All students study effectively but why does it happen some students get better grades while some fail the test?
Do toppers have a sharp brain?
It is all about how a student studies. If you’re getting bad grades and not doing better in your studies then somewhere you’re following the bad study habits and the wrong ways to study.
Knowingly and unknowingly you follow many bad study habits that never accelerate your learning. In today’s article, I’m going to walk you through 11 bad study habits that you should stop following from now on.
And trust me once you get rid of these bad study habits your results will be remarkable and along with that, you’ll have a better focus on your study.
Read also: I study hard but get bad grades, why?
Without further ado, let’s dive into these bad study habits…
#1. Bad study habit: Studying without making a plan
I have seen many students who just start studying without making any plan about what to study, how much to study, and how long to study. They sit to study and waste 10-20 minutes just thinking about what should I study now.
If only one task is given to you then you might have not any confusion about what to study but when you have too many tasks and have to study a lot then, in this case, studying without making a plan can make you less productive and waste your valuable time. Besides this, you can also forget to do some of your tasks.
So, how to make a plan for your study?
Well, if you can make a routine and stick with it, I’d highly recommend following a daily routine where you schedule your study hours with other work. You have a clear idea about what you have to study today.
However, if you’re not into a routine then I’ve got an alternate for you that you can follow easily:
Instead of making a routine, plan your single day. Before going to bed or right after getting up write a note about what times you’ve for studying tomorrow or today and what tasks you have to accomplish. And finally, stick with this note. This will give you a clear idea without making a plan instant.
Sounds interesting, right?
#2. Bad study habit: Studying while doing other activities
This is again a bad habit to study that I never recommend any student to follow.
Watching television, chatting with your friends, or munching on snacks while studying at the same time may look normal to you but this is what we call multitasking and multitasking always makes a person less productive.
Managing and paying attention to two things or more than two things at a time doesn’t let you focus on one thing properly.
Do you multitask?
If Yes, then you need to break this bad study habit from now on. Focus on one thing at a time. Either study first or use your phone.
If you feel you’ll get bored while performing studying only then you can listen to classical music while studying that will also enhance your concentration and make your mood to study.
#3. Bad study habit: Making notes first without learning the material
Back, when I was in 9th I would always make notes without understanding and learning the material. I thought after making notes I can learn better with my notes. And, this is the wrong way of studying I had been following.
Thanks to my professor who made me understand how beneficial it could be when you make notes after learning and understanding the material in class. That not just promotes our understanding of the material but also improves our memory. With that, we also come up with some doubts while making notes later.
On the other hand when we make notes first then our immense focus is on just writing things down and we lose the ability to think about what we’re writing.
So, if you’re doing this study mistake then from now on first understand deeply the material in class and by reading books and then make notes at home.
#4. Bad study habit: Studying in bed
Instead of using a study table and chair many students like to study in bed while lying. Studying in bed may look normal to you but there are many drawbacks to it.
First, when you study in bed it gives you a very wrong posture for sitting and studying which leads to your neck pain and back pain. In short, studying in bed can be unhealthy.
Even, It is also found that doing homework or studying in bed can reduce one’s focus because most people tend to associate their beds with comfort and sleep. Whereas, using a study table and chair helps you to maintain a better focus while studying.
Yeah! It’s certainly true lying down or sitting upright doesn’t impact your brain function—your posture doesn’t matter. But you too have realized when you study in bed you feel sleepy and lazy very often and want to leave your study ASAP.
Want to know: How to avoid sleep while studying?
#5. Bad study habit: Reading textbooks flawlessly and getting nothing
We all read textbooks but how much information do you grab successfully by just reading? I’ve seen many students who finish one chapter by reading but don’t get anything.
No! They don’t read for the sake of reading. But, because of studying and reading in the wrong way it happens. They start reading the topic or chapter flawlessly in order to finish it.
However, to understand a subject or any chapter students must use a reading comprehension technique.
Reading comprehension techniques are great that allow you to read a chapter in the right way and grab most of the information by just reading.
SQ3R, PQ4R, PQRST, and THIEVES all are reading comprehension techniques that work in the same way. However, here I will explain only the SQ3R study technique.
What is SQ3R?
SQ3R is 5 steps technique that involves Survey, Question, Read, Recite, and Review. Let’s discuss all steps…
- Survey: Instead of just starting reading, first focus on the Title of the chapter, Introduction, summary sections, Headings and Subheadings, Graphics (like charts, maps, diagrams, and others), Bold, Italic, and highlighted sentences.
- Question: After taking the survey now circulate questions around the chapter. Turn the headings for each section into as many questions as you think will be answered in that section.
- Read: After circulating the questions start reading the chapter section by section with your questions in mind look for answers to questions that you created in the second step.
- Recite: After reading one section stop and try to recall the answer that you find while reading that section. If you can’t recall then again go back to that section and find your answer again.
- Review: Once you’ve finished the chapter, now review the chapter to understand it more deeply. Quiz yourself on the questions you created and re-read any portions if you need to.
Isn’t this reading strategy great?
