Bad Study Habits your child needs to ditch
27 September 2018 EDUCATION
By Nomali Cele
The point of putting in hard work into studying is that you hope that the work will yield good results. No student studies expecting the result to be disappointing or, worse, to fail. But for many students, the apprehension and desire to do well and excel can have the opposite effects.
“Humans have a limited working memory and we can only manage about 7-9 pieces of new information at a time,” says Dr Lieb Liebenberg the CEO of ITSI “This means that if we want to master new material, we need to ensure that we do not bombard our brains with too many new facts when we are studying, because it will simply make it impossible for us to master them,” he adds.
So what are some of the bad study habits your child is likely committing?
Bad Study Habits: Cramming
Cramming is the mothership of bad study habits. When all the bad things your child has done during studying come to a head, they are likely to end up here. Cramming is when a person tries to retain a lot of information in a short span of time, you can see why this is a bad studying method.
Bad Study Habits: Not getting enough sleep
If your child is staying up cramming the night before their exam, that means they’re not getting the sleep they need. Lack of sleep affects your thinking and how you process information. So sacrificing sleep in favour of studying some more is futile because they will not learn any of what they’re studying.
Bad Study Habits: Bonding over bad habits
As a parent, you’ve probably said: “If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you also do it?” You need to probably to start adding “if your friends barely study or study badly, will you do it too?” The truth is your child is likely measuring themselves against their peers and creating a false sense of confidence because “everyone else read just two chapters.”
Bad Study Habits: Not giving themselves enough time to study
As mentioned, all bad study habits roads lead to cramming but this is where it starts. Procrastinating studying can lead to cramming because the student will not have had enough time to learn the material. If your child doesn’t give themselves enough time to study, it will lead to cramming, not getting enough sleep, drinking too much caffeine and other bad habits.
Bad Study Habits: Relying on caffeine
Whether it’s chugging down an energy drink every few hours or having coffee brewing in perpetuity, most students rely on caffeine during exam time. This can be because they see it as an energy booster and that it keeps them “alert” for longer. Caffeine in excessive doses is bad for one’s health.
“Exam time tends to bring with it some anxiety and frustration, especially when students don’t feel fully prepared,” says Des Hugo, Director of Academics at Nova Pioneer Education Group. “The anxiety, leading up to these assessments and exams, can, in turn, can lead to students adopting a few [bad study habits] such as cross-nighting in an effort to memorise as much information as possible, in a short space of time.”
Nova Pioneer has a study technique built into its lessons called Reflections Time. Says Hugo, “Our learning model includes ‘Reflection Time’, which is built into the daily lesson and this offers time for metacognition to ensure the learning is deep and retained more easily.”
“It is important to understand, however, that all children have personal preferences and areas of strength for acquiring knowledge and these might be either be through auditory or visual means,” he adds.
Advise your child to get started sooner in their studying and revision. Here’s how you can support your matriculant during exam time.