The Orion

Finish the semester strong with good study habits

Stephen+Bennett%2C+Stop+Procrastingnating+researcher%2C+provides+primary+research+to+provide+helpful+study+tips+for+students.+Photo+courtesy+of+Stephen+Bennett.
Stephen Bennett, Stop Procrastingnating researcher, provides primary research to provide helpful study tips for students. Photo courtesy of Stephen Bennett.

Stephen Bennett, Stop Procrastingnating researcher, provides primary research to provide helpful study tips for students. Photo courtesy of Stephen Bennett.

Stephen Bennett, Stop Procrastingnating researcher, provides primary research to provide helpful study tips for students. Photo courtesy of Stephen Bennett.


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With final exams approaching, study habits can make or break how the semester ends. Rather than pulling all-nighters before finals, Chico State students should start studying now, using tried and tested study techniques.

Stop Procrastinating, a not-for-profit research productivity website, has found the most useful and productive study strategies. The organization completed in-depth research with more than 3,000 participants surveyed across the nation.

Stop Procrastinating has two goals: to create a website blocker to allow students to work free from distractions and gather original evidence to post on its website for students to use.

Stephen Bennett

Stephen Bennett, Stop Procrastingnating researcher, provides primary research to provide helpful study tips for students. Photo courtesy of Stephen Bennett.

Stephen Bennett, Stop Procrastinating researcher, helped design the survey used by the organization to discover the best and most useful study techniques.

Of the students surveyed, Bennett found that social media is a major distraction from study time.

Seventy-four percent of the respondents claimed that the degree to which the Internet was distracting them from their work was worrying; 61 percent said the Internet had distracted them from writing an essay for more than a week and 44 percent said they felt their distraction from the Internet affected the quality of their work.

“They believe that distraction caused by the Internet had caused them to hand in lower quality work, which was reflected in a reduction in their grades,” Bennett said.

As Chico State students prepare for finals, or any exam, they should know that social media and Internet-based distractions are a nationwide problem for students.

Rather than diving into studying without a plan, Bennett and the Stop Procrastinating team shared how to avoid such common study mistakes.

“Common mistakes include not having a study plan and setting goals,” Bennett said. “Unfocused studying is bad for concentration and bad for motivation.”

Avoiding distractions such as TV, social media, emails and chats with friends can also greatly enhance study time. Moreover, rather than studying without a game plan, students can study better by setting goals and taking regular breaks.

“Students can lose precious hours weekly by answering emails and texting friends,” Bennett said. “If you’re going to study, create a positive, distraction-free environment.”

Other study techniques include setting aside regular study time, reviewing material more often and skimming chapters before reading.

“Memory research shows that if you revise what you have studied shortly afterward, then the day after, then a week and then a month after you will embed the information into your long-term memory,” Bennett said. “This it much more productive than cramming for exams.”

While it may seem tedious to some, reviewing material from class lectures can greatly improve memory and final exam results. Students can make the last few weeks of the semester count and also apply this method at the start of next semester. Studying more at the beginning of the semester will save time at the end of the semester.

Stop Procrastinating can help students avoid major distractions, such as the Internet, with their website-blocker application.

“The cost of the app is $4.99— very low for the quality— is invested into the research and undertaking the studies,” Bennett said. “Everyone else provides their time for free. It is an exceptional enterprise as many blogs use second-hand recycled information, whereas we do our own primary research.”

So, when Chico State students sit down to study for finals, exams or quizzes, keep these study tips in mind. These skills can make all the hard work, classes, lectures and homework worth it when final grades come around.

Sabrina Grislis can be reached at [email protected] or @sabrinagrislis on Twitter.

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Finish the semester strong with good study habits