Studying is one of the most important tasks for students.
Not all students are perfect. Some will study for hours, while others won’t do any work at all. Some will have the best of intentions, while others are just looking for their next party.
It isn’t very often that you can study for a test and get an A+. It takes a lot of time, dedication, and focus.
Despite being different in so many ways, there are some things that every student has in common. Most mistakes revolve around not following through with commitments or not planning ahead of time. But it’s not always easy to learn from your mistakes!
It can be difficult to identify what you need to work on and how much time you spend studying. You might even find yourself hitting the books without any motivation. Sound familiar?
Here are some common mistakes that students make while studying and a few ways to avoid them.
Lack of planning
The majority of students don’t plan ahead and work on a subject as it comes up. But this can be a mistake, especially if the time that you spent preparing is completely wasted because you didn’t use it!
Taking a few hours to prepare each day will prove to be really useful. Failing to identify your weak spots.
Everybody can benefit from working on one thing that they lack. You can benefit more from picking something that you are interested in and excelling in that subject.
For example, when I was taking Mechanical Engineering I found that I struggled with discussing the financial aspect of the engineering and I put too much focus on other aspects such as the structure.
Commitments are important
Make sure you don’t make the mistake of concentrating only on work assignments.
In today’s technologically driven world, there’s a lot of information available on the Internet. If you just have a part-time job, you will probably feel that you should devote your whole time to study and homework.
You can forget about important things like social life, going out with friends or doing something fun with your friends. But it is important to maintain commitments and not to let important things take a back seat.
Research has found that we’re better at remembering information when we’re listening to it, and that we have the most memory problems when multitasking.
Learning how to say no
It’s easy to say yes to all the people in your life who ask you for help. But there are some things that you can put off for now until you have time to dedicate to studying.
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Procrastination is a habit
It might seem like the most difficult thing to avoid, but procrastination is also one of the biggest mistakes students make when studying.
Procrastinating does not give you time to work out the entire question and you can easily end up making lots of mistakes because you did not study enough.
Find your study time and stick to it. If you know your time is scarce, it is important that you stick to your study time. It might be helpful to set alarms on your phone so you do not forget.
I would never recommend using your computer or tablet for studying.
In addition to distraction, this could interfere with the flow of your learning. Focus on one task at a time and it will be much easier to grasp the material.
How to study for an exam
Studying for an exam is difficult because students can easily find themselves being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the material they are studying.
The feeling of “I will never finish studying” can be overwhelming.
It is a good idea to set clear goals for yourself. Goals are very powerful. It makes it easy to ensure that you stay focused on what you want to achieve and won’t be so easily distracted from a busy schedule.
If you fail to plan, then you will certainly plan to fail.
For example, setting a time limit for studying is good, but it can also be helpful to set more specific goals. Such as, you might set a time limit of 2 hours and after 2 hours, you have studied for 2 hours and 30 minutes.
The best way to get through a difficult task is to find a shortcut, but sometimes shortcuts can have unexpected consequences.
For example, skipping the question about the correct value for the number of squares in a cubic sector is a great way to forget the correct answer.
Understand the material
The first step to studying effectively is to understand the material you are studying.
You can do this by listening to podcasts or by watching video lessons or a lecture. You should pay attention to how well the speaker speaks and you can learn by focusing on how he talks.
When you listen to a video lecture, you should make notes and listen to the full lecture.
While reading an article, you should read it all, cover to cover. Do not get distracted or move on to another thing before you finish the one you are currently reading.
Most students know that reading the course material is essential to improve your studying abilities.
Reading through the materials will give you a better overview of what you need to work on and how much time you need to invest.
Furthermore, reading is the best way to identify the kind of questions you can expect from the course material.
Take time to relax
In order to study effectively, it’s important to take time for yourself.
Students often neglect their own needs while they are studying. If you are not stressed, you will be able to concentrate better on your studies.
Take practice exams
One of the best ways to study is to go over practice exams and quizzes. But you need to make sure you review the material that you know well before trying new material.
Therefore, it’s important to actually do practice exams and to check your feedback to make sure you are ready for a particular exam.
You can also create a study journal where you can jot down your review notes and review material.
You need to make a proper checklist to identify the resources you will need to study.
Don’t forget to factor in the time it takes to actually review the materials. Also, if you’re pressed for time, you can spend more time on the reading comprehension worksheets.
You can also take advantage of tools like free-viewing video that will help you review material.
Create your own question banks
If you find the content in your textbook boring or confusing, then you can create your own question banks.
It’s important to learn the information you are trying to learn, but don’t be afraid to add more to your question banks so you can get a better understanding of the content.
When you are studying and get stuck, you probably are not willing to bother with googling “New York Yankees” or “Caribbean Daybreak Hotel”.
You want to understand what you don’t understand and to solve it yourself.
Use your question bank. It’s easier to get a question answered if you know which question you’re going to ask.
