Let’s examine some of the most popular myths about studying and learn how to develop better study habits.
Top 8 myths debunked
- Re-reading and highlighting: the most common method to study. Research shows that this is relatively ineffective. Passively reading the same text may be helpful if spaced out but could also be detrimental if the wrong information is selected.
- Did you know? TrueLearn bolds keywords within the answer explanations to highlight important topics to review.
- Learning Styles: there is little to no evidence to support the idea that matching the instructional method to a learning style is more effective.
- Did you know? TrueLearn provides robust answer explanations and increasing tables and images to solidify the important concepts.
- The 10,000 hour rule: Unfortunately, there is no magic number of hours that will turn you into an expert. Studies found that deliberate practice is the best predictor of success in specific fields.
- Did you know? Applying effective study strategies throughout your education will help you study smarter and not harder. Utilizing features like SmartCards, SmartTexts, and SmartAnalytics will aid in focusing your study time and assist with integrating your learning into your schedule.
- Go with your Gut: Reconsider this theory as research shows, on average, people who change their answers score higher on tests than those who don’t. This is especially true as you become more metacognitive, or aware of your own competency. Turn your intuition into knowledge.
- Did you know? After taking TrueLearn tests, review the responses where you changed your answers. Did you get more correct or incorrect? What made you doubt your choice?
- Intelligence is Fixed: Carol Dweck, PhD, Psychology Professor at Stanford University, shows that our beliefs about intelligence can actually affect our effort, and in turn, our performance. A “growth mindset”, on the other hand, thrives on challenges and sees failures as opportunities to build upon. Believe in yourself and turn learning into a passion.
- Did you know? A great way to empower yourself is by adding the word “yet” on the end of thoughts where you use the word “can’t”. For example, “I am not a great standardized test taker…yet.” “Yet” brings hope and ignites a more positive growth mindset.
- Shortcuts to Learning: despite learning fads like brain training games and exercises, learning is and will always be a process. It requires time and effort. Researchers have found that participants who engaged in brain-training games showed improvements in IQ, but only if they believed the games would benefit them. The effects of these games seem less to do with the content, and more to do with what users tell themselves will happen after the session.
- Did you know? Reviewing correct and incorrect feedback is beneficial to long term memory. If you are short on time, review the list of questions in TrueLearn’s Recently Incorrect Topics to interrupt that forgetting curve!
- Planning is a waste of time: Build a disciplined approach to avoid cramming and stress. Studies have demonstrated that self-discipline is key to academic success. Learners with high self-discipline generally outperform those with low self-discipline – even if they are all of the same intellectual ability. Utilize a study schedule or workbook by outlining a realistic approach specific to how you study best.
- Did you know? Track your progress across multiple dimensions to determine broad and specific areas of strengths and weaknesses.
- Memorize Enough to Pass: Cramming is a trade-off; you trade a strong memory now for weak memory later. Learners who spend hours memorizing as much of the material as possible in a short period of time, will struggle with recalling the information. Deeper learning occurs when effort is applied; however, do not equate effort with stress. Stress has a negative effect on concentration which impacts learning and focus. Say farewell to late night cram sessions and set a realistic study schedule to space out your studying and balance your well-being.
- Did you know? Snoozing strengthens memories and helps link memories to earlier ones. Research suggests that the lack of sleep can cut learning ability by up to 40% and memories won’t be strengthened with 4 hours or less of nighttime sleep. Test, review, and sleep on it!