Study hall

Study hall, known as private study in the United Kingdom, is a term for a place to have a study time during the school day where students are assigned to study when they are not scheduled for an academic class. They are most commonly found in high schools and some middle schools, especially in the United States. In colleges, such a place may be called a student lounge. It is not to be confused with studying in a hallway.

A group study area in a university.


Study halls generally have assigned rooms and are monitored by teachers or teacher's aides, who often encourage students to use this time to complete homework, catch up on missing assignments, or study for tests or quizzes. Sometimes, students also use study halls to converse, make phone calls, text messages, play video games, or otherwise socialize or pursue non-academic topics, though this is sometimes discouraged or forbidden. Periods in which such things are allowed are occasionally differentiated from study halls by the name "free period". Some students even eat lunch during a study hall due to long lines and short lunch periods at their schools.

Study halls are often used by students to visit with teachers, who have a "prep period", in order to discuss work or assignments. A study hall can be a period to utilize school resources or otherwise request teacher assistance in any subject not understood by the student.

As early as 1835, it was noted that at Maynooth College, the college corridors were so cold in the winter that "even the Study-hall, with its strict silence" was preferable.[1]

In 1910, education psychologist Charles Hubbard Judd set up a study hall in the school library of the University of Chicago Laboratory High School.[2] There, Hannah Logasa's 1938 examination of the use of study halls concluded that students did not perceive them as useful for studying and that their primary purpose was to permit school administrators to carry out a more orderly organization of the school day.[3] A 1966 study reported that students who spent additional time at home working on homework achieved higher grades than students who spent more time in study hall.[4]

Many academics[weasel words], such as school principal Jeff Gilbert, feel that study hall is an inefficient allocation of time which is often underutilized,[5] but others say it is a positive addition to a regular schedule because it creates a good environment for completing homework or large projects.


  1. ^ Eugene Francis O'Beirne, Maynooth in 1834 (1835), p. 39.
  2. ^ Wheeler, Helen. "Characteristics of the successful library‐study hall." Peabody Journal of Education 32, no. 3 (1954): 151-159.
  3. ^ Hannah Logasa, The Study Hall in Junior and Senior High Schools (1938), p. 5-7.
  4. ^ Warren S. Blumenfeld &H. H. Remmers, "Attitudes toward Study Hall as Related to Grades", The Journal of Educational Research, Volume 59, Issue 9 (1966), p. 406-408.
  5. ^ Hammond, Betsy (22 September 2011). "Facing Teacher Shortage, Schools Pack Students in Study Halls - Education Week". McClatchy-Tribune. Retrieved 14 February 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)