Myths About Studying
We've all heard them. "If I study, I get a worse grade than if I didn't." "I do better if I start a project the night
before it is due." "My teacher hates me; I'll never get a good grade in her class." "I'm just not smart enough to get good grades." Grades don't really matter." The list goes on and on.
These are myths about studying, no more than excuses really. How many of them have you used? They just aren't true. Let's bust these myths one by one. "If I study, I get a worse grade than if I didn't." This is merely an excuse for not studying at all. Maybe once you did decide to actually study. You looked over your notes while watching TV and called it "studying." And surprise, you didn't do well on the test. So why study at all?
If you know how to study correctly, you will do better. Get organized. Study small chunks of material at time. Take short breaks
about every 15 minutes. Study with a friend. Study in your learning style. Use all your senses. Find a way to study that works for you.
Don't give up. You'll be surprised how much it really does help.
- "I do better if I start a project the night before it is due." You have put off starting the project; admit it. So, it's true; you'll do better starting the night before than if you never do it at all. But chances are you won't do much better.
Don't think of a project as a mountain you can't climb. Start early. Get organized. Make a plan and stick to it. Make a checklist of steps to complete the project. Check them off as you go along. Don't be afraid to ask for help. When it's all completed, you'll have a sense of accomplishment. And you'll probably get a really good grade.
- My teacher hates me; I'll never get a good grade in her class." First of all, your teacher doesn't hate you. Maybe you're just not her favorite. Ask yourself why. Do you not turn in your homework? Do you act out in class? Are you impolite to her? Your relationship with your teacher is important. But guess what? The more you try to improve this relationship, the better your grades will be. No, she won't just give you better grades because she likes you. You will be earning them along with her respect. Participate more in class. Ask for help when you need it. The time you spend in class will be more pleasant. You will be more focused. And your grades will improve.
- "I'm just not smart enough to get good grades." You feel there's no use in trying because you'll never be a good student. Maybe you watch the kid next to you who never seems to study and gets straight A's. He must be a brainiack.
The truth is good grades come to those who work for them. Sure, there will always be the geniuses to whom knowledge comes easily. But they are really only a small percentage of the population. Most people have to work to do well in school. The trick is to get organized. Know what you have to do and make a plan to do it. As you check items off your "to do" list, you'll have a sense of accomplishment. You'll see your grades getting better and better.
- "Grades don't really matter." You figure you'll get into college anyway. You'll pay for it somehow. And if that doesn't work out, you'll just go get a job. The truth is grades DO matter. Good grades give you choices. With good grades, you'll have more colleges to choose from. You may even be offered some scholarships to help you pay for college. And if you have good study skills in order to get good grades in school, you will carry them over to college. With a college degree, you'll have more jobs to choose from. We all want more choices. Isn't that what being independent is all about?
"Make improvements, not excuses." You might have seen this saying on a poster at your school. It is good advice. Don't fall into the trap of study myths. Know what you have to do. Make a plan, follow it, and get it done. Your grades and your life will improve. Try it