How to Avoid These Common Study Fails

How to Avoid These Common Study Fails

When I joined a gym for the first time, I really wanted to use the weight machines. But, I didn’t know how to use them. And I was too intimidated to ask anyone. “The trainers are working – I don’t want to interrupt them working. Hmm, that employee sure is busy doing her job; I’ll ask later.”

It took FOREVER to start using the weight machines. And even when I did, I was never quite sure that I was using them correctly. #gymfail Was I getting a good workout? Could I get a better workout? Ugh. It made me avoid the machines altogether.

Sound familiar? Though we know we should try something new, we’re not sure how. We don’t ask questions, or when we ask we don’t get good answers.

[click_to_tweet tweet=”Studying is a skill that must be taught.” quote=”Studying is a skill that must be taught.”]

The same thing goes for studying. No one is born knowing how to study. Studying is actually multiple skills that we must be taught and then practiced to improve. But most students aren’t taught how to study. So, like me on the weight machines, they wing it.

But, oh, the stress of it all! Because students don’t really know what to do or how to do it, they don’t know how to improve and some give up altogether. That’s a #studyfail.

Studying doesn’t need to be that stressful! We’re going to look at the most common study fails and then talk about what to do instead.

How to Avoid These Common Study Fails

study fails

Not planning to study

You know that you have a math test coming up, but you’ll figure you’ll get the studying in. At some time. Until your rehearsal runs late and you realize that your French essay is due tomorrow, not next week. Ugh. Suddenly, you have no time to study for the math test that you really need to study for.

Instead, you need to take control of your time by using a planner, in paper or digital form. (Psst – here’s my favorite planner!) Once you know your schedule ahead of time, you can create a study plan and set aside time to prepare for that big test.

Studying in the wrong place

Of all the places you could study, you chose the worst one for you. You know, the one that has tons of distractions, bad lighting, and no room to spread out. For me, that bad location is anyplace in public, like a coffee shop. For you, it could that super quiet, sterile room.

Avoid this study fail by finding a study space that works for you. For many, you need a quiet space with sufficient lighting and a hard surface to work on. Some of us need to be alone and in complete silence (🙋‍♀️)while others need to be around someone else.

You need to figure out what your ideal study space is. If you have no idea, try out different spaces with variable amounts of sound and distractions. In which location did you focus the best? Get the most accomplished? That may be your sweet spot.

Studying with the wrong people

Your best friend is also in your class, but your friend has really bad notes and misses half the classes. Perhaps she’s not the best person to study with. Or your friends hate the teacher and spend “study time” talking about how much they hate the teacher. While I’m all for venting, not much studying is getting done.

[click_to_tweet tweet=”Studying in a group helps you fill in your own knowledge gaps.” quote=”Studying in a group helps you fill in your own knowledge gaps.”]

Instead, find a group of students who are motivated and want to study together. I’ve got ideas for creating a kick-ass study group and activities for that amazing new study group.

Or just study by yourself. Yes, I’m a big fan of study groups, but I’m also someone who loves studying alone. I’m complicated like that.

Studying in the wrong ways

I saved the most common study fail for the end. You’re not really sure what “studying” means, so you’re winging it. Maybe you review the study guide and look at your notes a few times.

There are way better ways you can prepare for that test. Most students are pretty passive when they study – just rereading the textbook (please, no!) or going over notes. Better study strategies will make you a more active participant in your own learning.

The more you process information, the more likely you are to remember it. But what does “process” mean? It means that you have to do more than just look at the information. Pull information out of your head with flashcards, practice problems, a review game, or by creating your own study guide. These are all methods that keep you more active.

Sick of study fails and want more ideas for study strategies? Good, ‘cause I have a bunch more in my e-book, Study Like a Genius!

Hopefully, these tips will help you avoid study fails in the future and even study more successfully for your next test! If you have more questions, don’t act like me in the gym. Ask away and I will help you out!

Let me know how it goes in the comments below!

Related Posts: 5 Ways to Prepare for the BIG Exam, Why Retrieval Practice Will Improve Your Learning, Learn How to Improve Your Study Skills, How to Improve Your Grades in 4 Weeks, Can I Study Better By Listening to Music?

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