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Mtl_zack's avatar

Is there something wrong with my studying habits?

Asked by Mtl_zack (6759points) May 4th, 2008

my friends are freaking out over exams and essays, but i’m playing it cool. i have a reduced load, and my teachers are a bit more relaxed than others. i always pass my exams, like high 60s to high 70s, but i dont study as much as my friends who get the same mark, and have the same classes, but with different teachers. they are completely freaking out. i bet they’re studying right now, while im on fluther.

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22 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

Do you want us to tell you that you are gifted?

Allie's avatar

Nah, you just have different work habits. I’m like that, too. But are you happy with 60–70%? If you are, then ok. Personally, those grades would make me try a bit harder.
Also, if you freak out too much about exams and essay and you stress about NOT failing you put too much pressure on yourself and end up freaking out during the exam. Not good.

babygalll's avatar

They may not have done all the work in the semester. Why stress yourself the night before. If you know the material you know it. You aren’t going to learn a whole semesters work in one night.

shilolo's avatar

Mtl. What’s the scale on your exams that 60s-70s is considered OK? Can you do better, like say 80–90, or dare I say, 100? I’ve been through A LOT of schooling, and let me tell you that nothing in life comes easy. Better to learn more discipline now rather than later. This is true in all facets of life, including academics and sports. I am reminded of the new commercial with Michael Jordan where he shoots down the notion that his success was just a “gift”.

gailcalled's avatar

Keep on not studying. Keep on being cool. Keep on reducing the load. Keep on enjoying a C average. Hope you enjoy flipping burgers.

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

I don’t study either but thats because I make 80s and 90s without it. I think you should study but just not worry about it.

Mtl_zack's avatar

@ gailcalled and shilolo: i see where you guys are coming from, but how can i do better? im a very stubborn individual, and my parents always describe me as doing only whats necesary, and nothing more. i have a tutor who gives me problems to do, but i find physics so boring and repetitive, and i cant sit still for 10 minutes (i have add). i would rather read a book and memorize how to do the problem then actually sit down and repeat over and over again.

Allie's avatar

Maybe you should find something to motivate you to study? Like a reward for studying for 30 minutes. I don’t know. Just a thought.

shilolo's avatar

Do you want some concrete advice? I would suggest a different tactic for studying than rote memorization, which not only is boring, but does not prepare you for a real exam, or real life for that matter. For math, chemistry, physics types of classes, I would study by first ensuring that I had a good understanding of the material. Then I would do problem sets, or if available, old exams until I new that I could answer every permutation of the question. For the more “liberal arts” types of classes, I just learned how to BS very well…
I would also add that it is called discipline for a reason. You need to pry yourself away from the computer, TV, phone, iPOD, etc., and sit and study! When I was in college and beyond, I would forcibly drag myself to the library or other out of the way spot and sit there for hours. Sure its no fun, and sure it would have been better hanging with my friends. But I succeeded as much because of innate gifts as from spending hours and hours studying. So, drag yourself to the library, turn off your phone, sit in a dark cubby and work. Despite the pain of doing it, you will really come to appreciate the hard work in the end.

xyzzy's avatar

Yes there is, and you’re going to get your ass handed to you the first time you take a truly difficult course. You’re coasting; surely you realize that. And when coasting you can develop some really bad habits, or worse, not develop any good habits.

Judging from your grades, there is significant room for improvement (assuming grading on a scale of 0–100). Now is an excellent time to find out what it would take to improve those marks, since you don’t seem to be under immense pressure to pass. I’m not trying to say “study harder”; that’s useless generic BS. I’m saying experiment with changes to your study habits to find what works better for you.

Mtl_zack's avatar

i just went on to the math departments website and i found old exams. they’re printing right now, so im gonna turn off my computer and hide it, so i dont get distracted, and so i could actually focus on my work. tommorrow ill see the academic advisor and ask her opinion on this matter.

gailcalled's avatar

Mtl-being stubborn and dealing with ADD are two different issues. And trust me, shilolo learned to write and reason clearly somewhere along the line.

