How Not to Study

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Studying can be really difficult and time-consuming if you use the wrong methods. In this article: How Not to Study, you will learn why the most popular study methods, aren’t really the best ones.

Below is a numbered list of the most popular, ineffective study methods. Underneath each heading, you will find out why these methods aren’t very effective, and what to use instead.

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1. Studying For Hours on End

The myth that you must ‘study for hours on end’ to get good grades is simply not true. If you look at your study in terms of how long you worked for instead of how much work you did, then you are not studying effectively.


When you sit down to study, put all distractions away including your phone. Know that you will commit this time to focusing on one thing and one thing only: studying. If you do this, you will be able to revise more content in less time!

2. Re-reading

When you are learning content for the first time, it is important to read through the material. However, it is not a good idea to re-read either the text book, or your notes.

This method may seem effective, but it simply is not. It is too passive and will therefore not help you to retain the information you need to know for your exams.


When you read through the material for the first time, make questions using physical flashcards, flashcard apps such as Anki, or a simple notepad / word document.

Then, when you are revising the topic, you don’t need to re-read your notes. Instead, you can simply test yourself with the question bank you created the last time you revised this topic!

3. Highlighting

Highlighting is one of the most popular study techniques, however, it is one of the least effective. Similar to re-reading, highlighting is a passive study method. These methods are simply not effective, and will unfortunately fail to help you when it comes to exam time.


When revising, refer to your list of questions which you should have created when you were learning the topic for the first time. Test yourself by seeing if you can answer these questions, and then move on to some exam papers.

Thanks for reading through our guide on How Not to Study.

You can check out all of our free notes and resources for Junior Certificate / Cycle students here.

By the way, you can still get 30% off all of our complete note packs with code EARLYBIRD, for a limited time only!

– The Examable Team

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