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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Don't want to study? Here is how to NOT do it.

Look for that perfect environment. 

(Many students think if only they found the perfect place to study, studying would be easy. Better idea? Find a reasonably quiet place and just get started. You'll get more comfortable as you get going.)


(Believe it or not, some students study for all five of their courses at one session. Fifteen minutes on this subject, 15 minutes on another, 15 minutes on a third—you get the picture. But it's a far better idea to devote your entire session to a single subject. That way you build up speed, and the more engaged you get, the easier the studying will become)

Focus on the pain. 

(No Pain NO Gain, right? Students often think that the initial pain of resistance to studying will continue throughout the studying. But, surprisingly enough to many students, you'll find that the pain decreases and the enjoyment increases as you get into the material and find you can at least sort of do it. If you plan for an hour of pain, you'll never free your mind enough to get through the studying.)

Just memorize (it's quicker and more efficient). 

(It's useless to just shovel stuff into your mind that you don't understand. If you really are understanding what you're studying, you ought to able to explain the main ideas, in your own words, to someone who hadn't done the studying. Take the time to think about what you're studying—don't just prepare to parrot it on some upcoming test.)

Count busywork as studying. 

(Some students do a lot of preparing to study or getting organized for studying. But they never get down to doing the studying. Don't give yourself credit for studying when you're actually just cleaning your desk or reorganizing your music files on your laptop.)

Take lots of breaks. 

Many students think, wrongly, that if they take breaks from time to time (like about every eight minutes) they'll get through the studying easier. But the truth is, each time you stop, you also have to start. And each time you start, you have to overcome the resistance from scratch. Take a break no more frequently than every 20 minutes.

Identify yourself as an owl. 

(Many students think they can study really well late at night. Very few can.)

Cram it. 

(Many students think they can study really well the night before the exam ("I'll remember it best if it's freshly studied"). Few can. Really, you are most likely NOT the exception, even when you want to think that you are. Sorry.)

Go it alone. 

(If, in spite of your very best efforts, you find yourself hopelessly behind on your studying, always go see your teacher. He or she will want to help. The honest truth!)

Blow off two days in a row. 

(Though nobody quite tells you this, you're supposed to be studying every day of the week)


All fantastic ways to ensure you DON'T ACTUALLY study, but get to say you did, one way or another.

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