Power school was pretty much what I expected. With proper security kept in mind, here is the rundown of what YOU can probably expect:
Orientation, lots of waiting around for briefs. Short days. Thumbs up.
After first week
Classes all day, Monday through Friday, with a couple study halls thrown in for good measure. Typically 3 subjects a day are taught, consisting of 2-3 hour lectures each. These days it's all power-point style and whiteboards. You can also look forward to an exam or two almost every week. Exams are 2 hours each (with a 3 hour final in each subject) and are time-intensive. Go go go.
The hours you spend at power school in excess of an 8 hour day are logged. The amount of "extra" time you spend at school depends on how adept you are at memorizing large amounts of information. Most officer students had around 10-25 extra hours at the end of the 7-day week. (hrs logged Monday morning-Sunday night). I typically averaged 17 hours a week and did well.
The exams focus on what we liked to call "verbatim understanding". It's intimidating and frustrating at first for people like me, who don't memorize something the first couple times they read it, but the vast majority of people get used to it. We only had a couple people wash out of our class of around 80. The material is covered quickly and delivered in large amounts. Again, you'll get used to it.
Exams are typically graded the same day they are taken, which eliminates any need for overnight anxiety about a test. Grades are posted in the back of the room and in our class the person with the highest grade bought bagels/donuts for everyone the next morning.
At the end of it all there is a comprehensive final, which is about as fun as it sounds. The good news is that "comp party" occurs directly afterwards at a bar of your choice. Someone in your class will organize it, usually collecting money for an open bar. Staff and students go and comp grades are announced there. Great time.
Being one of the few married guys in my particular class, I didn't get out much. But most of my fellow classmates went out quite a bit. Charleston is a beautiful place and the downtown area is awesome. PT time is built into your schedule everyday (this is a relatively new thing) and once a week your class will have group PT. We played a lot of team sports. That PT time is GREAT because they don't offer it when you go to prototype and it is sorely missed.
I have to say that I didn't really like power school too much. In retrospect most of it was my fault. Having an exam every week was like having a dark cloud over my head constantly. But it was all artificial stress. Towards the end of my time in Charleston I learned to relax, prepare as much as I could and trust my abilities. My advice would be to work hard, but don't let a single exam get you down. It's not worth it. Also, try to get as much done as you can during the week to minimize the amount of time you have to spend at school during the weekends. That was also something I didn't get the hang of until the 2nd half of my time in Charleston. Once I got the hang of those two things, my life improved quite a bit. For most people this was not an issue.
Towards the end of power school you will put in a request sheet indicating your preference of which prototype you would like to go to. There is one in Charleston and one in Ballston Spa, NY. Most people get what they request. Married guys with families typically request to stay in Charleston and 95% of the time get their wish. I, however, fell into that 5% category and was moved to NY. That being said, Ballston Spa (Saratoga Springs) is a beautiful area and we are very happy with how things turned out.