6 Mistakes You Might Be Making During Your Study Session

You’ve got your notebook and laptop packed, you’ve lined up a slew of study snacks, and you’ve found the perfect corner in the library to hunker down and start studying. The next step? Make sure you’re not making any of these mistakes!

1. Studying for too long. 

Here’s something you’ll be happy to hear — You really shouldn’t study for too long at one time! In fact, taking regular study breaks helps you digest and retain the information better. Keep your sessions to an hour or less and then get in a good break before you dive in again.


2. Only re-reading your notes.

Re-reading your notes seems like the most obvious study method. After all, you spent so much time writing them — isn’t that what they’re there for? Well, yes…But that’s not all you should do. Methods like quizzing yourself, creating outlines, and summarizing are actually more effective, so switch up the way you study next time!



3. Memorizing instead of understanding.

Another big “no” is simply memorizing answers. While this might help you swing a few questions, you can’t guarantee the entire exam will be that simple! Make sure you actually understand what you’re learning, rather than just being able to spit back words that have no meaning to you. The easy way to do this? Start asking yourself “why?” more during your study sessions.


4. Cramming.

It’s not hard seeing why so many of us opt for a cram session the night before an exam. Of course procrastination has a way of getting the best of us, but there’s also the belief that waiting until the last minute will keep the information fresh in your mind. News flash: This isn’t true, and it’s a recipe for stress! You’ll retain more information (and feel more relaxed!) if you break up the material into multiple study sessions leading up to exam day.


5. Pulling all-nighters.

Speaking of cramming, it’s even worse if your study session runs the entire night before your exam! Your brain actually needs sleep in order to learn and retain new information, so you’re actually doing yourself a disservice every time you pull an all-nighter.


6. Not seeking help.

A lot of us fear asking for help when we need clarity. Maybe you think it’ll make you seem stupid, maybe you fear it’s a giveaway that you totally zoned out during the lesson (Oops!), or maybe you’re just hoping you’ll eventually catch on by yourself. Whatever the reason is, put the ego aside for a minute! There’s a reason your professors have office hours and your campus offers tutoring services — Take advantage of them!

How do you make the most of your study sessions? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below.


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  1. Cynthia Rice says:

    Remind yourself you are learning. Take time to explore the subject. If you know the type of learner you are, get together with classmates who share similar learning styles and challenges in the course and empower one another by sharing material and working on assignments throughout the semester. You will discover you have more knowledge of the course when you share concepts learned with classmates. Go Blue together!

  2. Brooke Siedenstrang says:

    I find myself not understand the facts . Reading I understand more quickly than writing, writing is more of a challenge for me . I consitrat to hard and some times ask the wrong questions .

    • Cynthia Rice says:

      Remember Brooke, you are learning. I find re-writing key points I’ve read and written help me to recall information on the exams. Try simple “bubble mapping” place a bug circle in the center of a paper. Draw lines out from it line spider legs and put the smaller circles with key points there ex. Your center bubble could say “reading” your spider legs might say, writing, recall, keywords. Before you know it, you will be taking notes without being frustrated. Remember, ask for help. Your instructors can help you get a volunteer note-taker for your challenging courses. Success to you on your studies and realize you’re a “Victor Brooke! GO BLUE!

  3. Rumman Ali says:

    i completely agree with the tips

  4. Michael Ajibola says:

    what if you are slow at assimilating what you study?

  5. Tamara Seager says:

    I study in hour long blocks of time several times a day. I have heard that the average expected study time per one hour of classes is 3-4hrs. I take 3 classes, 6 hrs total so I allow a minimum of 18 hours of study each week. I break it up into segments of my days. On days that I actually have classes, I dont study those evenings or I would be on overload.between work,

  6. Laura says:

    Thanks, this was useful!

  7. Tamara Seager says:

    I have found that setting aside study time in blocks if 1 hour of studying with a 30 minute or more break helps me retain information better. I have classes on TuTh all day and don’t study those nights. That would be too much. I average 3 hours of study time to one hr of class in average.

  8. Cora Brown-Campbell says:

    Very good information .

  9. Tanya Mullen says:

    I read the chapter then read again. I write key notes but for some reason the test asks questions that turns my head. Even though I have all the information, I can not seem to figure out exactly what is being asked if me.

  10. Gena Alexander says:

    Those late nite 2am crammers only get you stressed and overwhelmed… Sleep early and start early… Like they say, “EARLY BIRD 🦅 CATCHES THE WORM!”

  11. Briana Hill says:

    I believe a lot of students mistakes are not reading their syllabus. Our professors usually clearly state what chapter and/or subject they will be going over every week on it. If you try to read a little bit of the chapter before or after the class, it’s usually a lot easier to follow along with their lecture. You get more of an in debt understanding of what the professor is talking about, and it helps you avoid day dreaming. I’ve been guilty of throwing my syllabus to the side and neglecting it in my first couple semesters, but one of my past tutors gave me this advice, and I’ve been following it ever since. Trust me, it works. Being “prepared” for class means more than bringing a pen, notebook, and textbook to class, it also means studying and doing your homework on time.

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