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Easy Ways To Break The Worst Study Habits

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Illinois chapter.

In high school, good grades were not that hard to earn. All you had to do was show up to class and take notes. Then, a glance over your notes right before the test and all was you needed. However, college is quite different. It only takes about a week to realize it. High school created poor studying habits and it’s incredibly hard to quit them. Yet, while it may be hard to get rid of these habits, it’s still possible.

1. Procrastination

We’ve all been there. You have a giant test or paper due but you find yourself on Facebook, Pinterest or Buzzfeed taking quizzes (clearly it’s important to know what ‘Friends’ character you are). While you may be able to get all of your work done even with procrastinating, it’s still better to stop this habit so you can get all your work done and go to bed at a reasonable time.

It’s not realistic that you will be able to just sit down and do your work all at once, so it’s important that you take breaks and reward yourself. Divide your homework up into different sections and every time that you read 20 pages, you can reward yourself by checking Facebook or Pinterest for a few minutes. If you have something to look forward to it will be easier to stay completely focused on the task at hand.

2. Sparknotes, Summaries etc.

To read a novel or to look at the one page description on Sparknotes? Those short descriptions might have worked in high school, but college is a different story.

Reading the material cover to cover can be long and sometimes painful. However, by actually reading the material you will have a much easier time understanding what you are learning. Plus, when it’s the night before the test rather than having to cram all the things you “skimmed over” you can just look over your notes and you’ll be good to go for the test.

3. Skimming

Fifty pages is a lot to read and when you have to do it for every class, and it’s so much easier to just glance over it and just get the gist of things. However, by doing this you do not actually learn the material.

You have to take the time to read the material and comprehend it. It’s easier if you highlight or take notes to help things move along and then when it comes time to review, all the important information is together in one spot. Use notes to find the most important topics, but avoid saving reading until the last minute so you’re not stuck with skimming the page. 

4. Studying with Friends

There are some people who can study well in groups, but when you are with your close friends it can be really hard to stay on topic.

The solution is to separate and study on your own. It might not be as fun, but it is what will produce the best result. If you can study early on and learn the material well, then you can  review for the test with your friends.

5. Not Planning

You have to know all that you need to accomplish and have a strong plan for how you’re going to execute it. Use planners, sticky notes, outlines and more to keep yourself organized. Start early, because finals will creep up on you. 



I'm a Journalism major at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. My passion is writing and I hope to do so for the rest of my life ~
Editor in Chief of Her Campus Illinois Chapter