Building Strong Study Skills Series:
Study Habits You Should Knock Part I
Note: This series details how to study smarter, not harder, to help students succeed in their academics. All information in this series draws upon principles from psychological research on learning and memory.
Do you or your student study hard but still underperform on tests? Before you can begin studying smarter, you must first understand what you’re doing wrong. Today we begin with understanding some study habits that provide little to no benefit.
Have you ever found yourself repeatedly reading something to get it into your long-term memory? Effective studying involves developing a deep understanding of concepts and relating them to other knowledge you possess. Rote memorization does not promote understanding. Even worse, the information acquired through rote repetition typically does not stay in long term memory for very long.
Highlighting is another go-to study skill for many students. Highlighting is not very effective, if at all, in helping students encode information into their long term memory. And re-reading your highlights is a passive study technique with very little benefits, if any.
Always aim to read the texts assigned in class just once. Reading is time consuming and re-reading should be avoided at all costs! Obviously, if you didn’t take good notes on a section or are having trouble wrapping your head around a particular concept, then re-reading may be necessary and helpful. But if you take great notes and interact with the text while reading the first time around, you will have the opportunity to explore better study techniques in that time spared from re-reading your text. We will go over how to actively read texts and take notes later in our series.
Rote memorization, highlighting, and re-reading are very ineffective study habits and should be the very first study habits you knock.
Stay up to date with our weekly Building Strong Study Skills series to learn the most effective study strategies and succeed in your academics. Schedule a session with one of our expert tutors today to receive all the information and guidance you need to gain a deeper understanding of your academics and perform better on your tests! Building effective study habits takes time, so the sooner you get help, the better prepared you will be by the time finals roll around.
Terry, W.S. (2018). Learning and Memory: Basic Principles, Processes, and Procedures, Fifth Edition. New York, Routledge, a Taylor and Francis Group. ISBN 978-1-13-864591-2.
Rhodes, M.G., Cleary, A.M. and DeLosh, E.L. (2020). A Guide to Effective Studying and Learning: Practical Strategies from the Science of Learning. New York, Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-021447-0 (pbk).
Drew is Hodis Learning & Music’s Founder and President. He has been tutoring and teaching music for more than 10 years. Drew earned his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Southern California and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Adelphi University.