During study sessions, students develop study habits to be more efficient. It allows them to cover more content and complete their revision faster. In fact, studies show that having good study habits improves academic performance too.
On the other hand, we might also adopt poor study habits that cause our study sessions to be less efficient. This might worsen our academic performance in turn.
What are some bad study habits to avoid?
Not Actively Studying
When you’re not actively studying, it makes it harder for you to retain what you’ve learnt. This is because you’re not actively involved in what you’re studying.
Here are some ways you can actively study:
1. Create notes and flashcards
2. Organised information into graphs or charts
3. Write outlines
4. Read aloud
5. Ask questions as you read
6. Summarise what you’ve learnt
7. Complete practise questions
“Procrastination is the enemy of success”. This stands true during our exam revision sessions when we procrastinate studying till the last minute. This is because you won’t have enough time to complete your revision, so you are unprepared for the exam.
Keeping Distractions Around You
Distractions like your phone or your bed can be a major hindrance to your study sessions. After all, they prevent you from concentrating on the material you’re studying. Making it harder for you to absorb whatever you might have learnt.
Instead, keep distractions away from you by:
1. Having a proper workspace
2. Use focus apps on your digital devices like Forest or Flipd
3. Put your phone on ‘do not disturb’ or put it on silent mode
4. Take breaks after every hour
Using a Disorganised Approach
Study sessions require organisation, especially when you’re writing notes or arranging resources. If you are disorganised, you spend more time finding relevant notes or resources. Your learning is also more cluttered, making it difficult to absorb information.
Here are some ways you might be using a disorganised approach to studying:
1. Writing your notes everywhere instead of compiling everything into a notebook or file
2. Having books and files all over the place
3. Having a disorganised workspace
You can take a more organised approach to studying by keeping your work environment organised and creating a study plan. You can also arrange your notes and keep them in the same location for easy reference.
Studying Without a Plan
Jumping straight into studying without a plan can lead to an unstructured schedule that lacks direction. This means you could face difficulties covering all the material before an exam or test.
Omitting Old Material
This is especially so if you’re studying for O levels since some secondary 1 to 3 topics might be tested. So make sure you practise exercises or your past year’s exams. Do note that some topics in sec 4 might have been taught in sec 1 to 3 so look out for those too.
We might have developed some of these poor study habits over the years. But that doesn’t mean it’s too late to change. This also helps us in the future when we step out into the workforce because we can also apply good study habits to our work.