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11 Bad Study Methods to Avoid at College

UserMark time12 February,2016

Your final grades decide your future. No matter how much effort you put in, if you are unable to secure high grades, your endeavor does not count, at least to your professors and prospective employers. It is a harsh reality that students are evaluated on their grades rather than their talent, creativity and passion. This is the reason when you cannot score according to your expectations, you get frustrated and demoralized.

how to break bad study habits

Are you also frustrated with your results? It is quite common in academic life to get average results and find the techniques to ace an Exam even after working so hard. But you need to identify the problem fast. Well, you might be studying in the wrong manner! Yes, to score high in your exams, you need to devise a proper studying strategy and follow it precisely.

Students at their tertiary level make some mistakes and follow various wrong methods while studying. These bad study methods need to be changed immediately. So what are they? Read on.

Here are simple tips to improve your performance on Exam Day.

1. Late night cramming

These days almost all the students remain awake till late night for preparing their assignments and revising their earlier tasks. The propensity to stay awake till late night increases when the exam nears. Yes, when your exam is just a few weeks away, you need to put in extra efforts but that does not mean you need to stay awake the whole night. Cramming throughout the whole night does not give you the desired results. At night, the human body gets exhausted due to different activities throughout the day. When you study at night, you may not comprehend all the concepts of the subject. You may think that you are fully prepared after all-night studying, but in reality, you are not. Try to go to bed within midnight.

What should you do?

Wake up early in the morning when your body remains enthusiastic with a fresh mind. It is an excellent time to study!

2. Studying with distractions

The number of distractions these days has increased manifolds. Continuously logging in at intervals in the social networking websites during studies or chatting with friends through the instant messaging services has become a habit. If you too have the same habit, it is time to change it. Nobody in the whole world is good at multi-tasking. When you try to do work along with your smart phone at your vicinity, you will not be able to concentrate on your studies. As a tertiary level student, you need to study continuously without interruptions, at least for two-three hours. It is not possible when you have your smartphone or video game in front of you. Also avoid listening to music or watching Television during the time you study.

What should you do?

Always choose a calm and quiet place to prepare for your examinations. In the college, it can be the library. When you are staying at home, choose a place where your noisy neighbors cannot disturb you.

3. Avoiding proper study tools

Aimless preparation for examinations can turn out to be very costly for you. When you are not using the right tools for your studies, no matter how hard you try, getting the desired results can be very difficult for you. Do not overestimate your textbook, rather look for various resources to gather information and study them. There are various helpful online tools which you can incorporate in your studies for better preparations. Other than online study tools, you can also go through sample question papers and their sample answers verified by your professor. Accordingly, formulate your strategy.

What should you do?

On the internet, there is a wide array of resources available. So, it is not wise to limit yourself in free encyclopedias. Go beyond it!

4. Not making an outline

If you don’t have the habit of making outlines while studying or writing a paper then you are making a grievous mistake. There are many reasons why should you plan and make an outline for every academic task that you do. It helps to organize all your ideas, enables you to manage large volumes of information and present all your arguments in a logical way. Sometimes, the students re-read the textbook for revision. But next time, try to make a full outline of the chapter that you have studied and identify all the areas where you need to emphasize on.

What should you do?

It may sound a school-ish thought to you, but always study out loud. When you study silently, you can get carried away by stray thoughts. But when you study out loud, all your senses work. Hence, it makes your concepts more firm and accelerate your study process.

5. Useless highlighting

Almost every student uses the strategy of highlighting the key paragraphs of every chapter that they study. However, it has been proved that the usage of a neon highlighter before the examinations is one of the least effective ways to remember the content and concepts. Although highlighters make a visual impact but they do not make the content prominent in the human mind. You may think that re-reading the highlighted parts will augment your preparations but in reality they don’t do so. In order to develop comprehensive and strong knowledge over the subject, it is important to read the whole chapter and follow the notes of your professor.

What should you do?

Other than highlighting the textbook, you can quiz yourself to test your command and mastery over the subject. This will help you to retain all the information better and score high in the upcoming exam.

