You can be smart and be garbage at studying. Nobody really likes studying, but there are still folks out there who manage to have good study habits…and then there are those of us who have awful study habits and don’t seem to do anything about it. Own up, how many times have you crammed for a math test the day of? What about pulling an all nighter right before a morning exam? We’re all guilty of this to some extent, but some of us have a tendnecy to do it a lot more often than others. But you know what’s even more distressing than having flat out bad study habits? Having study habits that you think are good or, at the very least, okay, but realizing that they’re actually super counter productive to actually retaining any information.
Yeah, get ready to have your foundation rocked, because you mgiht have thought that your little study secret is the key to your success, when it could actually be holdng you back. Check out these seven study habits you have that just aren’t helping you. Whether you’re studying for a midterm, final, a run of the mill exam, or simply writing a paper on a deadline, you’ll want to avoid making these sneaky study mistakes.
Studying With FriendsLOL, uh, this always seems like a good idea, right? You and your friends, chillin' with some pizza and helping each other cram for that history test. Well, as you might know, this often doesn't go as planned. Your friends can help keep you "accountable" but that's...like...it. Using each other for practicing definitions or key terms isn't as helpful as you might think, but it definitely fools you into thinking you're studying effectively. You and your friend can quiz each other a little bit, but don't use that as your only way of studying. Go solo too. Some Girls
Trying To Write Every Word Your Teacher SaysYes, even if you're really good at doing this, you shouldn't. Why? Not only could you be missing key context clues or other points by trying to play Human Recorder throughout the entire class period, you could also be relying too much on your note taking marathon and less time actually reviewing the information. Writing down information isn't the same as retaining it. Harry Potter/Warner Bros
Rereading Material Before A TestThis sounds like a good idea, and it's not a terrible one. But too often we rely on doing that instead of making an extra step to retain information. Make flashcards of important points. Create a mock test. Create a few short answer questions about the material you've read. Rereading should be the LAST thing you do, but not before the other aforementioned ideas. 10 Things I Hate About You
Relying On HighlightingWe've all been a victim to over-highlighting, and hey, it happens. But it's not just an aesthetics thing. When you rely on highlighting to retain information with very little follow up, you're doing yourself a disservice. Instead of just rereading your highlighted info, use that info to make flashcards or a mock test. Also, consider color coding your highlighting game. Highlight a new term in a different color, for example. That way, key terms are harder to lose in a sea of neon yellow. Target.com
Relying On Repetition And Memorizing DefinitionsSo, this came as a surprise to me, but repeating a definition from a flashcard like a robot isn't very helpful in the long run. If you need to know key terms, don't just be able to repeat some canned, short definition. You need to be able to actually explain it! Repeating the definition of a word is one thing, being able to use it in a short answer question on an exam is another. You want to be able to do the latter. Daria
Only Studying In One PlaceIf you study too often in one place, you could be totally thrown off when you need to study in a new environment out of the blue. Plus, you'll end up having a lifestyle in which you only study in one environment but can't bring yourself to do it in another. Switch it up! It's good for your brain! Try giving yourself a mini exam in the library instead of your dorm room, or in the kitchen instead of your living room. Moonrise Kingdom
Only Using One Study Method Instead Of Mixing It UpThe brain likes consistency, but only to a certain extent. Your brain is much better able to retain information if you're not just using flashcards or rereading your notes before an exam. Plus, think about it: Is your method providing solid grades every time? If the answer is no, it's time to try something new. Pretty In Pink
Which of these habits are you guilty of? Tell us in the comments!