The Myths About Study Habits

By Bryan Toporek — September 10, 2010 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

New research by psychologists has found that “some of the most hallowed advice on study habits is flat wrong,” according to the New York Times.

For instance: The Times reports that many study-skills courses instruct students to find a particular place to study and stick to that location, but research suggests just the opposite is true.

Studies show that the brain makes unconscious relations between the information being studied and a students’ study environment; therefore, “forcing the brain to make multiple associations with the same material may, in effect, give that information more neural scaffolding,” the Times suggests.

The article highlights other misconceptions surrounding studying as well. It turns out, for example, that mixing up content while studying (instead of focusing specifically on one topic) can help students remember nearly twice as much. And those infamous all-night cram sessions—come on, who hasn’t been there before?—may help a student get a better score on a test, but most of that information ultimately ends up going in one ear and out the other (so to speak).

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.