Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How do you study?

  1. Apr 11, 2005 #1
    I have a problem with studing, and I wanted to know what is the most efficient way to maximise my study time. I know that I should be stding for my last year of school, But for some reason when I get home I cannot be bothered doing any home work. Although I like most of the subject that I do in school.

    I like Physics, Math Method, Math Specialist (It is kinda boring though), chem. I am interested in these topics and do some reading on computer but then I see the games and I go off to games. When I was back in my country I used to be an A student But in here even though the school courses are easier I am not getting all A. But I am not that stupid and manage to get B+ and A without doing any homework at all.

    Can anyone help me to overcome this stupid behaivour? (See below for explenation.)

    Any hint is apriciated. I know that it is good to study during night time.

    Any advise is also apriciated.

    But are there anyother usefull methods of studing?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 11, 2005 #2
    You only get use out of homework if you put your mind to it. Doing it and understanding it is not mutually exclusive, but different. So that might show your 'unstupidity'.

    I think you just answered your own question. Games are obviously your main distraction for any work. I use to have this problem too. Fortuately (or unfortunately :rolleyes:) i was naturally able to get away with it over time.

    What you need to do is withhold yourself from playing games when you go home. This can be done many ways: 1). Just go to the library to study 2). Hone your mind to not play games. Personally, i would recommend the second choice, because going to the library is a matter of preference, and you surely do not want to got here if you are gonna get bored.

  4. Apr 11, 2005 #3
    Cold turkey that bad boy, if not it will turn into a huge problem.

    Just uninstall your games, and put the cds in a closet or something.
  5. Apr 11, 2005 #4
    When I usually do my homework, I just work at it naturally, taking breaks when I need to. This usually works out well combined with my attitude towards learning.

    Another particular thing I tend to do is learn everything associated with the material, even if it isn't covered in a test. I usually end up learning things that go far beyond the normal classroom lectures through this, and my grades somewhat reflect the amount of effort I put in (we all have our bad days on tests now and then). Just allot the time required and work diligently.

    The most important thing to do, however, is to learn the material for the sake of learning the material. Understand it fully and then you wouldn't have to worry about the grades. Don't be content just learning it for the grade (it is far more gratifying in the long run to be able to recite it from memory and analyze it in the future). The grades will then rise naturally.

    Another good thing to do is to ask questions constantly and incessantly about the material, almost to the point of being irritating :tongue2:. Gaps in the knowledge base tend to come back to bite you (witnessed firsthand in many many tests). Maintain your interest and passion in the subjects you like and don't ever get discouraged.

    And when you do get discouraged, take a break. There will (hopefully) be time to catch up on it later, but I know firsthand that it is difficult to focus on a subject and work at it when I don't find it particularly interesting at that moment.

    I'll probably say more later, but right now I gtg soon. Good luck with your study habits! :smile:
  6. Apr 11, 2005 #5


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Design a place for yourself to study. If you don't need your computer, go sit at a table away from it. If you have an uncluttered desk just for studying, it will make it a lot easier for you to put your mind to it.

    Also just envision what it will be like to complete the course with good results, it will stimulate you to put in the effort.
  7. Apr 11, 2005 #6
    Whenever I become apathetic about my hw I've discovered that leaving my room and all the distractions associated with it often helps a great deal. So I'll pack up all the stuff I need and head over to the library/ a study room because when you're sitting around having removed the distractions it's much easier to do the homework! Just make sure you take everything you need with you else it can be slightly frustrating to realize you've forgotten something crucial behind...
  8. Apr 11, 2005 #7
    I'm glad someone brought this up. I think I have a similar issue as well because although my grades are pretty good, I don't feel I work to my full potential. When it comes to tests, I tend to cram but still manage to do rather well. It fustrates me because I wish I had the ability, like some others, to study "normally" and at a normal pase. Cramming I know won't help me later on in life and I am aware of this but sometimes it feels as if I have no choice. When I procrastinate, I have no choice but to cram or else bomb a test...

    When I come home from school, doing schoolwork is the last thing on my mind. I tend to do other things like play video games, msn, watch television, etc. but studying is something I tend to put off till later because I feel that I've had enough school at the moment. The problems start arising later when I sit down to study. Every room in my house has a TV (yeah I know, kind of sad) so whenever I do my work I HAVE TO turn it on. I also can't sit down and do work for more than 30 minutes otherwise I'd go insane. Every other room in the house has its fair share of distractions so no hope there. Going to the library I find is a hassle because its kind of far away. So I tend to just procrastinate and cram for tests often going to sleep late :frown:. I know that if I studied "properly", I'd do better, but the question is how.

