The 10 Golden Rules of Good Studying vs The 10 Rules of Bad Studying.
Please give each list a good reading. How can you apply and learn from each list? As we approach the midway point of our semester, how can these rules assist you in achieving your academic goals?
The 10 Golden Rules of Good Studying
A Mind for Numbers
Barbara Oakley admits that during high school she loathed math and science. Perhaps you’ll find it intriguing, then, that she is now a professor of engineering and a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. And her latest book is titled A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science(Penguin, 2014).Clearly Oakley had quite a transformation from her high school days. And that’s partly what her book is about.
Mostly, though, A Mind for Numbers is chock full of excellent research-based strategies for improving learning in math, science and, well, practically anything.
When asked for permission to share a portion of her book in this newsletter, she replied, “One of the parts of the book that I think is most useful of all is the final summary of the key ideas in the book—the 10 rules of good and bad studying.” In a future issue, we’ll look at her suggestions for what NOT to do. For now, here are her 10 golden rules of good studying:
1. Use recall. After you read a page, look away and recall the main ideas. Highlight very little, and never highlight anything you haven’t put in your mind first by recalling. Try recalling main ideas when you are walking to class or in a different room from where you originally learned it. An ability to recall—to generate the ideas from inside yourself—is one of the key indicators of good learning.
2. Test yourself. On everything. All the time. Flash cards are your friend.
3. Chunk your problems. Chunking is understanding and practicing with a problem solution so that it can all come to mind in a flash. After you solve a problem, rehearse it. Make sure you can solve it cold—every step. Pretend it’s a song and learn to play it over and over again in your mind, so the information combines into one smooth chunk you can pull up whenever you want.
4. Space your repetition. Spread out your learning in any subject a little every day, just like an athlete. Your brain is like a muscle—it can handle only a limited amount of exercise on one subject at a time.
5. Alternate different problem-solving techniques during your practice. Never practice too long at any one session using only one problem-solving technique—after a while, you are just mimicking what you did on the previous problem. Mix it up and work on different types of problems. This teaches you both how and when to use a technique. (Books generally are not set up this way, so you’ll need to do this on your own.) After every assignment and test, go over your errors, make sure you understand why you made them, and then rework your solutions. To study most effectively, handwrite (don’t type) a problem on one side of a flash card and the solution on the other. (Handwriting builds stronger neural structures in memory than typing.) You might also photograph the card if you want to load it into a study app on your smartphone. Quiz yourself randomly on different types of problems. Another way to do this is to randomly flip through your book, pick out a problem, and see whether you can solve it cold.
6. Take breaks. It is common to be unable to solve problems or figure out concepts in math or science the first time you encounter them. This is why a little study every day is much better than a lot of studying all at once. When you get frustrated with a math or science problem, take a break so that another part of your mind can take over and work in the background.
7. Use explanatory questioning and simple analogies. Whenever you are struggling with a concept, think to yourself, How can I explain this so that a ten-year-old could understand it?Using an analogy really helps, like saying that the flow of electricity is like the flow of water. Don’t just think your explanation—say it out loud or put it in writing. The additional effort of speaking and writing allows you to more deeply encode (that is, convert into neural memory structures) what you are learning.
8. Focus. Turn off all interrupting beeps and alarms on your phone and computer, and then turn on a timer for twenty-five minutes. Focus intently for those twenty-five minutes and try to work as diligently as you can. After the timer goes off, give yourself a small, fun reward. A few of these sessions in a day can really move your studies forward. Try to set up times and places where studying—not glancing at your computer or phone—is just something you naturally do.
9. Eat your frogs first. Do the hardest thing earliest in the day, when you are fresh.
10. Make a mental contrast. Imagine where you’ve come from and contrast that with the dream of where your studies will take you. Post a picture or words in your workspace to remind you of your dream. Look at that when you find your motivation lagging. This work will pay off both for you and those you love!
The 10 Rules of Bad Studying
by Barbara Oakley, Faculty, Engineering, Oakland University, MI
In a recent On Course Newsletter article, we featured “The 10 Rules of Good Studying” from Barbara Oakley’s book A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Penguin, 2014). In that book, Dr. Oakley also offers “The 10 Rules of Bad Studying” seen below. Dr. Oakley’s MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) “Learning How to Learn” has enrolled 1.3 million students and is the largest and most popular online course in the world.
Oakley begins this list with wise counsel: “Avoid these techniques—they can waste your time even while they fool you into thinking you’re learning!”
1. Passive rereading—sitting passively and running your eyes back over a page. Unless you can prove that the material is moving into your brain by recalling the main ideas without looking at the page, rereading is a waste of time.
