Let’s face it: studying is a serious commitment that involves a lot of hard work. As a result, it’s not surprising that many study myths seem to focus on the idea that studying is a waste of time or that people can get away with studying less and still get great marks. However, it is important to recognize the difference between what is true about studying and what is not in order to get the most out of your study routine. Therefore, you may find it helpful to know some of the more popular myths about studying and why they are just that: myths.
- I don’t need to waste time studying. I can just learn while I sleep. Known as subliminal learning or sleep learning, this “study” technique involves listening to recordings of material while you sleep. There are many sites that claim people can learn entire languages using this method, but the proof simply isn’t there. Don’t take chances on an unproven study method that could cost you your 4.0 GPA.
- I study better under pressure. This is a favorite myth of crammers. They say that they can’t concentrate on their class material unless the pressure is really on. It’s a myth. It’s not that some people study better under pressure, but that they never developed the self discipline to study on a regular basis.
- Studying right before a test is better because everything is fresh in your mind. It takes time for facts and information to be transferred from your short-term memory into your long-term memory. Therefore, you’re likely to forget material that you look at for the very first time shortly before a test.
- If I study something too much, I’ll forget it. This is perhaps the most ridiculous study myth of all as there is no reason to think that you will forget something simply because you review it again and again. However, if you’re still having trouble believing that studying too much is nothing more than a myth, think about it this way: Would you forget your name? Your phone number? The location of your classes? Of course you wouldn’t so why would class material be any different?
- I do better on tests if I don’t study. It’s not hard to imagine how this myth originated. It’s the perfect excuse for people who are too lazy to study. Although there are occasional exceptions (you might do poorly on a test for which you studied several months for or get a high mark on a test you didn’t prepare for at all), people almost always do better on tests if they study beforehand.