Are you getting bad grades but having trouble figuring out why? If the reason is because you’re not studying, DO THAT! But if you are studying hard but not getting result, it could be that you have one of the bad study habits listed below:
“Got a test next month? It’s alright! I’ll just study next week, plenty of time!” Suddenly, the test is next week, then the next day and you haven’t started! Sound familiar? One of the worst and biggest bad study habits is procrastinating, postponing studying for another day until it’s too late.
Procrastinating will eventually lead to cramming, where you spend one long long night trying to cram an entire textbook in your head. Cramming is one of the worst ways to study. Though it might get you through the test next morning, you won’t be able to actually learn and retain much knowledge.
6 ) Studying All Night Long
Cramming means not getting any sleep, which is detrimental to both your physical and mental health. Lack of sleep will cause you to lack the attention and energy to learn more the next day.
You might even use several cans of energy drinks or cups of coffee to fuel your all nighter. This is not a good thing. Caffeine is addictive and bad for your physical health. It can cause insomnia, anxiety, headaches and even make you develop heart problems.
In fact, sleep is good for studying. Having a good nights sleep after a round of studying will boost your memory. This is because sleep helps the consolidation of new memories.
5) Studying Way Too Hard
While some people study all night long because they procrastinated, others do it because they study way too hard. Research shows that taking breaks while you study is actually much more effective. Study smart, not more.
The time off will give you the chance to de-stress and refresh. Socialize, engage in some recreational activities or get some fresh air. Use breaks as a reward system to motivate yourself further. Mental health is vital part of student life that is often overlooked in our education system. Don’t let the stress and pressure get to you, life is more than academics!
4) Studying With Distractions
I know it’s hard but try to keep your phone out of sight while you study. These magical devices are amazing tools to kill time and boredom but it can be hard to resist the temptation of messaging, videos, and social media with them around. It’s obvious why, distractions will cause you to have your attentions diverted. The more stimulation, the worse it gets.
Even music can be distracting especially the loud and fast kind. In general, music with lyrics will take up your precious processing memory. Get a more in depth look at how music works with studying in our Does Music Really Help Studying? Article.
3) Studying At The Wrong Place
Maybe the reason you have so many distractions when you study is you don’t have a dedicated study space. Though studying in your bedroom or living room might be super comfy, you still risk being tempted with all sorts of things. Studying on the bed can be especially bad as your brain associates it with sleep. Hence, you may get sleepy while studying.
Try to have a space in your home dedicated to just studying. Once you go there, you’ll be in the zone to just learn. If there isn’t enough room in your home, go to the library instead or a nice cafe.
2) Studying With The Wrong Friends
You decide to invite a few close classmates to study for the test next week. Next thing you know, you’re gossiping about the cuties in class, playing a round of twister and crying together after you shared your most intimate secrets. Sound awesome? Maybe but the problem is there was no studying!
Some of your friends may be the best people to hang out with and spend a good time but that doesn’t mean they are the best people to study with. Try to study with a group or person that is focused on the task at hand and motivates you to learn better together. Having good study mates can be very effective in learning especially if you test each other with questions.
1) Not Having A Study Plan
At the end of the day, a lot of bad study habits can be traced to not having an effective study plan. Set out a study schedule with clearly defined dates and goals.
More than that, it boils down to the use of metacognition, thinking about thinking. In this case thinking about how you study. To study effectively, you need to critically examine your study habits. Observe what’s working and what’s not. Again study smart, not more.