7 Bad Study Habits A College Student Must Not Have
Bad Study Habits Can Break a College Student's Grade
I’ve been teaching part-time for the past one and a half years. My subjects? Basic business concepts and basic accounting for information technology students. I enjoy what I do and I like my students (so far). That doesn’t mean though that I’m not a strict one. In fact, I have already gained the reputation for strictness and difficulty of exams (I once made my entire class re-take a certain exam because nobody passed!). But hey, a lot of them passed and graduated last April so I guess I wasn’t that bad. Unfortunately, not everyone graduated. One or two of them failed the whole subject (there goes my reputation again). I couldn’t do anything about it because their grade was a solid 5 (which is an F grade here) and no matter how hard I pushed and pulled, I just couldn’t give a remedy for their failing grade. So, bottomline, they did not graduate.
Some of my students right now asked me about these failed students. They wanted to know the “whys” and the “hows” for these cases. I tried to answer as tactfully as I can but their questions really got me thinking. Is it them or is it me? Am I not a good teacher or were they simply not good students? Simple answer? More of the latter instead of the former. I’m not kidding. I’m not saying I’m a good one but I’m not that bad either. And from jogging my memory, I can see how they failed and I can count the reasons why they failed. Three words – bad study habits – in plural, not singular. So what are these bad study habits? Let me count 7 of them.
Poor Attendance. For any subject, especially accounting, attendance is really a must. Unless, of course, you’re a genius who can just scan your teacher’s or classmates’ notes and you can readily understand the lesson. If you’re not, the next best thing is to hear firsthand what your teacher has to say and to read through your own eyes everything written on the board. If you do not attend classes, your chance of understanding the subject is almost nil plus your points for attendance go down as well.
No Assignments. Let’s face it. Basic accounting is still a numbers game and the only way a student can learn this subject is through practice. And practicing the subjects / topics means diligently doing the exercises and the assignments all on your own. I noticed some of my students (even those who passed) depend on their classmates for their assignments. So who learns the subject? The ones who did the assignments. The ones who didn’t, good luck.
Failing to Take Down Notes. I know, I know, the student can always photocopy the classmates’ notes. But, personally, I don’t think this really works for those students who do not take down notes and just depend on their classmates. Taking down notes mean you are listening and are focused on the subject. A student who doesn’t take down notes is either somebody who has a photographic memory or just plain lazy or is not concentrating on the subject at hand. The first reason is a good one but is quite rare. The second reason may be okay if the student is intelligent in the first place (but this is still not an excuse). The third reason may be the worst because the student is really not absorbing anything from the class. And when this happens, your grades are bye-bye.
Poor Time Management. There’s this one time I gave a major exam for my students. Imagine my surprise when I saw some of them were not taking the exams (and they were just hanging around the school!). Their reason for not taking the exam? They were not able to study on my subject. Gee, but they were able to study for the other subjects huh? Needless to say, I got hopping mad and told them to take the exam or I won’t give a make-up exam for them. I mean I know that they have a lot on their plates what with their subjects, case studies, thesis, exams, etc., etc. But hey, they have to know how to manage their time and accommodate everything. That’s part of a student’s life. And to think their schedule of exams were announced right from the start, so they should have properly prepared and planned their time to coincide with the official school schedule. Okay, ranting a little bit here. Next!
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Procrastination. This one can follow poor time management skills, but it’s a habit that can be left on its own. Let’s put it in another word – cramming (which was common when I was in college, still is apparently). What’s worse right now is that a lot of students have more distractions than when I was in college. These distractions (like Facebook, online games, play stations, texting / chatting) make cramming or procrastination a more dangerous bad habit now than it was before.
Not Following Teacher’s Instructions. Okay, here’s comes the exam. The students are asked to write T for True and F for False. What do they do? Write the whole word (what the…?). Or worse, give entirely different answers (had a student like that, thought immediately of recommending her to a psychiatrist, j/k). Failing to follow instructions like in the first case means deductions from me. Failing to follow instructions like in the second case means a failed grade in the exam or worse, in the subject itself.
Negative Thinking. This one bad habit can wipe out all the student’s good study habits. I mean if the student perennially thinks he or she does not understand the subject or that the subject is just too hard for him or her, no amount of studying or copying notes or doing assignments can really make up for this one bad habit. It will just simply block everything because the student is setting himself or herself up for failure. Accounting is already a difficult subject as it is, adding to this one’s resistance to learning and everything will just really be for nothing. I’m a strong believer of mind over matter when it comes to this subject and if the student thinks he or she cannot understand the subject, chances are, he or she will never understand it. This is what one of my students did and she, needless to say, failed my subject.
And that’s it. I’m flexing my fingers here. There are actually more but these are the ones I saw from my former (and even my present) students. I guess I ranted a little bit but I do hope I managed to get my message across. I know there’s no such thing as a perfect student but, hey, I don’t think there is also a thing as a bad student with a bad study habit passing a subject. Or am I wrong? What are your thoughts on this? Leave me a message. Thanks and cheers!