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Becoming self-aware: learning and study habits

Your learning and study habits are a clear route to academic success, and becoming aware of yours and where they can be improved is crucial.

In your study/learning habits, consider:

  • What study methods work for you? (Highlighting, writing, typing )
  • Time you take to learn concepts
  • Time you take to memorize (definitions)
  • Can you study with others
  • What environment do you learn best in? (quiet, music playing, at home,  library)

Time management and studying habits

Understanding the time you need to allocate towards different parts of your life  will act as a stepping stone in learning your study habits.

This is discussed in our our post “Becoming aware: time management” (link). 

Did you know:

“Of 1500 survey respondents at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 99% of students said they crammed for tests … 48 percent – said they planned to cram for their spring-semester finals” 

“One reason is cited often among survey respondents: They have no time.”

– Justin Gerwick, Hawkeye.

Students that crammed for every assignment/test
Planned last minute cramming 48%
Crammed due to lack of time
Crammed due to lack of time 51%

We can all admit, we’ve crammed in last minute studying before a test. Yes, this works for some, and if this is your successful study method then it hold the same validity as someone who studies days before a test.

However, only 48% of students planned to cram, leaving 51% most likely cramming due to lack of time, or poor time management.

Start with your study habits

Firstly, become aware of what study methods help you learn most effectively. For example, I learn best by summarizing and highlighting, so the time I dedicate to studying might be longer than someone who can learn by reading.

From this, the next step is to take your effective study methods and evaluate the time it generally takes you to learn/retain information using those methods.

Becoming aware of your study habits will go alongside awareness of your time management skills (link).

Understanding your ability to focus (link) corresponds to the factors from above:

  • Time you take to learn concepts
  • Time you take to memorize (processes, definitions)

If you get distracted easily, you may take longer to learn/memorize concepts, meaning you could allocate an extra 30 minutes into studying time to accommodate for breaks and/or relaxation.

Awareness of these factors in the least will provide you a stepping stone into further improvement.

For example, if you’ve mastered your study methods but studying independently is not effective, you can consider study groups.

Self-awareness in the light of study habits and time management together will allow you to utilize what you know about yourself, how you learn and what works best for you to result in a more effective use of time.


A great thing about becoming self aware and allowing room to grow is that there is no right answer, it’s about trying new methods, reflecting on the success of each one and changing course where necessary.

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