    Some other questions I'd like to add to the original poster's is how do you manage your time. How do you resist the temptation to do something more appealing? Do you guys procrastinate now and then.

    ....come to think of it, I think I have like ADD or something.. :frown:
  9. Apr 11, 2005 #8
    An answer that would explain why your grades were better in your nation of origin even though the work was harder is that perhaps you are being affected by the interests of your classmates, or the work isn't challenging enough for you. Students in the U.S. in general and yor classes in particular may have a different philosophy on learning than the students you have been around previously. Perhaps the subconscious competitive desire is missing because you don't have to try as hard to be competitive with students here.

    If you feel this to be the case then find some way to put yourself into competitive situations in subjects related to your classes. My favorite way is to argue with my teachers, but I wouldn't recommend it. :wink:

    In either case find a way to challenge yourself. Ultimately everything you do is measured against your own potential. Use the excess energy of others to fuel your own interests and you will find everyone benefits if your endeavor is positive.

    What was the question?
  10. Apr 11, 2005 #9
    Uninstall all the games on your PC or lock them in a folder that only your parents know the password to.

    Work somewhere where you feel comfortable and point out the distaractions, then remove them temporary or for the rest of the shcool year.

    Libary is not always the best (well not for me because I get paranoid that people are watching me) but if it helps then use it.

    Ask questions until the teacher tells you to shut up and then ask more. :smile: Today I didn't understand a diagram as it was not explained at all and I was going to leave it and not understand but I asked and then rest of the work was easy because I asked and understood. All it takes is to open your mouth (after getting over the fear of looking a fool, which you will not in the long run) and remembering your P's and Q's.

    The last thing, that I find helps, is to play music. Not rock or pop but classical. You may hate classical but it calms you down (well if you list to the right stuff) and it is scientificly prove to help concentration and learning. I use Bach for Maths (very logical), Mozart or another good predicatable classical composer for Chemistry, a mix of the two for Physics and anything I want for Music (although I something feel like listening to a certain piece and that helps me concentrate).

    I suppose the final, final thing is to be have water at your side and to have eaten enough for you not to want food as an excuse to stop working. I think that is what my enormous food consumption is from. :smile:

    The Bob (2004 ©)
  11. Apr 12, 2005 #10
    I shall try to make a good study area in my garage. Huckleberry is right, I dont feel like studing here as there is not many people to compite against. (I live in AUS which is even more easier, study wise.)

    From now on I will be compiting with myself. Myself in the past ofcourse. I shall Install Linux instead of this bloody XP, as I have no game that will run on Linux. That shall solve Gaming problem and yet leave me with internet acces.

    I do ask questions in class but it is only to some extent. If I kind of understand the topic I dont ask anymore questions, but from now on I am going to ask till I fully understand it's purpose. (maybe I will drive the teachers insane. :)

    Good luck with your studies too Dynamis :)
  12. Apr 12, 2005 #11


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    I have the same problem being a B+ student as well.

    I rather do things outside of the class. Also, I lose motivation if things are too easy, which happens a lot. If grades aren't high, it is because I don't practice, which is due to lack of motivation.

    Note: In my Calculus II class, my average on the quizzes is A, and I also got an A on the midterm, but my assignments are a D. I hate doing assignments. I hope to get a A on the final as well, which is completely doable.
  13. Apr 12, 2005 #12
    The environment in which you study is important only in that it is a small part of the environment in which you learn. All learning is not done with study, which is why some people never study and receive good grades and others study diligently and can receive mediocre grades. Some people have been successful at determining how they learn and others have not.

    Learning does not happen solely by will. Because you prepare a time and space to absorb the material does not mean that you will necessarily learn optimally. Learning is a constant process and you could be fixing yourself a bowl of cereal in the morning before class and suddenly an idea comes to you, or brushing your teeth at night and you finally remember who sang that song you were thinking about all day.

    Stay relaxed. If you begin to feel frustrated then your ability to learn will suffer. Take a break. Call a friend. Go to a movie. A persons mind is active 24 hours a day. Just like the body needs nutrients from several sources, so does your mind. It will absorb best what it needs, which is not necessarily what one might desire at the time. (I'm sure there is a lesson about cooperating with the id in here, which is a lesson that people tend to learn somewhere around middle age. Know thyself.)

