9 Bad Study Habits that Most People Use

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9 Bad Study Habits

When it comes to studying, it’s already hard enough trying to figure out what does and does not work. Being in the day and age where all of us are in this constant loop of information, it’s hard to determine what is, and is not, fake.

In this blog post, I wanted to dispel some common myths when it comes to studying.

It is important to keep in mind that everyone is different, so not all of these techniques may apply to every single person.

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Cramming and all-nighters.

It honestly still amazes me that a lot of people still use cramming when it comes to taking tests. A lot of people assume that cramming and pulling all-nighters will help them to get a better grade.

The best thing for you to do is to space out your study sessions and to get a good night’s rest before your test. Many studies have shown that spaced repetition with a good night’s sleep is not only better for your grades, but also your mental and physical health.

Not structuring your time.

I honestly don’t see many people mentioning this, but this is personally one thing that I really struggled with going through school.

Before you start studying, do you know exactly what you’re going to do? Are you one of those lucky people who can just pick up your textbook and know exactly what you need to do?

Well most people aren’t, and most people neglect the need for structure and a fluent system.

Before your study sessions, make sure you write down what your goals are and what you should have learned by the end of the session. Do not forget to schedule at least one or two more sessions to quickly review the information you’ve learned. This will help you to beat the forgetting curve.

Multitasking.

No matter how well you think you can multitask, you can’t. Studies have shown over and over again, that we all really suck at multitasking, even if we believe we are good at it.

So if you’re someone who believes that they need music to concentrate, maybe spend a few sessions seeing if you can stand the silence and compare how much you were able to learn.

Sometimes we multitask to overcome the need for a quick dopamine fix. If this is you, I suggest that you have a dopamine fast. (🔗 – YouTube video explaining how to do a dopamine fast correctly)

(I’d like to point out – there aren’t any peer-reviewed studies on dopamine fasting, but through my personal experience they’ve worked for me!)

Using social media while studying.

Honestly, I’m sometimes still surprised with how often people are on their phones and on social media. I understand that it’s addictive, but it’s also the root cause of a lot of issues that people are having.

Studies have shown that getting on social media after a study session or during a study break is actually bad for your retention. This is because social media typically raises a lot of emotions, even if you don’t realize it.

Keeping your distractions at arm’s length.

How often do you try to convince yourself that you’re able to overcome your distractions purely through hard work and dedication?

I also used to be a strong believer in overcoming distractions, that we as a human species should be strong enough to overcome the ringing of our phones. But sadly, we are all creatures of habit.

When you sit down for a study session, make sure that all of your distractions are kept away from you. Every few weeks, keep a sticky note when you’re studying and write down anything that distracts you. Once you find these distractions, think up some ways you can avoid these.

Procrastination.

Ugh. 

Procrastination is by far one of the worst habits that you can have.

The bad habit of procrastination will rip out opportunities from under you and ruin the quality of your life.

A lot of people believe that procrastination is the direct result of a lack of motivation.

If you’re a person who thinks like this, I really suggest you look more into the science of procrastination. I think you’ll be amazed to find that procrastination is actually the result of a lack of good habits. (Essentially)

Would you like to stop procrastinating? Then you need to build better habits.

Passive versus active learning.

When I used to study, I would just reread my notes to avoid having to do anything difficult. You may be a person who believes that this is a great study skill, in fact, my teachers would encourage it often.

But, it’s actually a really terrible study method. If studying is easy, more than likely you’re doing it wrong.

When you study, you want to make sure that you’re actively learning. You can do this by applying the information in a new way, answering questions, or even spending time teaching it to a fake student.

You’re studying incorrectly if you’re just rereading your notes or highlighting sentences in your book.

Remember, if it’s easy and boring, you’re most likely not learning.

Copying your teacher word for word.

It can be very tempting to quickly jot down everything a speaker says during a boring lecture, all the while, thinking about what you’re wanting for lunch. But this is super ineffective when it comes to learning.

The best thing for you to do is to draw pictures and work on relating the topics to your personal life. (This will help you to remember).

When listening to a teacher talk, try to summarize the information or write down key points. Also, try to use symbols and other images to represent information. Or you could listen to the lecture and write down anything your teacher mentions that isn’t in your textbook.

If your teacher talks too quickly, I suggest that you invest in a voice recorder. During the lecture, just spend time listening and writing any conclusions or thoughts that you’re having during the lecture.

Conclusion.

I really hope that this blog post helped you to learn something or it improves your studying. Make sure to grab your free printable and subscribe to my newsletter so we can work on getting better grades together!

Thanks! 

Kenzie.