By: Matthew Dinh and Anuthra Thenahandi
Some past bloggers tried to survey the school before, and we wanted to revisit that idea. So we put out a poll about how you all study and manage your time!
Q1: How often do you study?
It seems a whole lot of you aren’t studying as much as you should. Those “other” responses were:
I don’t study, but I do homework
You see, I used to study every other day/most of the week but I have fallen into a pit of anxiety and depression-like I have not seen for at least 3 years so I do pretty much nothing now
That second response is a tad bit concerning… Here’s to hoping they get back at it again!
These results are to be expected from high school students. Some students just don’t find the worth of studying, and it’s not from lack of time that’s for sure. These students have to be pressured into studying, and that may or may not be bad.
We had the idea to check people’s grades and compare them against their scores, but we assumed that most wouldn’t like the notion… although that would’ve helped to visualize how grades improve with more studying.
Q2: When do you do your homework?
And that “other” is:
As soon as I have free time
That second option there was put in the question as a joke. However that option was true for two people, and that’s both funny and concerning. A lot of people who do their homework last minute as well. And one person put never.
Considering the small amount of people surveyed, there’s a reasonable amount of people who do their homework during lunchtime, instead of at home. Perhaps it’s because the lunchtimes are so long they have enough time to do their work AND have a break? The new 5-period schedule did increase the lunch period after all. Maybe they don’t have enough time to do their homework at home? Who knows.
In contrast to the people who procrastinate and do their work last minute, we have some who do their homework as soon as they get home. It is better to get it all done as soon as possible, but that seems sort of excessive. There’s no negative connotation to it though, so it’s probably fine.
Surprisingly, none of the people we surveyed does their homework at tuition. It’s a little odd, but ca va. We are all unique in our own experiences.
Q3: How often do you complete and hand in homework assignments?
This question was subject to a little bias. From what everyone considered those two extremes to be, to whether or not they could lie or see themselves in a better light, or even people underestimating themselves.
The majority is at 10, which means they hand in their assignments 100% of the time. Surprising to see nobody putting themselves at 1, even the ones who say they never study or do homework. Overall the average is 8 on the dot, so that’s something we can be proud of (kinda). Although really, the average should be 10, and everyone should be handing in their assignments 100% of the time.
Q4: Do you consider yourself a procrastinator?
Nothing much to say here. Everyone procrastinates at some point. Although the red is a bit concerning
Q5: What study habits do you use?
Now this one’s a fun one. Out of the 35 students we surveyed:
7 students said to take breaks in between
- Definitely do this. It is incredibly paramount as it avoids the terrible experience of burnout.
3 students said to put your device away
- This is, like, the most obvious one. Hey you, why isn’t your distracting device put away 🤨?
2 students said to make mind maps
- This is in relation to elaborative rehearsal – by linking new information to things you already know, you retain the information longer in your long-term memory.
5 students said to listen to music (and someone also specified instrumental music)
- For some, songs with lyrics only make things more confusing and harder to remember. For others (the lucky ones) the lyrics don’t matter as long as they get the job done.
- Music helps to drown out ambient noise, but it’s distracting for some. See what works for you.
2 students said to just get started for “momentum”
- Just do it.
2 students said to use flashcards
- Research has shown that this method promotes active recall in the brain as seeing a term and then actively attempting to remember it helps the information move from short-term memory into long-term memory!
8 students said they didn’t have habits.
Some unique ones were:
- Sleep (A good one!)
- Growing cute plants while you study by installing an extension called forest
- Wait for your mother to scream at you for not studying (relatable)
- Underlining notes and important items
- Taking a “brake”
- Sleeping with the book on your head (how productive.)
- Study subjects – say to yourself “it will all be worth it in the end”
- Think about your future potential grades as you study
- Duolingo for studying languages (There’s going to be a club for that in Term 3!)
There were some good ones, and there were some wild ones. Writing things down does help you to remember, so good job person who said that! There are also some studies showing that simply having your phone out of the room makes the atmosphere better (more on atmosphere and environment later), so not only should you put your phone away, but put it away in another room entirely!
Q6: How much sleep do you get on average?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) teenagers aged 13-18 years old should be having around 8-10 hours of sleep per night. However, according to the results, we average around 6.6 hours of sleep. Sleep is vital for energising the body and mind, and therefore is important for school and studying to help you focus. But not enough of us are getting as much sleep as we should.
An article from Harvard University shows that sleep is important in memorizing things. Such as the things you need to study perhaps. Some of you might be looking at your screens going: “Sleep is for the weak”, but a lack of sleep can take a toll on your motivation and proper judgement; so – technically – that’s your sleep deprivation talking.
And it wouldn’t be fair to tell you to sleep more without actually talking about how to fall asleep easier. Consider doing the following:
- Avoid technology before bed. (I say as I write this article an hour before I go to bed.)
- Don’t lie on your bed when you aren’t trying to sleep
- Go to bed and wake up at a more consistent time (Which means no sleeping in)
- Cool down your bedroom – again, NO DEVICES
- Sleep in a darker room
- Exercise and/or meditate and/or stretch before bed for a minimum of 5 minutes
- NO NAPPING DURING THE DAY – you won’t be able to sleep during the night (subject to opinion)
Q7: Do you attend Homework Club every Wednesday?
We’ve got some attendees at the homework club! Interesting to see the responses or lack of people picking a response. Nobody surveyed goes to tuition, and nobody surveyed got any “after-school support sessions” – which is a good thing.
It’s interesting to see some people who want to attend but can’t because Wednesday classes clash with their existing timetable. Fortunately, we have a wholly 13 students who have confidence in themselves and see their capability to study without any company. Although the numbers are high, the 5 people who say “No, I don’t study” – you better start somewhere before life starts dragging you by the hair (speaking from personal experience).
Q8: What is your work-to-break ratio?
These were two questions, and we asked the respondents how long they worked for before taking a break, and how long their break was.
Regarding working times, we received these responses:
- 10 people said they work for 30 minutes before a break
- 7 people said they work for 60 minutes before a break
- 4 people said they work for 10 minutes before a break
- 3 people said they don’t work at all…
- 3 people said they work for 45 minutes before a break
- 2 people said they work for 20 minutes before a break
And our unique responses were:
- 2 minutes
- 35 minutes
- 45 minutes
- 150 minutes (That’s two and a half hours.)
- 180 minutes (That’s three hours.)
- 1e+80 minutes (That’s 1,902,587,519,025,875,240,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 millennia)
Our most commonly said break times were as follows:
- 8 people said they take a break for 15 minutes
- 5 people said they take a break for 20 minutes
- 5 people said they take a break for 5 minutes
- 4 people said they take a break for 10 minutes
- 4 people said they take a break for 30 minutes
- 3 people said they don’t take breaks
- 2 people said they take a break for 120 minutes
And our unique responses were:
- 1729393938838393 minutes (That’s 32903233 centuries)
- 25 minutes
- 8 minutes
- 60 minutes
Realistically, the amount that you take a break for should be more than the time you work. The most appropriate time to take a break is usually 5 minutes.
Question 9: How do you prioritize what subjects to study for first?
A common answer to this was prioritising it by the due date and whatever subject the student enjoyed the most. Considering that, the best thing would probably be to complete whichever subject was closer to being due for submission.
However, this can sometimes be hard considering how we all want to do our own thing – so another way is doing whatever you feel like! However, like one student said, that obviously doesn’t end well :/
Question 10: Where do you study?
The other responses are:
in a study room (little random room with my desk and stuff
the kitchen hall, the couch and the main hall
Ah, how refreshing it is to see many people have their own study space. Although…. despite having a bedroom, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they have their own desk-space.
Usually, most of us just roll out of bed – or maybe not roll out of it at all and just do our work there (totally not speaking from experience….👀).Studying in the bedroom can pose negative consequences. Working in the same room that you rest can impact your studying and make it harder to focus as your brain may think you’re trying to rest. This can become counterproductive as our minds then start associating studying with resting and sleep since we do the same thing.
Research has shown that the best place to study is by setting up a desk-space next to a window or an area with natural light filtering in. This is because natural light is healthier (obviously), not only physically but emotionally as well. Who doesn’t feel like the world is about to end on such a fine day?
Additionally, people who study in the lounge/kitchen (which generally have a natural source of light from outside) have the vantage of suffering less eye problems such as eye strain. Normally, this can occur when people read or focus on a bright screen in a dimly lit area. So perhaps our parent weren’t wrong when they say its “because of that phone”….
Question 11: What are some tips you’d want to give to other students when it comes to their studies?
Reading some of these tips has made me teary-eyed.
Stop and break out in song. Turn your life into a musical.
Try hard and don’t give up.
Be consistent and don’t overstudy. It is important to take your mind off school and focus on other important things in life.
Put your phone away so you don’t get distracted
Just get started, especially early, you don’t HAVE to do it all in one sitting but if you start early you can literally comfortably get it done with only like 15 minutes a day.
They’re better off giving me tips
2 tips I would recommend for other students is to try and finish the task they find boring first and save the most fascinating ones for the last! Secondly, they should try and keep ahead with their studies due to the fact they won’t have so much work to try and understand.
Try and study in a space where you know you won’t get distracted – so definitely not the living room (unless no one else is home), but instead a bedroom. If you have a small home, then try looking into your local library and studying there since it’s always a quiet environment. Definitely get into the habit of looping a song that you’re fond of because it allows you to really focus on the work you need to get done. Try keeping other devices such as phones away from you/disabled if they don’t account to your studying because otherwise you’ll procrastinate. Maybe try having a to-do list right in front of you so you know everything you need to get done without forgetting it.
An exceptionally good tip:
Make sure you know what you’re doing.
Write all the things you have to do – order them by how you want to tackle them
This can be especially hard when you have to make a clear direction for a subject that you don’t understand – you feel like you understand it so little that it’s impossible to know what to do first
If that’s the issue, I would just say give it your best shot and use resources like videos because they REALLY help. Or even better, ask your teacher for help!
… and that concludes the study!
My eye is twitching not only from tears but from the odd number of questions on this post, but a big THANK YOU to the students who responded to our form and gave all of us the insight we need to create the most efficient study methods that suits each and every one of us the most! Hopefully, you (our readers) have also learnt something about how to study and manage your time productively.