Bales, hoaxes, myths, falsehoods, pseudo-sciences, and promises too good to be true: haunt the world in every sector and on every topic. Yes, also on the study method.
If I can, I always try to present a constructive point of view in my articles, to teach something useful, practical, and effective, but sometimes we also need to clear the field of nonsense and do some clarity.
So, in this article, we talk about the biggest lies in the world of studying, and how to stay away from them.
Fixed Time for All the Exams
I decided to put this first because it reaches an out-of-scale level of absurdity… there are those who propose study methods with a fixed time, regardless of the exam, regardless of the program, or regardless of whether you have attended or not.
A week, 4 days, whatever it is: always the same time to prepare for any test.
Do I really need to explain why it doesn’t make sense? Seriously? Well alright.
I have yet to understand how a 300-page exam and a couple of slides can be prepared at the same time as a 15-credit course with thousands of pages. How is it possible? Are you serious?
And how is it possible to assign standard times a priori to understanding, to exercise, to learning itself? In fact, it means spitting on the functioning of the brain and trying to convince people that the content of the study does not matter, that all that matters at this point is to get away with the exams, perhaps helped by a blow to the ass or some cunning.
This attitude points straight toward the chasm of out-of-course, failed exams, and dissatisfaction.
The classic of the classics: quick reading in its thousand variations, techniques, and proposals. I will not dwell on it because I have already made an extremely in-depth article about it where I explain point by point why speed reading is pseudoscientific and useless in the study, so recover that if you are interested.
Here I want to make a more general speech on the very concept of speed. Can you become faster in your study? Yes, and quite a lot too. All stages of the study method can be optimized and made faster.
Can you study in a fraction of the time, prepare for exams in a couple of days, snap your fingers and learn 3000 pages in one day? No, you can’t.
The quality study takes time, not only to be carried out but also and above all to be consolidated. It is the usual concept of spacing, I have also talked about this other times.
Studying too slowly is wrong but studying fast is even worse. It takes the right time; you can’t go around it.
Let’s stop looking for the shortcuts to cheat the system, it’s the best way to end up in the middle of nowhere where it doesn’t take google maps and the only thing you see around you are fields of wheat, fog, pigs, and cows and there are no signs and you no longer know how to get home and you just want to cry and curse that time you leave the ring road. It happens to me every time I try to go to Castelfranco Veneto.
The 3 Styles of Sensory Learning
With the arrival of the now-famous (or infamous) NLP decades ago, the suggestive idea has increasingly taken hold that there are three main sensory channels of learning: visual, auditory, kinesthetic (or kinesthetic), and that every person, although possessing all three, you belong to one of the 3 categories in a more marked way.
This preferential channel would have an influence on the speed with which we speak, on the way we gesture, and, above all, on how we learn.
And here are born specific exercises to identify one’s own channel of belonging, particular programs to study in a different way, etc. Too bad that there is nothing scientific, and that the 3 sensory learning styles do not exist, at least not in these terms.
This scientist explains it better than I ever could in a beautiful TED Talk that you can’t miss.
There are different cognitive styles, reasoning, thinking, different ways of being, different ways of using our intelligence, and also different ways of learning, which differ according to personality, tastes, the subject we are learning, habit, and the structure of our mind…
But they are definitely more complex and less clear-cut than the 3 categories in which to divide the whole human race. Let’s finish with the pseudoscientific simplifications and learn to recognize the complexity.
Not Getting Help
An honorable mention gets the myth that states that you should only rely on your own abilities when studying. It is preposterous to think that you can do away without relying on anyone else other than yourself. After all, you go to the library, which is like getting help from generations and generations of academics from before. So, if you want to buy assignment, then do so because getting help is okay.
Here it is, this was my list of the biggest hoaxes that are commonly spread around and about studying!