Good Work and Study Habits

Study Habits of Highly Effective Students

“Habit is second nature.” Habit is something we do without effort, almost unconsciously and without thinking.  It is something  we do easily and almost spontaneously as we have got accustomed to it. We are not born with habits, whether  good or bad but they are acquired..

If we have good study habits learning becomes so much easier.


We acquire a habit by doing the same thing over and over again, by repeating something again and again. . For example we learn to be  punctual by arriving in time day after day for class or work. When we do something the first time it may be difficult. But as we do it again and again the difficulty decreases and the action becomes almost natural and effortless. If we take punctuality for example, it will be difficult in the beginning to be in time. We may arrive late or very early. We may find it difficult to get up in time in the morning . May be we are tired, or the weather is cold or comfortable ,it could be we are lazy. We may miscalculate the time needed to reach a place etc.  But when we make punctuality a value we are willing to invest effort and after some time it becomes second nature to  us. Good habits formed early in life are a very solid investment for a lifetime.

Let us look at some of the important study habits.

1.Understand what you learn, do not memorise without understanding

2. Have a regular study schedule

3. review each day’s lesson at the end of the day

4. do your home work first

5. first study difficult subject, then the easy one

6. make a daily or weekly study time table

7.Do not sit for long sessions, take breaks

8. study daily, instead of cramming on exam eve

9. make notes as you study.

11. have your doubts cleared without delaying matters

12. study and reinforce to the point of saturation.

14. dedicate your study

15. try to study at the same place and time.

First of all understand before you try to memorise. Memorising lengthy answers should be reduced to the minimum. It is needless burdening of memory. Especially in subjects like

Mathematics  memorizing sums is a poor and inefficient way of solving problems. One must learn to proceed step by step logically in working out  a mathematical problem.

To memorise something you do not understand is a tedious task and a heavy strain.  It consumes lots of energy and kills the joy of learning, making it a drudgery. It will be like committing to memory Greek or Latin passages.

Poetry is more easily memorized  because of its rhyme and rhythm which are good memory aids. In this case loud recitation is also helpful for memorizing.

If you are memorizing a long passage like a lengthy elocution passage first of all divide  your passage into various units, understand the flow and development of thought and the connections between ideas. This gives you a certain kind of mental outline or pegs on which you can hang the sentence clusters. Do not leave any word without understanding it  but know its meaning thoroughly  by consulting a dictionary.

Loud reading as a method of study may give psychological satisfaction or an assurance to worried parents that you are seriously studying but is an inefficient way of learning. It involves a lot of waste of time and can become quite mechanical. Slowly develop the habit of reading silently and you will  learn better. As a transitional stage to completely silent study you may do lip movement without uttering the words but you can soon graduate from this to complete silent study where the mind is very active and quick but the lips and vocal chords are at rest and you can read at a rapid pace without let or hindrance.

Transfer your vocal chord activity to your finger tips by taking down notes as you read. You may write down points or make an outline of what you read. After you read for some time close your book try to repeat what you read and jot it down.

Let me ask myself

1. What good study habits do I have?

2. In which areas do I need to improve? What can be done?

3. Do I memorise too much? In which areas can I avoid it?


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