Six Studying Myths, Debunked

By Victoria Robertson on May 3, 2018

When it comes to studying, every single student has his or her own means of doing so. In fact, you’ll find that most study habits are entirely unique to that person, with a few exceptions.

However, this isn’t to say that people are going about studying the wrong way. In fact, there are plenty of wrong ways to study, and plenty of myths that students stick to that really don’t benefit them in the least.

For this reason, here are six study myths debunked so that you can implement your own study routine with the best information possible.


1. The longer you study, the better

For many students, studying is an all-day thing, where hour after hour is spent reviewing notes and flipping through note cards. Often, you’ll hear students ask how long you studied for, as if it’s just a number and the highest one wins.

This is grossly false. Studying is up to the individual, and studying longer doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Retention is typically highest when you study in small periods, such as thirty minutes of undivided attention to studying and then a few minutes for a mental break and so on.

It’s very easy to get burnt out when studying, so don’t be afraid to take small breaks to ensure you’re absorbing the information.

2. Cramming is the best policy for retention

It’s another commonality for students to cram the night before a test, pulling an all-nighter and showing up to their test exhausted and full of information they’ll forget the second the test is over.

When you’re trying to retain information, studying over a long period of time is the best way to ensure you’ll remember it. What this means is that about thirty minutes every day should be devoted to retaining information by simply reading over notes or quizzing yourself.

Yes, it’s a bit of a time commitment, but when compared with an all-nighter of studying, this is by far your best option. Plus, you’ll actually retain the information rather than memorizing and forgetting all you’ve studied for within 24 hours.

3. You just need the professor’s notes for success

Don’t just rely on the powerpoint presentation to provide you what you need to be successful in a class. Yes, they are the professor’s notes. No, they don’t have everything that you need.

If you think about a powerpoint in comparison to the amount of talking your professor does in a single class, you’ll quickly realize that if you aren’t taking your own notes, you’re missing out on a quite a lot of pertinent information.

While you won’t necessarily use all the information you’ll write down, taking those notes will certainly set you up for success when it comes to studying. Plus, taking notes is proven to enhance retention as well, so it’s a win-win.

4. Pick one spot and stick to it

Studying in the same spot every day (i.e. the library) has been said to improve your memory. While a nice sentiment, this isn’t true.

Studying in the same spot every day essentially means nothing aside from the fact you’re a creature of habit. Sometimes, studying in environments that are new will provide distractions, but they will also prepare you a bit more in terms of staying focused.

Think about it, an exam room isn’t devoid of distractions. You could have a student across the room with a nasty, distracting cold, or a professor at the head of the class that’s pacing, and proctors walking up and down the aisles in noisy boots.

Distractions are everywhere, and this is something you’ll need to be able to tune out when it comes test time.

5. Studying is a solo game

Many students choose to study alone, and that’s perfectly fine, but it’s not always the right option.

When it comes to studying, having a friend or roommate quiz you or talk through items with you in detail can help you to better retain the information you’re studying.

While you will need to study alone to get started, adding this extra step will help you to see the information you haven’t yet retained so you can update your notes and study accordingly.

6. There’s no need to stick to a schedule

Having a study schedule will keep you on track and prepare you for your test. While you can simply study when you have time or motivation, this doesn’t ensure you’re hitting all the main points that you need to.

Setting up a schedule, at least tentatively (i.e. spend thirty minutes in the morning and thirty minutes in the afternoon studying), can help to get you ahead when it comes to retaining information.

Nobody likes to study, but it’s a necessary part of the college experience. Whether you have a big test or quiz coming up, you’ll need to study for it if you want to do well.

Good grades are the result of good study habits, so be sure that you’re noting these six study myths in order to do well and study hard, the right way.

Victoria is a dedicated writer who graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She currently writes freelance pieces for various sites and works in Marketing for Myndbee Inc., promoting their current mobile app, Picpal.

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