Differentiating between different types of questions
Some questions are better than others to try to understand.
Try and eliminate all of the questions in the question bank that involve pictures, formulas and types of dictionaries.
They are not the best way to learn. They may seem like good ones to learn about something specific or maybe a test-taking strategy, but they are not very efficient in your studying.
Identify areas to study
Ask yourself these questions when you want to improve your study habits: what do you want to learn next?
Do you know where you will do it?
How often? And what time do you have available?
What to do if you’re having trouble with the material
If you’re struggling to understand your class material, it’s important to get in touch with the teachers to help you.
Try asking for a homework or quizzes list to help you see where you’re going wrong.
You should also make use of note-taking software. There are many options, from free apps such as Grovi and Freedom Scribe, to premium note-taking apps like CloudNotes and Evernote Premium.
What to do if you’re not sure how to study
There are many free resources available, including free online study guides and wikis, but you should be careful not to make studying too easy.
Most online resources will allow you to comment or ask questions so that you can learn more, but the study guides and wikis shouldn’t be used for homework or exams.
Not following through with commitments
First of all, never promise to study for longer than you think is possible. This creates false motivation, and often leads to procrastination.
People often feel pressure to finish studying soon because they don’t want to fail a subject.
The main reason is because students do not study the subject well enough and have not set up a solid schedule.
Studying at home or when your mind is distracted can lead to big mistakes. The more you plan, the more efficient your studying will be.
Having multiple study schedules
There is a tendency to get too busy when studying, and this affects time management, and becomes a huge problem for students.
It is very important to keep a separate schedule for each subject.
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Common Mistakes Students Make During Studying
The first mistake that students make while studying is not doing enough planning. Think about how much you need to study for each section.
Also, estimate how much time you spend in each part of each chapter. It can be overwhelming but it’s a necessary process.
It’s a waste of time to work on a wrong section of the book and you might even forget about it altogether. Make a list of all the questions you need to ask for the chapter.
You can compare your list with the chapter questions. For questions that you are uncertain about, ask the instructor. This is important because a lot of the chapters have different types of questions.
Students often spend way too little time reading.
They usually set the timer for 60 seconds and spend only 20 seconds reading the content.
So, they will have to spend a lot of time studying to avoid a short amount of time spent reading. Instead, they should read every single page of their notes or textbook.
You will still get your 60 seconds of reading time while doing the reading!
This is the most common mistake among students, and it’s a mistake you can avoid by limiting the number of books you take to college.
When you read a new book, the difficulty can get so high that you’ll lose track of time.
Don’t get discouraged if you can’t finish a book or two at once. Give yourself a long break after a couple of hours and keep an eye on your progress.
Studying is your chance to get familiar with information, so make sure you get as much out of it as possible. There are many ways to review your notes.
You can print them out and review them on your own, write a review based on someone else’s notes, write your own reviews, and talk to your classmates about it.
The simple mistake most students make is focusing on the wrong information. They don’t pay attention to what information is actually needed.
They read information without comparing it to their own knowledge and what is essential. Focus on easy to understand information and forget to verify it against what they already know. That is not the best way to approach learning.
Setting Goals for Yourself
Setting realistic and measurable goals is critical to a student’s success. However, it’s easy to get caught up in an all-or-nothing mentality when setting goals.
Instead, set short-term and long-term goals. Keep in mind that your long-term goal should be to get better at a certain skill.
For instance, you want to learn how to write a research paper, but you want to master MLA style as soon as possible. Make sure you give yourself time to get there.
Sticking to Your Goals
When you are successful, you want to maintain momentum. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to stick to the goals you set.
How can you expect to achieve the highest level of motivation if you constantly fail?
Instead, set some achievable goals and try to get a little further each time.
Doing the Work Now
How many times have you started a project in the morning, only to get back from work at night and realise that you’ve spent all your time doing other things?
We hate when that happens, but it’s not the only time. Once you’ve started working, it’s easy to forget to update yourself with the latest information.
So what do you do?
Set yourself a specific time to review and revise what you’ve been working on. The next time you want to jump in and do more work, use this time to get up to speed.
It’s easy to fall into a study rut when you’re trying to catch up on your coursework.
The temptation to binge-watch Netflix, for example, is often hard to resist. But the more you binge-watch, the further behind you get, and it takes even longer to catch up.
Doing the Work Later
Most students study when they are free, whether it be in the evening or late at night. But one of the easiest mistakes you can make is to study when you are not free.
After all, no one can study under these circumstances. You don’t want to get distracted because you won’t get the work done and waste your precious study time.
Read This Before You Study
Since it’s easy to get distracted while studying, it’s important to read and absorb some of the information before you sit down to study.
By doing this, you can prepare yourself for the work you will be learning. You can also then identify what you can’t recall, and you will know what you are preparing to study before you actually sit down to work.