7 Common Study Mistakes Every Student Makes (and How to Avoid Them)

by Renee Isabella Aguila   |  Feb 2, 2023
Image: Pexels Art: Pau Moyano
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Studying may seem easy. You simply have to listen to lectures and take notes, right? That may be the usual method of studying for the average student. However, there are some common study mistakes students make unknowingly. These mistakes can certainly hinder you from maximizing your study time and effort. 

With that, we bring to you seven common study mistakes every student makes and how to avoid them:

7 Common Study Mistakes Every Student Makes (and How to Avoid Them)

1. Highlighting everything

We totally get it, a lot of the information on your textbooks and handouts should all be highlighted. However, highlighting every single thing won’t help you study better. You should try highlighting *only* the key concepts your professor urges you to remember for class. These could be names and descriptions of theories or lessons that you need to work on. That way, you can better review your lessons and find the concepts you wanna go back to. 


2. Hesitating to ask questions

Have a question you’re dying to ask but are too shy to do so? You should definitely ask your professor or clarify with a classmate who’s knowledgeable on the topic. Asking questions is part of the learning process because you get to clarify things that you initially didn’t understand. You wouldn’t wanna become clueless during an exam, right? Additionally, asking questions satisfies your curiosity with the knowledge imparted by other people. This allows you to learn something new each day and brush up on your lessons. 

3. Trying to memorize everything

A common study mistake for most students is trying to memorize everything. While memorizing helps in some aspects such as remembering organ names and descriptions, memorizing won’t help in the long run as there are some lessons that are better understood by heart. Memorizing pretty much crams all the information in your brain and you don’t want that. The best way to avoid memorizing is to try to better understand how certain concepts work. An example of this can be familiarizing the main contributions of notable people that pop up in your lessons or finding real-life situations that can mimic lesson concepts.

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4. Studying alone

Perhaps studying alone gives you the space you need to properly learn lessons and review without distractions. But studying with other people makes the experience less lonely and you get to learn together with your friends. If you study with others, you can actually quiz and test each other on lessons so that you’re all refreshed and can help each other with your varying strengths and weaknesses. Plus, you get to feel comforted before quizzes or exams since you know that you’re not alone in the struggle. 

5. Having only one study method

Are taking color-coded notes the only way you learn? Sticking to a study method you’re comfortable with may make studying easy for you. However, you can also try experimenting with different study methods every now and then—you might just find a new go-to! You can try creating mnemonics which are memory strategies to remember concepts and information. Furthermore, you can make flashcards with questions on one side and answers at the back to test yourself and your friends. 


6. Reviewing at the last minute

Though reviewing at the last minute may give you a quick refresher of the lessons you’ve learned, you could get an information overload instead. Right before a big test, make sure you relax instead and avoid pressuring yourself to remember all the notes you have. You’re less likely to get a mental block if you simply chill out prior to a quiz or test. 

7. Forgetting to take breaks

Finally, a huge study mistake students should avoid is forgetting to take breaks. Pouring a lot of time into studying may seem productive, but. But you should let your mind breathe every hour or two. Similar to the previous point, you’re less likely to get an information overload if you let your brain rest once in a while during a study session. You should know that you shouldn’t feel guilty to take breaks. Feel free to reward yourself for studying since resting is part of the process.



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