As any student knows, there is a lot of pressure to succeed in school. But with so much advice out there, it can be hard to know what studying techniques are actually effective. Unfortunately, many of the most popular study tips are based on myths that have been debunked by science.
Here are five learning myths debunked:
Myth #1: Cramming is an effective way to learn.
Cramming is a method of last-minute studying or the act of trying to fit a large amount of information into a short period of time. Do students of all ages use a common study technique?
Cramming may help you get through a test, but it doesn’t do much for long-term retention. Studies have shown that spacing out your studying over time is a much more effective way to learn. So instead of pulling an all-nighter before your exam, try studying a little bit each day.
Anyone who has ever pulled an all-nighter to study for an exam knows that cramming can be an effective way to learn. In fact, research has shown that cramming can help improve the long-term retention of information.
One reason for this is that cramming forces the brain to process information more quickly. When we are faced with a large amount of information, our brains naturally try to find ways to simplify and organize it. As a result, cramming can help us better understand and remember complex concepts.
Additionally, the act of retrieval Practice also plays a role in memory formation. When we retrieve information from our memories, we strengthen the neural connections that encode that information. So, even though it may not be pleasant, cramming can help us learn and remember information in the long term.
Myth 2: The More You Study, The Better Your Grades Will Be
One of the most pervasive myths about studying is that more time spent studying will always lead to better grades. However, this is not necessarily true. According to a recent study, students who study for more than four hours a day are less likely to perform better on exams than those who study for two hours or less. Students who study for more than four hours a day are more likely to receive lower grades.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of California, found that students who study for longer periods of time are more likely to experience negative consequences such as sleep deprivation and anxiety. So the next time you’re stuck in the library for hours on end, remember that it might not be doing you any good. And if you’re looking for an excuse to take a break, you can always tell your friends that you’re doing it for your GPA.
Myth 3: You’re Either “Right-Brained” Or “Left-Brained.”
The idea that people use different sides of their brains for different tasks is popular, but it’s also largely inaccurate. Sure, the left side of the brain is responsible for language and logical reasoning, while the right side is more creative and intuitive. But in reality, both sides of the brain are used for all sorts of tasks. Most people use a mix of both sides when they’re doing anything from solving a math problem to writing a poem. So next time someone tells you that they’re “right-brained” or “left-brained,” feel free to roll your eyes—it’s just another myth about the way our brains work.
Myth 4: Everyone Learns In The Same Way
We all learn differently. Some of us are visual learners, while others are auditory or kinesthetic learners. And while some people may be able to learn best by listening to a lecture, others may prefer to read texts or see diagrams. The important thing is to find out what works best for you and to use that to your advantage.
If you’re a visual learner, try using flashcards or mind maps to help you learn new information. If you’re an auditory learner, try listening to audio recordings of your lectures or reading out loud. And if you’re a kinesthetic learner, try doing things like taking walks or doing puzzles while studying. Finding the right learning method for you can make studying a lot more effective—and less frustrating.
Myth 5: People Retain 10% Of What They Read
Like most people, you probably think that you retain more than 10% of what you read. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The average person only retains about 10% of what they read. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. For example, if you’re reading for pleasure, you’re likely to retain more than 10% of the material.
But if you’re trying to learn something new or absorb complex information, 10% is about all you can expect to remember. So how can you ensure that you retain as much as possible? One method is to take notes while you’re reading. It’ll help to reinforce the main points and make them easier to recall later on. Another method is to read the material multiple times. It may seem like a lot of work, but it’s actually one of the most effective ways to learn new information.
So there you have it: Five myths about studying that are probably holding you back. Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by everything you have to learn, remember that quality is more important than quantity. And if you’re having trouble finding a learning method that works for you, don’t be afraid to experiment until you find something that sticks.