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15 Poor Study Practices to Get Rid of in 2021

25 August 2021

Regrettably, bad study habits are abound in the lives of the average high school or college student. The fear of a distant deadline might soothe you into a false feeling of complacency, and when that happens, you don't do the small things that will help you prep for the potential pitfalls. There are also a plethora of distractions that might divert your attention and lead you to lose concentration. It isn't always easy to spot poor study habits. Many of them start as good habits that don't pan out. If you've ever spent a lot of time studying for an exam, confident that you'll ace it, only to receive a poor score, you've been engaging in some terrible study practices.

Examining your existing study abilities is the first step toward becoming a more effective student. Identifying trouble areas or places where you might use some support will help you get started on solving any issues. Finding the ideal approach to study is a never-ending process with no one-size-fits-all solution. However, every successful student has specific study habits that you may use to attain your full potential.

The first step toward success is to learn how to identify bad practices and master time management abilities successfully. Whether you're meeting new people, learning how to manage coursework, finding time for meals, socializing, exercising, or working, you may overcome stress. If you are struggling with your studying, whether or not you stay up late, study all night, but still get bad grades, here are some examples of poor study habits that you can change before heading back to school this fall, or even while in the process.

crumpling paper

Not Having A Plan

Create a study plan that specifies what you should complete during this session before you begin studying. Set a target for each study session, including how many words of an assignment you'll compose or which topics you'll be able to describe and explain.

Not Setting Priorities

Setting the proper priorities may be tricky, and there are so many other things you'd really be doing and so many individuals you'd rather be with. However, you must have a big picture of your life and recognize that what makes you happy now will not always help you achieve your long-term objectives. Begin with what you wish to do for a living. Make a career plan to help you get there. Know where each course fits into the larger picture, even if it's just "necessary of me to pass" at the level you'll have to get into a specific school or program.


As per research, college students who did not get restful or wake up at similar times every day were more likely to receive poor results. Instead of pulling an all-nighter to study for an exam, it is far preferable to study for an hour or two many nights before the test. It's critical to get enough sleep to allow your body and mind to relax and recuperate. You may end up with low grades and health problems if you cram. It's just as vital to cultivating excellent sleeping habits as it is to develop good studying ones.

Attractive young woman using mobile phone and laptop computer while relaxing in bed

Distracted With Using Your Smartphone and Social Media

Switch off your phone and log out of your social media accounts. Save checking in on Instagram or sending that text to a buddy for a study break.


According to research, multitasking makes you less efficient than focusing on completing one activity at a time. Researchers also discovered that people who are continually exposed to many streams of electronic information could not focus, retain information, or transition from one activity to another as effectively as persons who only handle one thing at a time.

Not Having A Study Space

Studying at home is challenging and might lead to bad study habits. Many distractions may arise, preventing you from providing your undivided focus to the tasks at hand. Any distraction may derail your flow, whether it's from the TV, domestic tasks, or family members who would like to talk to you. You may benefit from the comfort and convenience of studying at home if you set up a place dedicated to learning free of distractions. Utilize technologies such as sit-stand desks and desk cycles to urge you to get up and move at regular intervals to stretch and regain your attention and keep you physically active even while studying. Organize your space as well by installing accessories and equipment that will assist you in staying focused as long as your things are in designated homes like shelves and filing cabinets for extra storage. Not to forget an ergo office chair to take care of your back and comfort you when you need to sit from standing with your standing desk. Be sure to switch from time to time to optimize productivity and focus.

Teen student girl listening music with headphones and doing homework

Listening to Music

When executing some tasks, listening to music might be helpful. It can make you become more motivated or boost your mood. Many students swear by this study practice as being beneficial to their studies. Music, on the other hand, does not appear to aid individuals in learning anything new or difficult, according to studies. Music, particularly songs with lyrics, can eat up processing time, making it difficult to retain what you're studying.

Studying Only To Try To Remember

Connect the topic to other things you have studied or learned rather than merely remembering it for a test. Create a mind map for you to use to link facts and have a better grasp of the subject.

Not Making an Outline

An outline may allow you to manage your thoughts and keep a record of what you need to learn, especially if you're covering a lot of material. You raise your chances of missing important subjects and failing to earn the score you desire if you don't outline.

Dodging Classes

If you don't attend class, you'll waste a lot of time copying notes and questioning acquaintances about what you missed. Attending every class takes a lot of dedication and commitment. Still, if you skip lessons frequently, you'll have to study and remember the material from the start, making it more challenging to improve your grades.

Studying With The TV On

Pick a good low-traffic area in your home where you may concentrate on your studies without being distracted. Make this a place where you may focus solely on studying, which will motivate you to get to work right away. If at all possible, stay away from your bedroom.

teen browsing phone


Some individuals work well under pressure, yet procrastinating is among the worst behaviours people have when it comes to learning. We have a tendency to overestimate the amount of time we will need to complete activities and put off studying until later. As a consequence, the performance is less than outstanding. To guarantee that you can work well and finish the job on time, divide the problem or tasks into small fragments and establish a deadline for each part. You may also utilize the Pomodoro method to help you manage your time.

Being Disorganized

Being unorganized will simply make learning more difficult because there is so much stuff to think about. Don't merely write notes and scribble reminders in strange locations. Keep track of all test dates, homework, deadlines, and study plans in a notebook. You may also use an app that will help you arrange all of your studying-related items.

Not Taking Breaks

Physical exercise is nearly always required to break poor study habits. Without losing track of the goal, you can't spend far too much time in front of a computer. To remain active, your body requires as much stimulation as your mind, so get up every 20 or 30 minutes and go for a stroll or perform some other sort of physical activity. A standing desk and an under-desk bike can help you considerably in this area. Maintaining a healthy level of activity and movement will help your brain stay attentive for a longer duration.

Not Learning From Mistakes

Students that succeed learn from their errors. Do not lose hope if you get a poor grade on an exam or homework. Next time, make a strategy to perform better by using the experience to figure out where you can still progress.

Poor study habits might derail an otherwise good academic career. If you know what you want to be after school, then study the steps necessary to get there and don't allow anything to stand in your way.