The magic grade fairies have been watching you.
They know just how hard you’ve been working on that project/homework/study session, and they will grant you the exalted golden A+ of perfect knowledge.
If you believe that, I’ve got some fantastic diet pills that will let you EAT WHATEVER YOU WANT and NEVER GAIN AN OUNCE (half-price today, get’em while their hot).
Good study habits involve a lot more (and less) than hard work during crunch time.
There is no magical connection between hard work and great grades.
Let me be as clear as the school parking lot the day after finals; I’m NOT advocating sloth. You must definitely work.
But smart work is MUCH better than hard work.
Did you know that a professional athlete expends less energy performing a given skill than does a noob doing the same skill?
That’s because the pro knows what muscles not to use. The pro knows just how much energy to expend to get the desired results. The novice, on the other hand, uses too much muscle and too much energy.
That translates to poorer results and more fatigue.
Many students–you?–make the same errors in their studies, especially at crunch time. They work too hard in the wrong way. Poor results. Fatigue.
BUT. . .
A few simple study tips can make a big difference in you getting great grades.
Are you putting too much energy and brain power into the wrong things? Things like. . .
When crunch time comes, college students start cramming.
Cramming to do well on a test or project is like spending four hours in a tanning bed the day before Spring Break.
- It hurts.
- It costs you now and later (now it’s expensive and painful, later it causes skin like fried pork rinds and visits to dermatologists).
- It hurts.
- The effects will peel away in a few days.
- And did I mention it hurts?
Cramming during crunch time hurts too. Crunch time leads to cramming leads to PAIN.
Failing to use good study habits costs you now and later, and you end up losing more than you gained.
You spend all night working your keister off (the keister is located just south of the duodenum, if you were wondering).
You miraculously pass the test without using good study habits.
Your brain looks like those little bits of meat that fell through the grill at the Sizzler and have been slowly cinder-izing all day long.
Pooooor performance on other tests and assignments.
You’ve also stored everything in short-term memory, meaning that all that time and energy will net you exactly bupkiss, since you’ll forget it all three days after the test. So next semester, when you are taking the second part of that subject, you’re going to have to learn it all again.
To summarize. . .
20 hours of mind-numbing study + 14 Red Bulls = an underwhelming exam score + the functional IQ of a drunk weasel + zero recall three days later.
NOT your best work.
Study Tips for Crammers
Use these good study habits instead.
Take that same twenty hours of study and spread it out evenly over the course of the semester; thirty minutes per weekday should do it.
Study the same stuff, but in small doses.
That way it’s not mind-numbing–not even mentally taxing.
Now it’s going into long term memory, so three days after the test it will still be there, not to mention next semester when you need it for the second part of the class.
Then. . .
Go do something relaxing the night before the test, and turn in early for a good night’s sleep and a prof-impressing performance on that exam the next day.
To summarize. . .
(30 minutes of easy study) × (forty well-spaced sessions) = (an impressive exam grade) + (the IQ of the ideal you) + (the envy of your friends) – (that Christmas card Red Bull sends you every year in thanks for your support).
Canning your cramming habit is just one bad habit that’s costing you grades and peace of mind.
What are the worst study habits you’ve gotten rid of? Let me know in the comments below!