6. Ignoring the classes

In the college, most of the students have the tendency to bunk the classes. But it is very important to attend the classes regularly especially in those subjects in which you are weak. In the classes, theoretical and practical, the professor teaches those chapters and concepts which have a high probability of being asked in the upcoming exams. They also give some more information and notes which are equally important for your exam. When you bunk classes, you miss all these essentials which hold huge importance when you are trying to score good grades in the exam.

What should you do?

Do not attend the classes bluntly. Participate in the class and ask different questions to the professor. Active participation stimulates the brain and you can grasp the subject better.

7. Procrastination

Every person procrastinates with their work and students are not an exception. There will be a time when you cannot encourage and motivate yourself any more to study longer. It is important that you should take a break at that time. This is because when you procrastinate studying, you are not able to retain all the information that you read. Besides, you do everything half-heartedly. Studying continuously for a longer period of time also makes the task monotonous and unyielding. To maintain your productivity, you need to take regular breaks. But that does not imply that you can start playing computer games during this break. These breaks are solely for relaxation between two study sessions and to give sufficient time to the brain to absorb information.

What should you do?

Experts tell that you need a break every 45 minutes of the study. Take a break of 5 to 10 minutes, before starting to study again. In this break, close your eyes and try to recollect what you have studied mentally.

8. Taking irrelevant lecture notes

Lecture notes are commonly known as linear notes which the students try to take down in the ongoing classes. There are students who even try to write every word that the professor utters in the class. It might seem to be a good idea to record everything taught in the class but in reality these notes turn out to be the most confusing, flustering the students. When you try to write everything, it is very certain that you are going to miss key points told by your professor. Also, rather than blindly copying the notes, it is more important to learn from the classes by carefully listening to what the professors are trying to teach.

What should you do?

You should only write down the ideas and keywords taught in the class and connect them with arrows rather than writing a whole paragraph on it. Remember when you draw graphs or flowcharts, you have a better chance to retain it in your memory for an extended period of time.

9. Not testing oneself

Every student takes whole-hearted preparations for their exam but they forget to test themselves. Yes, you may think that you have prepared well for the evaluation but you may still have certain areas of weakness which you are not aware of. These areas can only be identified through internal assessment. After you have revised the whole syllabus, you need to practice and solve sample question papers. If you don’t have it, there are plenty of online sources where you can get these papers. You can also request your private tutor to take a test through which you can judge your preparation. Sometimes, the students over-estimate themselves. These internal assessments can reflect the true picture.

What should you do?

Go for these testing at least a week before your final exam. According to the results of these internal assessments, you can emphasize on the areas where you did not perform well.

10. Studying with friends

Studying in groups is a common habit of the college students. When students study in groups, they become motivated to study harder where they also get the chance to share each other thoughts. But most of the times, this group studying turns out to be wasting hours where they only play games, chat and enjoy among themselves other than doing some serious work. If you too have the habit of studying with your friends, it is time to analyze whether it is really fruitful or you are just misusing the crucial time. It should not be used just to meet friends, messing around and catching up when the exam is round the corner. It is always better to study alone before the examination.

What should you do?

If you need help from your friend, contact them personally and seek their assistance. If you are desperate to study in groups, join the various educational clubs at your college.

11. Imitating others

Every student has their own way and approach to study. Imitating other students or the suggestions from the teachers cannot help them in all instances. It is not right to follow the best student of the class. The approach which worked for the ‘first boy’ may not be effective with you. So, don’t blindly imitate anybody. You are a separate person with unique habits predilections. Nobody in this whole world knows you better than yourself. Follow the routine which suits you the best and give your best efforts to pursue it. But, yes, you may have certain bad habits which you should change. Try to overcome those as soon as possible.

What should you do?

Maintain a healthy routine even when the exam nears. Eat fresh, sleep well and stop all your anxieties. This time you will surely do well!

These are 11 most common bad habits associated with studying. All these wrong methods to study can be responsible behind your bad results. In the upcoming exam, try to avoid all these methods for a stronger and effective preparation. Follow the suggestions given with the associate problem and turn around your grades!

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