2. Letting highlights overwhelm you. Highlighting your text can fool your mind into thinking you are putting something in your brain, when all you’re really doing is moving your hand. A little highlighting here and there is okay—sometimes it can be helpful in flagging important points. But if you are using highlighting as a memory tool, make sure that what you mark is also going into your brain.
3. Merely glancing at a problem’s solution and thinking you know how to do it. This is one of the worst errors students make while studying. You need to be able to solve a problem step-by-step, without looking at the solution.
4. Waiting until the last minute to study. Would you cram at the last minute if you were practicing for a track meet? Your brain is like a muscle—it can handle only a limited amount of exercise on one subject at a time.
5. Repeatedly solving problems of the same type that you already know how to solve. If you just sit around solving similar problems during your practice, you’re not actually preparing for a test—it’s like preparing for a big basketball game by just practicing your dribbling.
6. Letting study sessions with friends turn into chat sessions. Checking your problem solving with friends, and quizzing one another on what you know, can make learning more enjoyable, expose flaws in your thinking, and deepen your learning. But if your joint study sessions turn to fun before the work is done, you’re wasting your time and should find another study group.
7. Neglecting to read the textbook before you start working problems. Would you dive into a pool before you knew how to swim? The textbook is your swimming instructor—it guides you toward the answers. You will flounder and waste your time if you don’t bother to read it. Before you begin to read, however, take a quick glance over the chapter or section to get a sense of what it’s about.
8. Not checking with your instructors or classmates to clear up points of confusion.Professors are used to lost students coming in for guidance—it’s our job to help you. The students we worry about are the ones who don’t come in. Don’t be one of those students.
9. Thinking you can learn deeply when you are being constantly distracted. Every tiny pull toward an instant message or conversation means you have less brain power to devote to learning. Every tug of interrupted attention pulls out tiny neural roots before they can grow.
10. Not getting enough sleep. Your brain pieces together problem-solving techniques when you sleep, and it also practices and repeats whatever you put in mind before you go to sleep. Prolonged fatigue allows toxins to build up in the brain that disrupt the neural connections you need to think quickly and well. If you don’t get a good sleep before a test, NOTHING ELSE YOU HAVE DONE WILL MATTER.
Why Work with CheggAnswers
At CheggAnswers.com, we boast of our quick turnaround that is facilitated by our experienced team of writers. We can handle both short and long deadlines, as per our clients’ requests. Quality work is the cornerstone of our service.
Our writers are qualified professionals who are well-versed with more than 80 subjects. We have achieved this milestone overtime because of our rigorous hiring process that filters professionals from average writers. We believe that exposing our customers to qualified writers is the starting point of delivering quality work.
Our writers submit papers that are written from scratch to uphold the much-needed originality when submitting your papers. Our references are mainly sourced from reputable databases such as Emerald Insight, Ebsco, and ProQuest. All papers follow the conventional styles of referencing that include APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard, and Vancouver.
24/7 Customer Support
The customer is king and as such, CheggAnswers.com has a committed support department that handles all concerns and clarifications from our clients. We encourage customers to contact us at any given time through our listed telephone, email, and text platforms.
Prompt Delivery & 100% Money Back Guarantee
Your work starts immediately after placing an order. Our writers are aware of our company policy that guarantees quality work to all our customers. For this reason, CheggAnswers strives to deliver assignments on time to avoid any delays that might compromise our relationship with clients.
Although we are confident in our writers, you are entitled to free revisions whenever need arises. However, we highly disregard customers who misuse this privilege.
Try it now!
How it works?
Follow these simple steps to get your paper done
Place your order
Fill in the order form and provide all details of your assignment.
Proceed with the payment
Choose the payment system that suits you most.
Receive the final file
Once your paper is ready, we will email it to you.
We offer a wide range of services that are aligned with the customers’ needs and expectations. We have positioned ourselves strategically to become a one-stop-shop where customers can access all academic services under one roof.
Our main service is academic paper writing, which is handled by a pool of experienced writers who uphold the expected standards of writing. Over the years, we have delivered quality work to our clients because of our commitment to promote quality over quantity.
Whether you are about to Join College or you are a continuing student, CheggAnswers is there to help. Our competent professionals will solve all your writing problems. Personalization is key to scoring highly and satisfying the admission board’s expectations. We will help you achieve your academic goals.
Editing & Proofreading
Some of our clients prefer to write their essays and have a third-party like CheggAnswers proofread their work. We have a skilled team of editors who comb through your paper and make any amends to increase its overall appeal. For all your editing and proofreading needs, CheggAnswers is there to help.
At CheggAnswers, we offer an extensive revision support that works tirelessly to ensure that customer needs and expectations are met. We work closely with writers upon a customer’s revision request to ensure that we keep our promise of delivering quality work to all our clients.