There is no universal recipe for becoming an ideal student no matter what others may tell you. the only thing you can do to get the desired grades is working hard and being persistent. Due to the impressive amount of articles dedicated to the topic of acquiring effective study habits, you might get a feeling there is a magic way of turning your study routine into the most productive activity. But people are different and something that works for one student might be harmful to the other.
In this article, we’ll discuss all the aspects of the study habits phenomenon and try to decide which habits are good and bad for you. But again, you should look at this information through the lens of your personal experience. Even if the larger number of people find a specific studying technique to be effective, it does not mean that it’s the perfect choice for you.
Why Study Habits Are So Important
What do we mean when we talk about study habits? Is it getting up early to cope with more assignments? Is it drinking enough water and eating regularly while studying? Or maybe it’s all about taking detailed notes and rereading them from time to time? These habits may include any activity that helps you become a more productive student. It may also mean listening to the loud music while doing homework. The challenge is to find the things that help you concentrate and develop your personal studying routine. You can achieve that by using a “cut and try” method.
The reason why everybody seems to be obsessed with finding the holy grail of the list of the right habits is our inner desire to spend less time on the things we don’t enjoy doing and still get the best possible results. By determining those “do’s” and “don’ts” you will be able to forget about spending hours on the test preparations and homework.
Interesting Statistics on Study Habits
If you have a goal to find out what are the study habits most students use, you can see dozens of articles on the web. This is a somewhat unified approach to collect every possible way of studying the bright minds of the 21st-century use. It seems logical that surveys will show the most popular answers and, therefore, will help others to find the best solution to their specific situation. So, let’s look at the results of some of the surveys.
This research gives some ambiguous conclusions about studying strategies:
- most of the students said they take detailed notes in class;
- 1/3 of them never review them again;
- students outline the most important ideas in class and then discuss them with peers and faculty members.
The conclusion we can make is that taking notes can be helpful but it’s better to make sure you understand everything a teacher says and clarify some aspects that seem confusing with others. As they say, it’s impossible to forget something when you know it.
Another survey studied the habits in terms of how much time does it take students to cope with the assignments and get ready for classes. 68.8 percent of them study less than 5 hours and only 2.5 percent of students study more than 10 hours. The research also concludes that there is no correlation between studying and happiness. So, your mood does not have to depend on that boring history paper due tomorrow morning. You can study for as long as you want. Just make sure you feel confident about the gained knowledge and understand everything you’ve learned.
Good Study Habits
To avoid any kind of misunderstanding, let’s agree on the definition of a good study habit. We use this term to determine a habit that can (but not necessarily will) improve your studying process but definitely will not harm it. Every student has a set of routine practices to prepare for classes that may not coincide with yours. Here’s a list of habits we consider to be helpful no matter the major and educational level:
- write down all the assignments;
- ask your teachers questions when you don’t understand something;
- create your personal study zone (let it not be your bed);
- take notes in class, they might come in hand and help you remember things better;
- don’t let procrastination stop you;
- never compare your failures/success to others;
- train your memory (using apps/mnemonic tools) to learn faster;
- join a study group to share ideas and socialize;
- don’t get distracted by your laptop or phone during a class;
- create a study schedule and use apps to keep things under control;
- start with the assignments you find to be the most difficult.
Bad Study Habits
Naturally, when we are talking about bad study habits, you can just take the previous list and find the opposite to each point. But there are a lot of things that can go wrong and students know about it. It is easy to get used to something ineffective but exciting. Here’s a short list of the things you might want to avoid to improve your achievements.
- getting distracted by social media, friends, and family during the studying process;
- postponing difficult assignments till the last minute;
- spending a lot of time on playing games (mobile/computer);
- writing papers during the nighttime;
- creating a study group with irresponsible people;
- not asking your teachers for help;
- putting grades in the first place;
- over-dramatizing a situation and leading yourself to a severe stress;
- having no detailed plan of where you are and what you should do to reach the set goals.
How to Improve Study Habits
If you feel like you daily routine needs a serious improvement, you might want to consider some of the changes you can incorporate into the way you study. It does not necessarily mean that doing so you will see some major improvements but it will definitely not harm your current situation.
Stop focusing on the grades so much. While your GPA is important, it should not be your primary goal. You go to college not only to get a good diploma but to gain knowledge. Ask questions when you don’t understand something, read additional materials, and get engaged in the process.
Make sure you really understand something. This technique is widely used by the instructors. Pretend a child asks you to explain something you’ve just learned. If you can do it using simple language, you really know what you are talking about. If not, go through the material once again.
Ask other students for tips. Some of the exams are difficult to pass because you don’t know what they are based on – a textbook, your classes or some additional articles from scientific journals. Talk to those who have passed those classes and ask them for a piece of advice. It will save your time and efforts.
Know the time of your maximum productivity. Some can remember whole pages from the textbooks right after they get out of bed in the morning, others can’t wake up till the late afternoon. We all have different biorhythms and you have to adjust your studying to them if possible.
Use the “cut and try” method correctly. If you’ve tried a new study technique and did not like it, do not be quick with your conclusions. To turn an activity into a habit, you need to use for some time. And then, if it fits your schedule, continue using it for a month to turn it into a habit.
Use online tools to keep track of the progress. To make sure you are moving in the right direction, use online resources or download an app on your phone. In this way, you will have an objective image of your personal improvements.
Is There a Good Study Habits App?
Some prefer using notebooks to organize their studies and schedule, others can’t live without mobile apps that help you do the same. If you belong to the latter group, you will find these apps interesting and helpful.
- Study Habits
The app lets you schedule, organize and monitor your studying process. You will get a structured view of all the assignments and a chance to become more productive without wasting any time in vain.
- TED App
If you need to find some additional material on a topic of your interest, you can watch a small educational video from TED talks. You can listen to it on your way to college or during a lunch.
If you easily get distracted by some websites and can’t focus on the studying process, this app will block them for a certain time period of your choice (maximum of 24 hours). You simply blacklist the sites you don’t want to visit while studying.
Training your brain is definitely a useful habit. Lumosity is the creation of neuroscientists that helps you train memory and attention in a playing mode.
This is a personalized brain training. You can learn to read faster and grab the main points of various texts better. It is similar to Lumosity but has its own benefits like more affordable prices, for example.
- The Most Dangerous Writing App
If you have a habit of writing one sentence and then just sit there thinking about the destiny of our Universe, this app will not let you do that. Once you stop typing, your text begins to disappear.
- Headspace: Guided Meditation
It’s a fast way to relax using a guided meditation. The students are under a constant stress, so this app will definitely come in hand.
- Sleep Pillow Sounds
In case you can’t study in a total silence and your favorite tracks are too distractful, use this app. There are different sounds like the waves of an ocean, rain, etc. you can use to study effectively. It is also the perfect choice if you want to relax completely while having a nap.
- Open Culture
You will find a massive collection of free audio books, university courses, language lessons, podcasts and much more. It is a great source for finding additional information for your class or you personally.
- Evernote’s Penultimate App
Write by hand without using any paper with this app and take all your notes from class in the perfect order.
It seems like we’ve covered a lot of points in this article. Some of the tips you find here can really make a difference when it comes to becoming a better student. Improvement is not always about getting good grades and increasing your GPA score. It is about your inner confidence and calmness. When you know that there is no assignment you can’t cope with, there is nothing to worry about. Stay positive and use helpful habits to spend the best years of your life with pure excitement and joy.