Related: 15 Best Study Techniques
Before we move on to the sixth wrong way of studying can you tell me in the comment whether are you finding this article useful or not?
#6. Bad study habit: Studying for long hours without taking breaks
Are you among those students who can study 10+ hours consistently without taking any breaks? Well, If Yes, I’d not appreciate you for that.
In fact, I would consider it the wrong way to study. Whether you have exams or you’ve completely attached yourself to studying, studying without taking any breaks will never be helpful to you.
It makes you feel burned out and affects your health later. Studying at a high pitch continuously drains your body’s capacity to recover & hampers retaining capacity. On the other hand, taking breaks during studies refresh your mind and prepares you for further studies.
So, I would suggest you follow Pomodoro Technique which works great with breaks in order to study for long hours.
Allow me to tell you what is Pomodoro Technique…
Pomodoro is a time management technique developed by Francesco Cirillo that allows you to study or work in small chunks while taking short breaks to stay refreshed. It uses a timer to break your work or study into intervals traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks (5 minutes).
Each 25 minutes study session is called a Pomodoro (an Italian word for Tomato). When you complete four Pomodoros while taking breaks then this technique allows you to take a longer break (20 minutes).
However, you’re not bound to stick with 25 minutes study duration you can adjust this study hour according to your comforts like 1 hr with 10 minutes breaks or anything. Make sure don’t study longer than 2 hours at a stretch, take a break for 20 minutes, and then continue your study.
This technique won’t let you burn out if you want to study for long hours.
#7. Bad study habit: Just taking the information but not retaining much
This happens to many students. They study and learn new information daily but they can’t give enough time to retain it. And, that’s a big study mistake they often make intentionally.
If you’re can’t retain then there will be no meaning for you to gain the information. Because in exams and interviews you will be asked about those concepts that you’ve studied.
Let me tell you something, It’s easier to learn and understand something that everyone can do but retaining what you’ve learned is the most difficult part that few students do. Most students often revisit and revise the material when their exams are coming up and that leads to cramming.
Here are some tips that will help to retain the information wisely:
- Study the material in Spaced Practice
- Use Flashcard system
- Dedicate your weekends to revision
- Don’t just study the theory, do some practical work also
#8. Bad study habit: Cramming
Cramming -is again a bad study habit that has been seen in many students during exam times. Cramming is essentially trying to stuff a load of information into your short-term memory.
However, lots of research has shown that cramming and pulling an all-nighter never work much. In fact, it increases stress levels and can lead to panic and anxiety, making it a lot harder to take in information. You’ll find hundreds of articles that would only suggest you not cram.
So, instead of cramming before exams just for getting good grades, focus on learning the material, and study the whole session. And. believe it or not but students who study the whole session never try to cram.
Read also: How to study for exams effectively?
#9. Bad study habit: Skipping the boring or tough subjects
Every student has some boring and interesting subjects, the difficult and easy subjects. Isn’t it? You must have too. Additionally, students often skip their boring and tough subjects.
However, whether you like it or not you have to study those subjects from an exam point of view. So, rather than skipping why don’t you try to make those subjects easy and interesting?
For example, if you find mathematics boring and difficult then you should try to get better at it. But, trying to skip maths will never improve your maths and make you better at it.
So, give yourself enough time in learning your boring and tough subject. If you don’t like your professor’s teaching style then find another teacher for that subject or you can watch different video lectures on YouTube on that subject. These things will eventually make you better at your weak subject and make it interesting too.
#10. Bad study habit: Not expanding your knowledge
If you study only what your teacher or professor teaches you then somewhere you’re making a big study mistake.
Because, in this case, you don’t expand your knowledge, you don’t have any curiosity to learn and explore. Whatever your professor teaches you, without any reference you believe that they are teaching everything correctly and this is the only way to solve a question.
Perhaps, they never give you incorrect information but, you should also expand your knowledge, and find the reference in textbooks or blogs whether they are teaching is valid and updated or not. An Ideal student always comes up with new ideas, new questions, and unique ways to solve a question.
#11. Bad study habit: Dependent on class for completing a subject or topic
I’ve seen many students who completely depend on their institute or teacher to finish a subject or topic.
I remember when I was in 11th, most of my classmates were afraid that what if our teacher don’t complete the entire syllabus and I would tell them whatever the subjects they have completed, do you remember and retain everything?
I agree that it’s a responsibility of a teacher to finish the entire syllabus but you shouldn’t be always dependent on him/her to finish any particular topic or subject. There are many free online resources available through which you can learn that topic.
Learning and understanding a material by yourself sharpens your brain and makes you an independent learner. Also, make sure you review it later whether you understand the material correctly or not.
Now It’s Your Turn:
As I said already in the beginning, knowingly and unknowingly you follow many poor study habits that don’t improve your learning and help you to get better grades.
Therefore, in this article, I have listed 11 bad study habits that you must stop following from now on. And, I hope you have enjoyed this article.
Now, I want to hear from you:
Which bad study habits you have been following from our list?
Let me know in the comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts.