Sunday, July 4, 2010

Study Spots

Students often mistake time spent studying for progress made in studying. Just like in any endeavor, if you work for the sake of occupying time, then your results will be lackluster. There is a simple formula to refer to in order to calculate how much real studying you've gotten done. Success in studying is equal to time spent studying multiplied by the intensity of your focus. So, if you are studying with an intensity of focus near 0, then the real amount of studying you will have completed will also be not too far from 0. A lack of intensity of focus is frequently what keeps students from realizing their academic potential. Too often do I see students spend enormous amounts of time studying, yet have little to show for it. This is not only demonstrates poor studying skills, but also kills self-esteem. These students are deceiving themselves - they convince themselves that they are doing their best, but are not able to succeed. These students blame a lack of intelligence on their part for their failure when really it's a lack of study skills that inhibits their progress. The problem often lies in where the studying is attempted. Your dorm room is probably one of the worst place you could possibly study.   The only thing your dorm room has going for it is convenience.  With all of the distractions present both inside and outside your room (such as your friends, an array of distracting technology, and a roommate), it's no wonder that students spend many hours studying in their dorm room and are disappointed when they receive their exam grade. Even if you have minor success with studying in your dorm room, you should realize that you can cut the time you spend studying into a fraction of what it currently is. In order to truly become effective at studying you must find a study spot that allows you to maximize your intensity of focus (and thus your productivity) while you study. Naturally a good place for this is the library. However, a study spot can be anywhere that is relatively quiet, secluded, and free of distractions. If you enjoy studying outside then finding a secluded table or bench somewhere can be just as effective as the library. Find a spot that you can mark as your own - somewhere that your brain will soon classify as a place for serious work. Once you you start doing this you should see an instant boost in both the quantity and quality of your work. Feel free to experiment with different locations until you find one that fits you.

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