Every student has his or her own preferences when it comes to studying. There is always that inner struggle of finding what works best and what does not, and eventually it becomes a situation of trial and error. While many methods are subjectively effective depending on the student, many studies show that there are several ideas and methods related to having a productive study session that are simply not true. In this list, we will help you debunk those study myths and get rid of those bad habits!
- “I’ll get higher grades if I study longer.”
No, that is not a guarantee. From an online forum from the Temporal Dynamics of Learning Center’s website, scientist Sean Kang from the University of California San Diego says that the learning strategy is more important than the time. You may have spent a long time studying but you haven’t moved from a particular subject because your retention method is not working. He said that it is essential to cover the study material at least twice and take pacing of every subject into account.
- “I can learn everything in one night before the test.”
Many students think that as long as they have an endless supply of coffee and snacks, they’ll survive through the night of cramming a load of information into their heads. Definitely not the case. You’ll just end up with a headache in the morning and a look like you’ve just gone to war. You may have remembered things from studying that night but surely, they’ll be forgotten in a few days after.
- “I’ll dedicate this particular area as my study place.”
Studying in one area every time may seem like a common good idea showing that you have the discipline to study at the very same place. Well we’re also going to debunk that. A 1978 experiment by psychologists found that college students who studied 40 vocabulary words in different places scored higher on their test compared to those who always studied at the same room. So forget about building a study fort in one place and explore different study hubs!
- “I should study subject matters one at a time only.”
While many are not used to multitasking things, or in this case, learning multiple skills at the same time, it has been found that the brain tends to remember more deeply when a person concentrates on more than just one subject. A study done by Doug Rohrer and Kelli Taylor from the University of South Florida on fourth graders is a good example. The students were given four different equations to solve a prism and then half of the students solved problems for using one equation then moved on to the next while the other half solved mixed problems. A test was given to the students showing the difference of score percentage of students who did mixed problems and those who did not, 77% and 38% respectively. This is also said to develop the skill of strategizing when facing various problems that have to be solved immediately.
- “Why should I take notes if everything is found in the textbook?”
We get that there are days where your class lectures are hella boring and you would rather just listen to a song in repeat all day. But during those days when your eyes just can’t help but close or your hands just can’t help but doodle is when you should be taking notes in class. In a short article by the Austin Community College in Texas, one of the benefits of taking notes is to keep you alert and organize the information being spoken out for you. Summarizing and writing the lecturer’s words into your own will help you retain information better and your review sessions easier.
Keep in mind that these study myths debunked for you will not immediately guarantee you with an A as your grade. Of course, hardwork, grit, mental strength and some motivation are still some of the keys to be a successful and effective student. Happy studying!
“Benefits of Notetaking?” Sites.austincc.edu, Austin Community College, sites.austincc.edu/student-skills-workshops/taking-effective-notes/benefits-of-notetaking/. Accessed 13 Sept. 2017.
Basell, Ben . “5 MYTHS ABOUT STUDYING: HOW TO STUDY BETTER.” Www.allsaints.wa.edu.au, All Saints’ College, www.allsaints.wa.edu.au/5-myths-about-studying-how-to-study-better/. Accessed 13 Sept. 2017.
Carey, Benedict. “Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits.” Nytimes.com, 6 Sept. 2010, www.nytimes.com/2010/09/07/health/views/07mind.html?mcubz=1. Accessed 13 Sept. 2017.
Kang, Sean. “Which is the best way to study? How often? Does cramming work? .” Tdlc.ucsd.edu, Temporal Dynamics of Learning Center, tdlc.ucsd.edu/educators/educators_ask_the_scientist_kang.html. Accessed 13 Sept. 2017.
Odendaal, Adriaan.“10 MYTHS EVERYONE BELIEVES ABOUT STUDYING.” Oxbridgeacademy.edu.za, Oxbridge Academy , 31 July 2015, www.oxbridgeacademy.edu.za/blog/10-myths-everyone-believes-about-studying/. Accessed 13 Sept. 2017.