5 Popular Study Myths Debunked
In this article, we debunk several popular studying habits that are really just study myths. Parents, before sending your kids to the books, take a good look at this list – you could actually be stressing your child out more and lowering their chances of doing their best!
Study Myth 1: Burn the midnight oil
Probably the biggest study myth there is. From primary school to university, studying through the late night, even into the wee hours of the morning, is a common studying method. It could be distractions in the day, or even a personal preference to study under a dim fluorescent lamp at the midnight hour, burning the midnight oil is a common practice
Debunked: It’s a bad move, trading sleep for a few extra hours of math practice. Studies have shown that sleep-deprived people perform worse on complex cognitive tasks as compared to someone who is well-rested. So, don’t reduce your kid’s brainpower, choose to sleep over late nights!
Study Myth 2: Studying longer results in better grades
It doesn’t matter how or what your kid studies – if he clocks five hours a day he is bound to do well, right?
Debunked: There is very little improvement if your kid just blindly reads his science textbook for the whole afternoon. A much better way to maximise study time is to teach your kid to study smart. Make him read and understand the key chapters and then practice the important questions first. Also, try to target your kid’s weak areas in his subjects.
Study Myth 3: Cramming before the exam keeps the memory fresh
Another all-time favourite study myth – cramming right before the paper keeps the memory fresh. ‘Cramming’ involves mentally devouring notes, formulas and passages just before the exam, in hopes that a powerful short-term memory will kick in.
Debunked: Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way, regular review and study over long periods of time way before the exam deliver solid retention results. Relying on cramming could result in huge conceptual gaps. Chances are, your child did not understand half of what he read.
Study Myth 4: Children should study alone at home
Nobody at home means there will be no distractions for your studying kid. Plus, you and your spouse get to spend the weekend shopping!
Debunked: Parents who leave their kids alone to study are making a huge mistake. In doing so they are relying on a high level of maturity and discipline that even most adults don’t possess, let alone children. With the Internet, television, iPhone and whatnot lying around at home – chances are, your kid will complete a full stage of Angry Birds before even touching that math textbook.
Study Myth 5: Everyone learns the same way
Parents often think there is a one-size-fits-all study plan for their children. Sit the child at the desk and make him practice those math sums over and over in silence. Is it really effective?
Debunked: The truth couldn’t be any more of the opposite, as each individual child is different. Take the time to understand your kid. You may find that he studies better with some classical music in the background, or with some food within arm’s reach. As they say, there are many ways to cut the cake.