Common Bad Study Habits to Avoid

Good study habits are essential in your children's lives, as they can help avoid the dreaded school failure that can lead them to drop out of school. In this article, discover common bad study habits!
Common Bad Study Habits to Avoid
Olga Carbajo

Written and verified by the biologist Olga Carbajo.

Last update: 19 October, 2022

In many cases, your children’s lack of study capacity is characterized by a strong demotivation which can be related, in part, to bad study habits.

Identifying the study skills your children lack can make the difference between an early dropout or successfully overcoming the educational stage they’re in. How can you help spark your children’s enthusiasm for learning?

Typically, this study discouragement is closely related to a lack of study skills that don’t allow them to establish effective study sessions. In other words, they’re too lazy to study because they don’t know how to do it.

Below, we’ll analyze the most common bad study habits in children. A little self-criticism is always good and the first step to advancing and improving.

Common bad study habits

1. Lack of planning study sessions

It’s important that you make a schedule of your extracurricular activities and plan the time you’ll devote each afternoon to each subject. Last-minute crams aren’t helpful.

They cause fatigue and anxiety. If your stomach hurts before a test, you’re doing something wrong.

Common Bad Study Habits to Avoid

2. Studying with music or the radio on is a bad study habit

Depending on the subject that you’re going to tackle, you’ll need a certain degree of concentration. If you’re listening to music, it’s more likely that your attention will be on the lyrics of the song you’re listening to. You can play instrumental music when you have to do tasks that require less concentration.

3. Messy study area

None of us would like to study in a workplace full of papers and trash. It’s important that you keep your study area clean and tidy, as it’ll be more inviting for you to sit down and study.

You also have to make sure you have everything you need on hand: colored pencils, eraser, highlighter, ruler, and blank paper.

4. Studying in bed is another of the most common bad study habits

If you’re preparing for a very difficult test that will take a long time, you must be comfortable. However, you shouldn’t study in bed. This is because you’ll be tempted to take a nap. A good chair and well-lit study area is more than enough.

5. Disorganized study material

If you haven’t planned your weekly study schedule and your study material has built up, the day will come when you have to get to study and not have the study material organized.

With your anxiety triggered, you won’t be able to concentrate and you’ll give up on studying even before you start. A good outline and taking notes every day can help you avoid this situation.

6. Memorizing the content

Sometimes, you won’t have any other choice but to get down to study. However, this might seem very boring to you. But this doesn’t mean you can’t use Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to make your study sessions more enjoyable. Concept maps, YouTube videos… You can resort to anything that helps you ensure you learn the content.

7. Too many distractions in the study area

There’s nothing wrong with using ICTs, but you must know how to control yourself. If you have Instagram open on your smartphone and Facebook open on your computer, you’ll be focused on social media instead of on what you need to be studying. You must avoid unrelated chats during study hours.

Common Bad Study Habits to Avoid

8. Not taking breaks is one of the worst study habits

Marathon study sessions aren’t productive. Generally, people can maintain a good level of concentration for 50 minutes to 1 hour. We recommend that you begin to study something that you find simple as a warm-up. Then, take a break every hour to ventilate the room, eat a snack, and clear your mind.

9. Studying in the living room or kitchen

You won’t be able to concentrate if your brother is watching television, your mother is talking on the phone, or your dog is barking. You must have your own study area that allows you to study quietly, isolated from noise and distractions.

Conclusion on bad study habits

If you identify with these bad study habits, this is actually the first step to success, as the first step is always recognizing your mistakes.

Now that you know what you shouldn’t do, we hope this helps you improve your study habits. The secret lies in motivation and perseverance.

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”

– Jim Ryun –

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Quintanilla Paz Soldán, FHábitos de estudio. [material de apoyo al tutor]. Recuperado de:
  • Laureano, C. A., & Ampudia, L. G. (2019). Procrastinación: Revisión Teórica. Revista de investigación en psicología, 22(2), 363-378.
  • Pastor-Vicedo, JC, Martínez-Martínez, J., Jaén Tévar, Y., & Prieto-Ayuso, A. (2019). Los descansos activos y la mejora de los aprendizajes en educación infantil: una propuesta de intervención. SPORT TK-Revista EuroAmericana de Ciencias del Deporte , 67-72. doi:10.6018/sportk.401131
  • Pérez, GC, García, EC, Carbó, AR, & Antolí, NS (2010). Organizarse mejor.: Habilidades, estrategias, técnicas y hábitos de estudio . Editorial

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.