- Bad Habit #1: Studying Without a Plan
Planning is really important when you come to studying and learning. The problem is that studying without a plan is unfocused and you are likely to waste time. It’s always best to create a study plan first that outlines the specific activities you are planning on doing.
- Bad Habit #2: Memorising your notes or the study text
Do you revise by reading your notes to yourself again and again? Research has shown that this is a really inefficient way to learn. Instead, imagine you were a lecturer at FI and lecture to an imaginary class about the main topics, without using your notes.
If you can explain a concept out loud, in complete sentences, it is likely that you will learn it and that you will understand it. If you can’t explain it out loud, then go back to your notes and review what was confusing you and try again (you might even start to enjoy lecturing!).
- Bad Habit #3: Studying late at night
It’s remarkable how many students think the best time to study is around 10/11pm (once Champions League highlights have finished) for an extended period of a couple of hours.
Firstly, research shows our brains cannot focus in the middle of the night, secondly staying up late will impact on stamina the next day and you are more likely to fall ill. Research shows that it is best to study in smaller chunks and (ideally) early in the morning.
- Bad Habit #4: Focusing on note-taking rather than understanding
Concentrate more on understanding what is being said in a lecture as it is being said, as opposed to switching into note taking mode. Ask questions if you need to – all tutors are there to help.
When taking notes, try to write the concepts in your own words as it will help you understand the ideas when you reflect on them in the future.
Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll improve your chances of success in your next exam.