Almost every two weeks I get to know another PhD Student who needs much more time to obtain his/her PhD than he/she actually thought he/she would need. I would like to know if this is a specific Problem of my university/ my country or if this is completely normal. Besides that, I would like to know why you think that the PhD students actually need so much time to get their PhD. When talking about needing more time than planned, I mean that instead of needing 3 years they often need between 4-6 years.
Some observations that I have made on my own are:
-Often the PhD students are loaded with work that does not relate to their PhD-project. This means for example, that they have to do a lot of work for their professor, do some teaching, supervise undergradute students,... But I think the "worst" part here is that often they are loaded with work by their professors. -The Project gets longer and longer. Even if they accomplish their project withing two years, the students will be told to do something new. This may even happen several times. - As a consequence from the last point that I mentioned a lot of the PhD students do not work as much as they would if they knew that they only have to finish their project and then they are finished. Since they know that even if they "finish" their work, they will get an additional task and won't be finished. Therfore, the motivation to finish the work as quickly as possible is rather low.
I also have the impression that in theoretical physics it is rather possible to obtain a PhD degree within 3 years, but not in experimental physics. I have recently heard that the average PhD student in physics needs 4.5 years.
What are your experiences? Do you share my expressions or am I wrong? Is there a way to "make sure" at the beginning of your thesis that you won't need 5 years for it?
If there is the same problem in other areas of research, of course I would like to hear about this, too.