offer any down payment assistance programs or closing cost credits.
  • Get pre-approved: Complete the pre-approval process to boost your chances of getting your dream home. You’ll need identifying documents, as well as documents verifying your employment, income, assets, and debts.
  • Submit a formal application: Complete your chosen lender’s application process — either in person or online — and upload any required documents.
  • Wait for the lender to process your loan: It can take some time for the lender to review your application and make a decision. In some cases, they may request additional information about your finances, assets, or liabilities. Provide this information as soon as possible to prevent delays.
  • Complete the closing process: If approved for a loan, you’ll receive a closing disclosure with information about the loan and any closing costs. Review it, pay the down payment and closing costs, and sign the final loan documents. Some lenders have an online closing process, while others require you to go in person. If you are not approved, you can talk to your lender to get more information and determine how you can remedy any issues.

Refinancing your mortgage lets you trade your current loan for a new one. It does not mean taking out a second loan. You will also still be responsible for making payments on the refinanced loan.

You might want to refinance your mortgage if you:

  • Want a lower interest rate or different rate type
  • Are looking for a shorter repayment term so you can pay off the loan sooner
  • Need a smaller monthly payment
  • Want to remove the PMI from your loan
  • Need to use the equity for things like home improvement or debt consolidation (cash-out refinancing)

The refinancing process is similar to the process you follow for the original loan. Here are the basic steps:

  • Choose the type of refinancing you want.
  • Compare lenders for the best rates.
  • Complete the application process.
  • Wait for the lender to review your application.
  • Provide supporting documentation (if requested).
  • Complete the home appraisal.
  • Proceed to closing, review the loan documents, and pay any closing costs.

How to access your home’s equity 

If you need to tap into your home’s equity to pay off debt, fund a renovation, or cover an emergency expense, there are two popular options to choose from: a home equity loan and a home equity line of credit (HELOC) . Both a home equity loan and a HELOC allow you to borrow against your home’s equity but a home equity loan comes in the form of a lump sum payment and a HELOC is a revolving line of credit.

These two loan types have some other key similarities and differences in how they work:

What is a rate lock?

Interest rates on mortgages fluctuate all the time, but a rate lock allows you to lock in your current rate for a set amount of time. This ensures you get the rate you want as you complete the homebuying process .

What are mortgage points?

Mortgage points are a type of prepaid interest that you can pay upfront — often as part of your closing costs — for a lower overall interest rate. This can lower your APR and monthly payments. 

What are closing costs?

Closing costs are the fees you, as the buyer, need to pay before getting a loan. Common fees include attorney fees, home appraisal fees, origination fees , and application fees.

If you’re trying to find the right mortgage rate, consider using Credible. You can use Credible's free online tool to easily compare multiple lenders and see prequalified rates in just a few minutes.

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