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What is Study Hall?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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The term “study hall” has two meanings, both relating to academics. The first is the concept of a room or area set aside specifically for the purpose of studying or reading. The next is a period of time in which students are expected to study or work on homework. This may also be used as a free period by students who have finished their work. Teachers or other officials may monitor both kinds of study hall.

In the sense of a space to study, a study hall is usually kept quiet so that students can focus. Students who need to work on audiovisual material use headphones, and may also screen their workspaces so that they are not distracting. These areas may also have an assortment of books, computers, and other reference materials for students to use. In many cases, a study hall has comfortable seating combined with desks or tables so that students can read in comfort, or spread work out on a table and sit upright.

Many colleges and universities have study halls set aside for their students, often adjacent to libraries. In some cases, these areas may also have conference spaces set aside so that groups of students can get together to work on a project without being disruptive in the general study space. Staff or monitors may be around to make sure that the space is quiet, or the space may be designed to be self-governing.

In terms of a set period in which to do work, a study hall usually appears in pre-college education. Students are expected to work quietly on projects or read, and a teacher typically stands by to monitor and assist students as needed. Depending on the age of the students and how the school is run, students may sign up for a study hall, or it may be built into the school schedule.

While a teacher stands by to help students during a study hall, this time is also a work period for the teacher. Many teachers are expected to work on paperwork or grade student papers during the period. For some teachers, this can be stressful, as they must support students while also doing work of their own. In some regions, teachers have protested this practice, because they feel that their divided attention is an injustice to the students.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a Practical Adult Insights researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon289107 — On Sep 02, 2012

My fifth grade teacher is having me do a debate. Is there anything I should know about study hall?

By seekinfo2 — On Apr 30, 2011

I think study skills are the most important thing in school. If you master study skills, you will ace tests and learn better. Study hall is the perfect opportunity to hone study skills. I always tell my kids to use their study hall time wisely. I have worked with them on their study skills and they are improving.

By scifreak — On Apr 28, 2011

I remember having test preparation in study hall during high school. I had one teacher that would prepare a study sheet that summarized key points. We would then be given the sheet in study hall. I always liked these sheets, as I worked part-time after school. They always gave me a chance to study the main points before a test, and the points were fresh in my mind after looking at them before class.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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