5 bad study habits you've probably been following

It’s often hard to determine what study habits are good and what study habits are bad, but you don’t have to figure it out alone! We’ve got you covered with a list of BAD study habits you’ve probably been following and what you should do instead.



1.     Studying as much as you can

When it comes to studying (and most things in life…) quality is better than quantity! Spending the whole day switching between Netflix, Instagram and your homework won’t allow you to effectively understand and retain content. Instead, work in 2-3 hour blocks that are strictly dedicated to study. Dedicate good time, not all of your time to your work.


2.     Highlighters = magic

For most of us, highlighting our notes so they look like a Mardi Gras parade makes us feel like we’re actually doing something. However, highlighters aren’t magic. When highlighting your notes or textbook, your brain is running on auto-pilot, going through the motions of highlighting without actually thinking or engaging with the content. This means you’re no more likely to remember your multi-coloured notes, than plain ones. Instead, you should focus on using language and organising your work in a way that is easy to understand and retain FOR YOU.


3.     Not studying at a desk

I’m sure we’ve all thought about studying away from a desk, perhaps in the lounge, or even better… in bed. However, studying in a place that is associated with comfort limits focus and decreases productivity. Think about all the reasons why you love your bed, the warm covers, the soft pillows… all of these will tempt you to stop working and to start sleeping! Studying away from a desk also decreases productivity, as you lack the space to spread out your notes or books and you have no flat and hard surface to write on. Studying in bed can also hurt your sleep. By training your body to associate your bed with a place to work, your brain will remain active when it’s time to sleep, making it harder to get the rest you need.


4.     Having a study buddy

 If your friends are doing the same subjects as you, I’m sure you’ve thought about studying together. You may trick yourself into thinking that you’ll be super productive and bounce information and ideas off of each other, but in truth studying with a friend is just one big distraction. Studying in a group can also lead to a false sense of security, as you work through tough practice questions together and nod along when one member of the group explains it. This will make you feel like you “know it”, when in reality, it’s just your study buddy that gets it.


5.     Rereading your notes

Contrary to popular belief, constantly rereading your notes won’t magically give you a band 6 answer. Instead, APPLY the knowledge you’ve learnt by doing practice papers, first with the aid of your notes, and then without. Doing practice questions is far more effective than rereading the same line over and over again. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

Rachel SiuComment