Students often ask, “I put in a lot of study time but don’t seem to be able to recall as much as I had hoped?” The primary question then becomes, how effective are the students study habits? Many students either do not know effective study habits, or know some but lack proper application. Chances are that if a student is having problems recalling information or focusing on study, then they are either making one or more of these common study mistakes.
1. More often than not students study methodologies do not match their learning style. There are four primary learning styles that are a combination of Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic or Verbal. Students can get a rough guide of their learning style by taking free online tests or often a reputable tuition service should provide learning style tests for their students.
2. It seems cliché but distractions are often a major factor when a student is trying to retain information. This comes down to time management. Well timed and structured study breaks are fantastic tools to help a student maintain concentration. Students should only expect to be able to focus well for between 30 and 50 minutes. With practice this duration can be extended.
3. Students do not revisit information often enough to commit it to long-term memory. To commit something to long-term memory it should be revisited a number of times of a period of a week or more.
4. Students don’t know what they don’t know. The root of this mistake occurs generally during the exam preparation process. Students often prepare for exams with their textbooks open and when they need confirmation or get stuck they just refer to their textbook. Students should do their revision and then undertake their final preparation under exam conditions, via using practice exams or choosing some questions and closing the text books.
5. The 80/20 rule is often applied incorrectly to assignments. When tackling an assignment students often fall into the habit of spending 20% of the time planning and 80% of the time trying to write. Often a much better result is achieved when 80% of the time is spent planning and only 20% writing. The additional planning leads to more efficient writing and a more structured assignment.