Studying Habits?

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Studying Habits?

Postby *Chick-a-dee » 11 years ago

I'm curious about what people believe are good studying habits, since lately I've received complaints about my own habits.

I don't receive complaints about not studying enough, but rather that I study TOO much... which I, personally, don't understand...

I'll usually write about five pages, double-sided and single space, of notes a night (I always get homework). I tend to answer questions in paragraphs, and I usually got to bed around 2:30AM to 3:30 AM, so I get about four hours of sleep. It's not that I find my classes difficult, but rather I like to review everything, just to make sure. I'm not going to say what grade I'm in, other than it's below grade twelve.

I really don't think it's bad that I study for so long, other than the fact that I sometimes get headaches and become extremely stressed. My parents, and my teachers, have been complaining about my habits, which angers me greatly.

So, what do you guys consider are good studying habits? I don't think mine are all that bad, but I want to know what others think.
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Postby sgupta » 11 years ago

Here's my 2 cents - Almost any doctor would recommend more sleep than that a night (7-8 hours), and many would say the sleep is *much* more important than the additional studying. (There are a few different schools of thought that say you can do with less sleep if you're getting full cycles, but there's quite a bit of disagreement on that and how it will affect people later in life). Personally I don't think I could function on only 4 hours of sleep a night, but I don't always get the full 8 either (I'm finished with school).

I think it's great that you study hard. If you're not finding your classes that difficult, though, you might experiment with trying to study a bit less and see how you like it. In the end, you just sound detail oriented and it's really up to what you prefer, and if it works for you, it works for you, but the sleep thing would concern me.

If you have plans for college, you'll probably be ahead of the game as it already sounds like you have the necessary dedication and study habits to do very well, so that's a plus. You'll also probably retain what you learn a lot better than most people. So there *are* advantages to the way you study - just don't risk your health for it.

(Of course this is all just my opinion).

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Postby jeffbert » 11 years ago

When I was in university, I began putting my hand-written note on my PC. I usually created tables with several columns and placed key words or terms in 1 and detailed notes in another. By this, I manipulated the data & that aided memory. However, I did all this to my favorite music, which, I have come to understand, was an error. Apparently, the actual recall of the memories is aided by making the recall environment similar to the encoding environment. Since the tests were not accompanied by music, theory holds that I should have studied in a quiet environment also.


Even if you throw away your notes, simply writing them in itself aids in remembering them. But using them to answer questions also helps.

I was never fond of using the mnemonics methods that study habits classes reccomend, but with one exception. The resistor color code: BBROYGBVGW. I could not have recalled that sequence without "Bad boys raped our young girls--" I decline from finishing the thing because it is a bit risqué. :D

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Postby Astro Forever » 11 years ago

Sounds to me that it's not so much your studying habits that may be criticized; I think people are concerned about you being too anxious/perfectionist and not getting enough sleep. Studying too much can actually be detrimental to academic results, resulting in less good results because you get tired and your brain isn't as efficient! So if in turn one decides to study even more, well... And if we speak long term, I've known people who got so involved in their studies that eventually they burned out. I'm not saying that appplies to you right now, but just that in time you need to take good care of yourself.

I think you have a good working method in itself. It isn't bad to write notes and review everything, and not wait until the exam to do so. But are you happy while you are studying? Do you study just because you like studying? Is it a way to get away from something you don't want to think of? Do you have sleeping problems and end up using your time to study? Do you wish you had more time for other things, whether it is sleeping or another activity? Is your social life suffering from your studying habits? Do you need to study as much to pass, or do you study so much because you want all A's and not take any chance of getting a single B?

Now obviously you do not have to reply to these questions here, but I think these are important things to think of before passing judgment on how you study. Also, it is normal to get really stressed before a big exam, or one that seems very difficult. However, if headaches and feeling very stressed happens regularly during the semester, even for less important exams, then your health seems at risk.

As for what constitutes good studying habits in general, I think it may be different for everybody. In my case, it depended of what the class was, what it was that I had to learn (lots of things from memory, or general ideas?) and what kind of exam it was (multiple choices? Problem solving? Long answers to write down?). Sometimes I would take sheets of papier and write down the most important things (they were all titles or short sentences; I never wrote full pages of notes). I would go over it and see if I could remember the paragraph or the idea behind it and then learn what I had written from memory if I needed to. Other times, just reading my notes many times would be the key (sometimes just from the way I wrote my (handwritten) notes, it would trigger memories from the class, which I lost if I was rewriting my notes).

A good trick BTW: if you want to remember a lot without much effort, right before you go to bed, read all the notes you took in class. Just read them, pay attention while reading, but do not try to remember anything (and no, you don't have to think of your notes while you fall asleep). The next day, when you read your notes again, you'll be surprised at the amount you can remember even after having read your notes just once! Then you know what you didn't remember and the next day, you can concentrate on that, and the parts that you need to know from memory if there are.

I wasn't as organized as you are and wouldn't go through my notes until an exam was in sight (I knew better than wait until it was too late to start though), but by knowing what worked for myself, I could manage a lot in not so much time. Even in the classes that didn't come as easy to me as they did to others, I often managed better results in less study time than they did because I had become really efficient in learning and retaining. I did achieve really good results despite not being perfectly organized all the time and I'm not a genius. :)

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