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5 Common Study Mistakes College Students Make


Students often complain about how hard studying is. They have so much to learn and so little time for that. Their complaints are not groundless. College can be really tough. But it can be all the more difficult if you do some things wrong.

In this post, I’ll list the 5 common mistakes students make and give some tips on how to avoid them.

Mistake #1. Not seeking help.

Many students don’t see their professors or teaching assistants. They’re either too shy, scared or don’t want to make an impression of a dull student asking the questions educators may find easy to understand. When they have trouble, they try to muscle through it. Often, it’s just a waste of time as they end up failing a test or a paper.

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of your professor’s office hours. A 5-minute consultation can save you from a bad grade.

But what if your professor sometimes skips his office hours and you need paper writing advice? Professional essay writers are always ready to help you out. There’s nothing shameful in asking for help since you’re a student.

Mistake #2: Thinking studying is all about learning.

Be pragmatic. The main goal of studying in college is to pass (and hopefully ace) exams.

Of course, teachers don’t share this point of view. But as a student, you know how overwhelming it can be to memorize a large number of facts.

Focus on doing the things that will bring the best grade possible while still maintaining your sanity. Here’re a couple of hacks:

  1. Find out from senior students what kind of questions they were asked on a particular exam. Make sure you’re learning the important materials.
  2. Try to get your hands on exam papers from previous years. It will give you an idea as to what you’ll be up against and will uncover anything you still need to revise.
  3. Don’t leave exam preparing until the last few days. Start revising at least 2 weeks before the final date.

Mistake #3: Poor time-management.

College students often have the bad habit of leaving their assignments undone until the last minute. It’s a pressure-filled task to write an essay or take notes of 15 pages in just 4 hours. Develop a realistic approach to your study routine. It’s very important to plan long-term projects, especially such a challenging one as a dissertation.

It may seem a cliché but distractions are bad and they can reduce the ability to learn. To get the most out of your study sessions, forget about social media, TV, and phone calls for a while. High concentration will help you learn the material faster and you’ll still have time for checking and updating your social accounts.

Some students don’t revisit information regularly. To transfer something into long-term memory, you should revise it a number of times. Thus, you won’t feel at a loss when the exam date comes.

Mistake #4: Gaps in methodology.

Students often use study methodologies that don’t match their learning style. Or memorize only by repetition. It’s a hard way to study. Smart learners know what techniques give the best results.

To find out what’s your individual learning style, take a free online test. Auditory, Visual, and Kinesthetic learners should use study tricks that work specifically for them. Browse the Internet for full guidelines and discover mental tools to accomplish your type of retention.

I highly recommend you to learn to take good notes. Try Cornell note-taking system. It’s effective for lectures or reading. It can improve memory, study skills and overall academic performance.

Mistake #5: Negative thinking.

“I’m not good at writing so I will never write excellent papers”, “I’m a person of an average mind” or “I can’t do it”. Does this sound like you? If it does, you should change your mindset as soon as possible. Such thoughts are dangerous. They can demotivate and affect your study performance.

Get positive vibes. “I’ll write a great essay”, “I’ll get the grade I want”, or “I’ll pass this exam”.

Even if things are looking rather grim, why think pessimistic? There’re so many things you can’t control, including the difficulty of the test, the questions you’ll have to answer, or the chances for an intense storm that day. However, there’re some factors you do control – your attitude, effort and dedication. Only the students who work reach the best results.


There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to do college. It’s all about your individual approach. Things that work for others might not necessarily work for you. But, if you want to make your college life easier, consider the mistakes given above and make an effort to avoid them.