HOW MUCH STUDY IS TOO MUCH?

Lachende Studentin aus Mexiko in der Stadt

Studying. Yes, it’s hard work and yes, it’s a stress that we must endure in order to be successful, both in a future career and life in general. It’s an obvious fact that studying brings on stress. This stress is both a part of life and a good resilience builder. But, as I’m sure you’re asking judging by the title of the article you’re reading, how much study is too much?

I understand as well as you do, dear reader, that if you want to do well at school, and indeed in anything, study is required. Unfortunately, humans can’t absorb information as quickly as we’d all like. This reduces us to sitting at a desk with our heads in the textbooks or even a computer screen for several hours at a time. Time that could be spent watching Friday night footy, or going out to that party that’s being thrown down the road. We reassure ourselves that the extra time spent revising will all be worth it. But is it actually? Some say it isn’t.

A report published by Tom’s Tutoring says “one of the main reasons students under-perform in their exams is that they worked too hard”. So this means that working too hard may actually be damaging rather than beneficial. The report continues to state that studying too hard makes you tired. I don’t know about you, but trying to memorise something while fatigued doesn’t seem to work very well. Even worse, when the student notices they fail to recall the subject of study, they believe they need to work even harder, continuing the cycle.

As a student, I’ve discovered the truth of what this is saying. So many times I’ve thought I haven’t been working hard enough, when in reality, I’ve been working too hard. You may be asking for some actual proof. Sure, reports on the Internet might be one thing, but is this theory correct? Let’s ask an actual student. This time, the honour of answering all your questions falls to me. So, you may ask – does studying too much affect your performance in exams, and by extension, your marks? The answer is yes. I recently had my mid-year exams. Now, I’m quite bad at maths, so what did I do? I spent several hours of the night before the exam studying relentlessly. Come the day of exam, I was quite fatigued. During it, I was kicking myself for not sleeping enough the previous night. And low and behold, I scored lower than I should have considering how much work I put in. Several weeks later and I’m still cursing myself for poor time management. So for all you study-aholics out there, get enough sleep the night before. Also, be careful around your computers. If your parents are anything like mine, they always hassle you about spending too much time looking at your screens. Turns out, surprisingly, they aren’t nagging you just to be annoying. Blue light emitted by your screen can trick your brain into thinking it is morning, making it harder to fall asleep after you’ve studied half the night away. While you probably won’t be doing much dreaming that night, the consequences of even less sleep will be a nightmare the next day.

Students also face the issue of missing out on things they love so they can study more. I’ve been in this very boat. But from experience, studying is only effective if you want to be doing it. Does this mean that you should simply not study? Of course not, but forgoing the things in life you love so you can study is useless in my opinion. It’s impossible to concentrate when you’re too busy thinking to yourself ‘gosh I wish I wasn’t here’.  So my advice to all you students out there: study hard but don’t overdo it, or you’ll end up doing more harm than good. Finding a good balance between not studying at all because you can’t be bothered and studying too much because you really need to get an A+ is critical for maximum success. So keep working to find the perfect medium, or you’ll end up getting a less than desirable score on your maths exam.

– Daniel Robertson

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