But only you can sort out what’s important. Are there any academic subjects you enjoy (leaving aside the issues of exams and grades)? Can you sit still and concentrate in class? I just read your last answer. Good idea to get some help (maybe with the ADD also. If you have “ants in your pants,” as my grandmother used to say, that is distracting.)

shilolo's avatar

@Mtl. That is an excellent start! If you understand the material, and go over the old exams (hopefully with the answers at the end) you will have a real advantage. You might also consider finding a study partner who can motivate you and with whom you can discuss difficult topics. If you meet with him/her to go over the math questions (as an example) you can explain things to him/her (this is also an excellent way to learn, by “teaching”) and he/she can explain the ones you don’t understand. That kind of give-and-take will be very useful.
So to summarize:
1. Practice makes perfect
2. Find a study partner
3. Find a secret spot with no distractions and grow some roots
@Gail. Don’t be so sure… ;-)

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

Well it’s kind of hard to go out of the habit of studying and back into it. I would say that you would just need to discipline yourself more, you should set up a schedule for yourself and make sure that you follow it by getting the people around you(your parents) to help. Like you could have them take the cable wire out of your room until your homework is finished, or have them sit you down at the table to make sure you get your work done. I was like you in middle school, I just never did my homework at home. I would be more than happy to do it at school or at my tutors but never at home. Those are two of the ways I kicked the habit of not studying, I have naturally been able to just learn things even when I don’t pay attention so that’s just been kind of awesome for me. Now you probably don’t work the same way and I am not sure what grade you’re in or what you plan to do, but I can tell you that if you plan to goto college then making high 60s and 70s won’t cut it(unless you want to goto community college[maybe]). I agree with Shilolo, that seems to be a great idea and would probably benefit you greatly.

Mtl_zack's avatar

i enjoy the subjects where you do less calculations, like history, psycology, english, etc…i find its easier to concentrate because the subject matter actually interests me. it also deals with a new issue each question and isnt as repetitive. thats one of the main reasons why im applying for a program change into social sciences. initially i had pressure from my parents, but now, its back on track, and they’ve leaned to accept my life choices.

i have a person in mind who would be a perfect study partner, except that she lives far away.
im in CEGEP, which is a stupid pre-college quebec-only thing that you do after grade 11. so, im already in college, by american standards, and i want to become an anthropologist, but more culturally than physically.

shilolo's avatar

Admittedly, it is a lot easier to study for subjects you like versus subjects you detest. When I took electricity and magnetism, I hated it, and so couldn’t stomach the work.

It is good that you identified areas of interest; that will serve you well. I don’t have as much concrete advice on those subjects as they are not in my area of expertise. That said, I still think that my 3 suggestions above can apply very well, although I’m not 100% sure how you “practice” for a history exam except to try and prepare your mind for the types of questions your teacher might ask. Good luck.

edmartin101's avatar

I like to start by showing the positive side of your disability and knowing the parameters under which you can function better, what are the things you can do to improve your circumstance. Please take a look at these videos and get a good perspective on how to succeed in your studies.

Positive attributes of ADHD
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WpMd3SoTeQ&feature=related

Two learning strategies with ADHD
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQv1ELKCjbw

Adventure into the ADD Brain
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jcow_rzwep4&NR=1

Kids with ADHD Can Be Wildly Successful in School
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQv1ELKCjbw&feature=related

How to Freak Kids with ADHD Out
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zw5qg3vqKdI&feature=related

Understanding your unique circumstance will allow zeroing on your strategy how to improve your study habits. You probably think that taking a teacher who is not too strict and passing with 60% to 70% is an accomplishment given your deficiency.

Well the good news is that there ways you can train yourself to do better in school and succeed with better grades. Better grades only give you an edge when it comes to getting a job interview. Once you are in the driving seat, grades go down the drain. Now the important thing is know how to remember things, understand concepts and be able to express them in a way your interviewers understand.

There are ways you can develop to accomplish this objective. Some of the previous videos give you some idea on this area. But the important factor is that you need to have a passion for learning what you have decided to study. If you feel you are not gonna enjoy this career, then perhaps is not too late to change direction and get into a career that will be more fulfilling for you.

Just like gailcalled said, mediocrity will only lead you to a mediocre lifestyle. I’m sure you’re not looking forward to a high paying job of $7 per hour washing dishes at McDonalds. You must decide and act now to get passion to learn that which you feel you can be good at and master that skill to the point where you can market yourself as a valuable asset employers want to have in their organization.

Count on your Fluther family, we can help!

monsoon's avatar

if you’re okay with getting 60’s and 70’s, i wouldn’t be. i can guess on exams and get 80’s, but i don’t like B’s, so i study.

NVOldGuy's avatar

Just keep making excuses and doing nothing to improve and you’ll get where you want to be.

jvgr's avatar

If your goal for success is 60 – 70%; what happens when you miss?

FreddieMack's avatar

Nah bro. Don’t stress. I’ve never freaked out over tests. In my head I only see them as an obsticle that I’m going to hurdle over.

gailcalled's avatar

—Hmm. How does one spell “obstacle”? And people who hurtle often fall and break things. “Hurdle” is the noun.

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