In this blog post, we examine some of the popular myths that people believe about studying:
“If I spend more time studying, I will get better grades”
You can study for 10 hours a day, every day, and still fail your course or exam. It is not about how many hours you spend studying, but how you use that time. Study smart, and you’ll need to spend less time studying! Here you will find some tips to help you study better.
“I don’t want to be an A-Grade student because they don’t ever have any fun or free time”
The more balanced you are, the better you will perform academically. This means that to do well in your studies, you actually need to take some time off from studying and go do something fun.
Taking breaks, having fun, and relaxing keeps you from getting bored and unfocused.
“I study better under pressure and at the last minute”
This argument is usually made by people who just haven’t learned to be disciplined, to pace their studies, and to start early. Learn to get yourself to sit down and start your work, and you will realise how much better you can perform. Read more about how to stop procrastinating here.
“I don’t have to make any notes, all the work is already summed up in my textbook”
Even if you have all the content for your course summarised in a textbook already, taking notes actually helps you to memorise the course information. This is why summarising work in your own words, or making mind-maps, are such effective studying methods.
Think of making notes as a revision process.
“I take better notes on a computer than I do by writing them down”
A study done at Princeton University actually found that “longhand note takers engage in more processing than laptop note takers, thus selecting more important information to include in their notes, which enables them to study this content more efficiently” (Source).
“Studying is too expensive for me”
There is a widespread belief that studying is very expensive — too expensive, even — for most people. But while this might be true for universities, there are many other options out there.
Studying at a distance learning college like Oxbridge Academy is highly affordable, while still providing quality study material and a variety of accredited qualifications. You can see Oxbridge Academy’s study fees here.
“I should have a dedicated study area. This will help me study better.”
Though it is nice to have a desk at home for studying, it is actually beneficial for you to not study in the same place all the time.
A number of studies have found that varying location helps with memory retention. The author of one of these studies wrote: “What we think is happening here is that, when the outside context is varied, the information is enriched, and this slows down forgetting.”
“It’s better to finish one thing at a time — before moving on to the next”
Studies have shown that varying the type of material you study in a single sitting leaves a deeper impression on the brain than just concentrating on one subject the whole time. It is the same as when you go to the gym: you don’t just do two hours of sit-ups, but rather alternate between different muscles and types of exercises.
“If I start revising for exams too early, I’ll just forget the work before I actually need to start studying”
You don’t really forget the work you learn, even if it feels that way. Dr. Kornell, who researched studying methods, states: “The idea is that forgetting is the friend of learning … When you forget something, it allows you to relearn, and do so effectively, the next time you see it.” When the brain revisits old material you thought you forgot, the information is re-learned and thus reinforced. This is why you should start revising early for exams!
“The best time in your life to study is when you are young”
Studying gets more and more beneficial as you get older! Studies have shown that learning new things keeps your mind from aging. This means that it might even be more important for adults to study than for young people. Read more about how studying keeps you young.
Is there anything you expected in relation to studying that turned out not to be true once you started? Leave your ‘study myth’ in the comment section below: