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We all like to learn and study in different ways. But, sometimes we’re held back by our own insecurities, procrastination and last-minute panics. Here, we debunk 5 of the biggest learning myths out there. Some of them may make you breathe a sigh of relief!

Myth 1: The more hours you study, the better you’ll do in your exams

Breaks are important for your wellbeing. Research shows that taking purposeful breaks (anywhere between 5 minutes to an hour) from studying helps to refresh your brain, increases your energy and ability to focus. Your brain also makes links between the info you studied while you rest.

Tip: To really switch off, leave your phone behind. Scrolling social media doesn’t allow your brain to properly rest, so try going for a walk, phoning a friend or listening to music instead.

Myth 2: You learn lots by cramming the night before

The info you take in when you’re cramming goes into your short-term memory and doesn’t necessarily stick. And if you’re stressed at the time, you won’t absorb the information as well. Plus, being up all night makes it harder to focus on the exam.

Tip: Start revising early and use a realistic revision plan you can stick to. That way, you can get ahead and feel more in control. And make sure you get a good night’s sleep before your exam. 

Myth 3: Reading a text over and over is the best way to learn the info

Nope, the best way to remember information is by doing recall activities like quizzing yourself. This is called retrieval practice – the act of retrieving something from your memory actually strengthens its connection in your mind. So, you’re more likely to remember it in future. 

Tip: If revising feels lonely, ask someone to test you or partner up with a friend so you can quiz each other.

Myth 4: You’re either good at Maths or good at English – you can’t be both

This comes from the idea that some people are right-brained (apparently more creative and artistic) while others are left-brained (more logical and analytical). While everyone has their favorite subjects and weaker topics, a study that analyzed over 1,000 brains found no evidence for this!

Tip: Putting more time and effort into your weaker subjects can help to top you up, but don’t forget about the topics that you enjoy learning. If you’re having a tough day or feeling stressed, try ending with your favorite topic for a little lift.

Myth 5: Asking for help shows that you don’t know what you’re doing

Many of us struggle to ask for help when we need it, as we think it’s a sign of weakness. When really, it’s a strength! Asking questions and getting involved can help to make the info stick. Plus, people are more willing to help us than we think. We can limit ourselves when we don’t reach out.

Tip: To build confidence around asking for help, try asking one question every day – whether that’s to a teacher, friend or parent. It will pay off, trust.

While lots of these myths seem perfectly acceptable on the surface, this is your cue to no longer accept them! When it comes to studying and staying on top of revision, a little planning, break time and question-asking goes a long way.

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