    People do not think in a social vacuum. The beliefs and attitudes of those around a person will affect the way in which they learn. Your prescence in a classroom affects everyone in that class, including the teacher and the way she teaches. For example in one of my classes there is this guy that is rather annoying. He taps on the desk and shakes his foot and makes excuses for late work and says things like "Can we end class early today because I have to pick someone up." His attitude towards the class is disrespectful to everyone in it. The entire class is reduced in potential because of this person. One person is not seperate from the people around them. To increase your ability to learn increase the potential of those around you. (This is why I suggested friendly competition earlier.) You probably have an idea of who in the class will be receptive to this. For a particularly difficult class start a study group where you can do homework together. You will find that if you are trying to explain the concepts you will learn them yourself much, much better.

    Find another goal than getting a good grade. Getting a good grade and learning the material are completely different things. I'm sure there is a strong correlation but they are still seperate. The material itself is most important. If your worried about your grade you are wasting time and energy that could better be used focusing on your next lesson. Don't let a bad grade on a test disenhearten you or discourage you. You are far more important than any test you could ever take. You are better than that test and that grade does not encompass you. Don't use this as an excuse not to try, but be hopeful and courageous and step up the game for the next test. Your self-image is important to your learning.

    Get everything going right and you will be not only a well-oiled thinking machine, but you will have tools to deal with any situation in your life and you will have helped many people better themselves along the way. It is about more than just pure knowledge, which can't make you happy. It's about finding a greater understanding of the world and your place in it. That is true learning.

    What was the question?
  14. Apr 12, 2005 #13
    I like to sit at my comp listing to heavy metal or punk rock. Don't know why, but i seem to do better when i have lots of noise around me. I guess it helps when you are doing something you don't like to do, because you have something to listen to. It only distracts many people, but it may work for you. If not, then find a quiet place where you are isolated from outside distraction. I guess its all or nothing.
  15. Apr 13, 2005 #14

    That is a beautyful piece of writing. Are you a writer?

    Seriously, even if I tried my hardes I would never be able to write like that.

    It made the topic as it was a really nice one where as it was only a normal topic.

    I hope to be able to link words together like that too but, I can't :(
  16. Apr 13, 2005 #15
    Could it be that your mode of study is not suitable for how you learn? For me, I learn much better when I can associate the material with objects. That's why I never did good in math and physics, but pretty good in biological pathways where I can picture molecules moving around. But then, self-interest probably plays a big role too.
  17. Apr 13, 2005 #16
    The easiest way to get good study habits is to join a study group of goody-two-shoe beakers and conform to them.
  18. Apr 13, 2005 #17
    I'm not a writer, but I hope to be someday.

    Thank you very much for your compliment. That means a lot to me. I usually enjoy my own writing, but I don't think it is very good compared to many others. I don't really think much about how the words are put together. (punctuation and grammar is more of a technical afterthought imo.) For me it is more about understanding how I'm feeling and trying to incorporate it into the subject in a way that would be clear to someone else. It is something anyone can do with practice.

    Putting words together into a logical pattern is like writing a textbook. It holds knowledge. Putting a spirit into the words is like writing a poem. It holds an emotion. It can be as short as a sentence and still contain something that words alone are inadequate to explain.
    One of the things that makes us human is the ability to understand metaphors. An artist looks at something and he sees something different than what I see. I might try to draw a picture of a flower and it would look odd, with strange angles and curves and no texture. I can see the flower just fine and yet I don't understand the meaning of it. Another person looking at my picture might guess it is a flower. That's the best I could hope for.
    The artist sees and understands what he is looking at. He has practiced this skill and can draw a flower that is alive on the paper. People will find themselves looking at the picture in amazement that a man's mind can understand a flower in such detail. He sees the whole world and it becomes clear to him in context with his art.

    Whatever you do, be an artist.

  19. Apr 13, 2005 #18


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    A lack of desire is the problem.
    If he's not playing a game, he's on the internet, or he's watching TV, or he's reading a book. I'm the same way. The only reason I actually do my homework is because I hate failure. If I was able to accept failure, I would have stopped doing homework a long time ago.

    The best thing you can do for both grades and social life is move out on your own where you have no TV, no game systems, and dialup internet. You'll eventually start doing homework during your free time because there's nothing better to do.
    A friend of mine did that to improve his grades, and it worked. He also became less of a social retard after doing so.
  20. Apr 14, 2005 #19
    Just uninstall the damn game. That's what I did just this afternoon, after wasting valuable time that I needed for chemistry and calculus playing Civilization III. If one wants to achieve anything at all in science, serious dedication is indispensable. And the exhilaration after hours of study is something playing around won't ever be able to replicate (with the possible exception of conquering Russia and the Ottoman Empire simultaneously... :bugeye: better hide those game installation CDs far away).
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook