Do you feel as though you’re studying your life away, but your grades don’t reflect your effort? You’re not alone. Studying, as simple and straightforward as it may seem, actually requires technique and discipline to achieve the best results. If your study sessions consist of any of these eight things, you should consider trying out some new study habits. Don’t worry, you don’t even have to do any studying to figure out those new habits; all the best study tips you need are right here.
1. You only go over material in your head.
It’s easy to fool yourself into thinking you know the material when you only go over it in your head. If you forgot an entire section of the chapter, you’d never know!
The Solution: To save yourself from experiencing this panic during the exam, you can try quizzing yourself on paper or finding a study buddy so you can quiz each other (as long as you stay on-topic).
2. You pull all-nighters.
This one’s definitely not news to you. You’ve heard over and over again that pulling an all-nighter right before a test won’t help you as much as studying periodically over a few days, but have you listened? No? You should.
The Solution: Your brain needs time to process information (aka sleeping on it), so you should really start studying a few days in advance. You’ll get more sleep and a higher score, then you’ll have the energy to celebrate afterwards!
3. You get distracted during your study sessions.
Yes, you “studied” for four hours, but how much of that time was spent on Instagram or Facebook? Getting more quality study time would be a win-win for you because two hours of distraction-free studying is more beneficial than four hours of distraction-full studying.
The Solution: Put down the phone for two hours, and you’ll only have to study for half the time that you usually do.
4. You don’t give yourself enough breaks.
On the other hand, you may be the type of person who does not give themselves enough breaks during study sessions because you want to cover as much material as possible, which actually doesn’t work that well.
The Solution: Productivity experts claim that for every 25 minutes of studying you do, you need to take a 5 minute break to let your brain absorb that information.
5. You don’t use all of your available resources.
Yes, that means actually going to the library for something other than Starbucks. I know it sounds crazy, but there is actually a lot of good information in those dusty old books, and you won’t have to worry about it being inaccurate.
The Solution: Even if you don’t go sit in the library itself, at least use some of the reliable databases that your school provides, alright?
6. You don’t take efficient notes.
If you are trying to study your notes from lectures and can barely read them from attempting to write down the professor’s every word as quickly as possible, you’re doing it wrong. You probably missed taking note of some important points, but who would ever know anyway since your writing is completely illegible?
The Solution: Instead, jot down key words, ideas, and phrases, then you can look up the details later in your textbook if you need to.
7. You study in your bedroom.
Just like you shouldn’t mix business and pleasure, you shouldn’t mix studying and your room. I know it’s tempting to just lie in bed and study, but you are much more likely to get distracted by Netflix or Tumblr - or you may fall asleep!
The Solution: Your study sessions will be more thorough (not to mention quicker) if you pack your things and head to your dorm’s study room or the library. (Moving to your own desk probably won’t do the trick.)
8. You study with your friends.
Study groups can work if the people in your group are merely acquaintances, but if they’re your friends, you’ll probably spend more time hanging out than studying.
The Solution: You’re usually better off studying alone or with classmates whom you don’t really care to know beyond quizzing each other over vocabulary words. Then, you will be free to gossip with all of your friends later.