Think back to Marcel, whom we talked about at the beginning of this section. He often procrastinated his learning, and his ability to learn was impacted. Let’s look at a few of his bad habits and how he could work better:
- He procrastinated doing his homework assignments. Creating a schedule and sticking to it can improve performance. Completing assignments at the last minute often reduces the quality of work, and it doesn’t allow for reflection.
- He often failed to complete his reading assignments. Completing reading before your lectures helps you to be prepared for your lecture—you can ask better questions if you’ve tried to learn the material on your own before class. If you failed to read your reading before class, reading the content afterward can be an effective way to answer questions you may have about the topic.
- He studied in single, multi-hour cram sessions. You learn better when you study in several sessions across multiple days. Cramming may result in temporary retention of facts (maybe even long enough to pass the test), but you likely won’t remember the material any longer than that. No real learning will happen.
As you study, pay attention to the skills you’re using and the habits you have. By simply paying attention to how you study, you can often find problematic behaviors and correct them fairly easily.