Ineffective Study Techniques
People tend to focus on effective study techniques and not so much on ineffective study techniques. In this section, we are going to look at some ineffective study techniques and some of the ways we can correct this.
1. Studying with friends – studying with friends is not always a bad idea, however it is a bad idea when all you end up doing is talking about Netflix and other things and are not staying focused on the task in front of you. There are a few ways to overcome this dilemma:
- Set ground rules before you begin studying
- Have regular breaks during your study session where you can talk about whatever you want
2. Studying for hours – sitting down for hours at your desk studying is not a good way to approach your work. Not only is it a health risk (sitting down too long), but it is also counterproductive, because your mind is so overwhelmed with work. Take regular breaks where you go do something other than study e.g. check Facebook (don’t do it for too long!) or go for a brief walk.
3. Music – depending on the type of person you are, you may or may not work well listening to music or don’t. This is a personal preference. Some people find classical music soothing to help them learn.
4. Studying in front of a TV or with your phone nearby – these are distractions and will stop you from working productively. Study in a place where you are away from the TV, and keep your phone in another room. You can go check it when you are on your study break.
5. Multitasking – we think we can do more than one thing at the same time but in reality, this is counterproductive. The reason is that not only will you be learning things only on a superficial level, but you will overwhelm yourself because of all the work you have to do and this will make you not want to study. Do things one at a time and start with the stuff you hate doing first, that way you can get it over and done with and won’t have to worry about it again.
6. Sacrificing sleep to study – many students do this because they think it is good. Yes, your bodies may tell you that you can stay up until 3am, but in fact your body needs to recharge to be fully functional the next day. It is better to get up early the next morning to finish off any work, rather than do an ‘pull an all-nighter’
- A common reason why people pull an ‘all-nighter’ is because they have left their studying to the last minute. Don’t leave things to the last minute, make sure you are doing a little bit each day!
7. Energy drinks and junk food – VCE is a stressful time and there is a lot of work to do. Because of this people tend to turn to energy drinks to allow them to stay awake or eat junk food. These products are bad for your health and it’s not worth eating them. Choosing healthier alternatives such as fruit, muesli, nuts etc. are much better for you, and will help with your learning as these foods provide your body with the nutrients that it wants. See the websites below for foods that are considered good for the brain:
8. Memorising essays – this applies mainly to the English subjects. Memorising an A+ essay and regurgitating that essay in a SAC or exam is not going to get you high marks, because the topic of the essay in the SAC or exam will be different. By writing down someone else’s essay you won’t be answering the question asked of you and hence won’t get the high mark. If you have trouble writing essays seek help from your teacher.
9. Leaving things to the last minute – this will just cause you unnecessary panic and stress. You should know in advance when your SACs are going to be so make sure that you plan out your time correctly, to ensure that you have enough time to prepare properly for them. Get in the habit of keeping a diary and USING it to write things down.
10. Not utilising your teacher – your teacher is there to help you. If you need help then you should ask them. They will be more than willing to help you all you need to do is ask!
11. Cramming – cramming the night before the SAC or exam will not do you any good. Not only will you stress yourself out, but you won’t get anything out of it. Start studying early on.
Different people learn differently, however in general it is possible to classify people into 3 categories on how they learn. These are:
- Kinaesthetic Learners
- Auditory Learners
- Visual Learners
You may not necessarily fall into one of these categories – you may belong to a number of them. But the main point is depending on the type of learner you are there are certain techniques you can adopt to suit your preferred learning style.
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