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The five most deadly study tips of all time

 It’s unbelievable at times the things people believe about the best way to study, so I figured it’s time to dispel some of those myths!

Myth One: 3am is the ideal time to study
I am sure many of you have been there. Picture it now, it is 3am, you are sat there, pen in one hand, energy drink in the other, trying to stay awake whilst writing revising for an exam the next day. Here’s a tip for you, it does not work. When you are tired, your brain does not work as well (unless you really are a night person) and therefore you will absorb a lot less information. Work out the best time for you to study, and study then. Hence I would rather get an early start to a day of studying than work into the night. On a side note, nobody cares how late you stayed up studying, so please do not come into a class with me and start bragging about this type of studying!

Myth Two: Never start studying until the night before your exam
Some people seem to believe that studying in advance, you will forget it before the exam. Although you might have to brush up again after the first study session, it won’t be as laborious as the first time! It’s much better to be prepared, as if you discover that you’ve missed something out and still need to learn something, there is time to do so.

Myth Three: You have to know every minor fact and statistic
In essay based subjects in particular, minor facts and statistics have almost no bearing on your grade! Essay’s cannot possibly test you on facts and statistics, but your grasp of concepts. In the case of most of my A-Levels I am studying, it is not about statistic regurgitation, but being able to apply the theories and generalized concepts to situations.


Myth Four: You have to study in a specific way
The only results measured from your studying, are your grades. This means that however you study to achieve those grades, is fine as long as it works. That means that if something works for you, do not ditch it just because it is not ‘mainstream’ or your teachers have no confidence in it (unless there is a good reason of course e.g. it does not work with this topic area).

Myth Five: You can study without a plan
This is the best waste of time I have ever heard of, going to the library in order to “study”. Even if you select the subject you are planning on studying, you will get less done than if you had set a specific topic. Added to this, work tends to expand to fill the time available, so you often end up wasting time and achieving few results. Try to define what you are going to study specifically, pinpoint it down as much as possible, and do it!

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7 Responses to “The five most deadly study tips of all time”

  1. Rachael says:

    Great points. #4 is the big one, but the problem is that it can be really difficult to find your own study style so many revert to the traditional method, rather than try something new.

  2. I disagree about the 3am issue, if it works for someone, then have at it, you know? The rest of the tips are very useful though, particularly #5. Good work.

  3. Myth 2, study during the year, every day and learn not study and you will do well.

  4. DanGTD says:

    I’ll add Multi-Tasking.
    While it can be good for daily tasks, when it comes to studying, you may not retain as much material as if you were to focus purely on one task.

  5. DanGTD is right about the multitasking.

    I think sufficient breaks are important to remember. Scientists tend to agree that the average length of time that most of us can focus on 1 subject is between 40 and 80 minutes, so we shouldn’t push the hour and a half limit without taking a decent 15+ minute break.

    I usually do an hour and a half study, half hour break. It may seem like too long a break, but the fact that I can do this for 12+ hours or so makes it worth it.

  6. I do not honestly know how anyone can study without a plan - it’s a recipe for disaster. Been there, done that, just about survived and now I plan properly.

    On the other hand, there’s no point planning and planning - that’s just an excuse not to study!

    I enjoy planning my week on a sunday afternoon and going from there - really sets you up for the rest of the week.

  7. Myth #1 & 2 are deadly for sure. If I tried to study at 3am I would never pass a test or even remember a thing I was studying because I would be drained. I learned in high school that studying the day before an exam never worked for me.