Education logo

8 Poor Study Habits to Avoid

The only thing that is stopping you from getting good grades is bad study habits

8 Poor Study Habits to Avoid
Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

Until a few years ago, I was one of those owls who stayed up all through the night before an exam or a project deadline. I am not sure if it was the thrill of waiting till the eleventh hour to start prepping or whether I was merely being lazy. However, when I was in freshman year, things took a turn for the worse when I got sick before D-day (exam day). No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t keep my eyes open, and there’s no prize for guessing that I failed the test. That’s when I had an epiphany about my studies-related indolence, and I decided that I would kick away all my poor study habits. A lot of times students don’t realize how their performance is affected by their study habits, so I am going to list down some common study habits that one should avoid to get good grades. Let’s begin!

No Plan

Most unplanned things in life bring out disastrous results, and the same applies to study sessions without a plan. Be it writing a descriptive essay for a paper or preparing for a test, it’s important to plan. You can begin with setting goals before beginning a task. These goals could be the number of pages of the essay that you wish to finish by the end of that day or the number of chapters you plan to read. This will help you keep track of time and your progress.

Last-Minute All-Nighters

Yes, I used to be a proud member of this club until things went downhill. Waiting until the night before a test or project submission to begin studying should be a big NO. Also, if you’re someone who deals with anxiety, you could get overwhelmed if you don’t plan. The solution to this is to start listing down all projects and tests as soon as you receive any information about it. Then, you can plan your calendar based on the urgency of each task. Also, it’s best to complete your assignments before the eleventh hour.


In a world full of electronic communications, and a parallel virtual universe, it’s very easy to get distracted. Be it social media notifications or a call from your best friend, it can negatively affect your concentration level. The best way to deal with this is to keep your phone away and to put it on silent mode. All those notifications can wait till your break, but make sure you don’t take too many breaks only to check social media!

Bunking Classes

It’s understandable when you skip one or two classes due to genuine reasons. However, if that number exceeds more than just a couple of lectures, it’s something that you need to worry about. Bunking classes will leave you with a lot of extra work. Be it copying notes from someone else, or playing catch up for the next lecture, it’s never easy. It will take a lot more discipline to attend your classes regularly, but when your grades go up, you will only be thankful!

No Designated Study Corner

When studying at home, it’s important to choose a spot with the least distractions. Sitting on the couch in front of the TV is one spot you ought to avoid. If you live with your family, choosing a room with a door that locks would be your ideal setting, as you don’t want to be pulled in to do household chores or be curious about what the rest of the family members are watching or chatting about. Dedicated study space will not only help you focus better but will also help organize your study material better.

No Organizational Skills

If you live a cluttered life, your study habits can be chaotic too. As a student, there are always numerous things to do, be it assignments, essays, papers, projects, tests, or extracurricular activities. It can get quite daunting if you’re disorganized. Gone are the days when people would scribble exam details or assignment deadlines on a piece of paper. With the advent of technology, you’ve access to various apps that could help you organize your schedule, set reminders and overall, lead a very organized life as a student. Make sure that you use such apps to your advantage!


While I’ve no doubts about the therapeutic effects of music, you’d be surprised to learn that according to some research, music doesn’t help when trying to learn something new or difficult. What’s more? Add lyrics to that music, and your study sessions will be affected for the worse. So, it’s best to choose a quiet spot where you can up your level of concentration.

No Questions

A lot of students feel nervous to voice out their thoughts in class. If you’re one of them, I totally understand how you feel. It can be quite terrifying to ask a question in a classroom full of eyes staring at you, and wondering if your question is silly or not. Honestly, you aren’t alone in this struggle and the only way to overcome it is by taking that first step to asking questions when necessary. Once you realize how it solves your problems, you will eventually stop looking at it as a problem.

Well, now that you know all the bad studying habits that you need to stay away from, hope you’re able to be more aware of identifying these study patterns and then breaking them. It’s a pretty simple mantra, stay organized, keep away the distractions, and plan well in advance.

how to
Read next: The Unconventional College Life
Sophia Sanchez
See all posts by Sophia Sanchez