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7 Habits of Ineffective Students


We all develop habits in life. Some of these habits put us on a trajectory towards success, and other habits put us on a trajectory towards stress, burn out, and poor grades.  The start of the school year is the time to make good decisions and develop good habits. Think of the decisions at the start of the school year like hitting a golf ball. The head of the club just needs to be turned ever so slightly in the wrong direction, and your ball will land far away from your intended goal. Similarly, starting the school year off on the wrong footing will mean ending up far away from your goals by the time May comes around.

This post is a tongue-in-cheek look at the habits of an ineffective student. Here’s what NOT to do at the beginning of the school year:

1) Taking it easy the first two weeks of school.

The first test is weeks away, and most of the class material is easy enough. If you really want to get your school year off to a bad start, get behind in your classes, avoid doing homework, and spend time catching up with your friends. Only nerds study during the first week of school! Besides, waiting for all of your work to pile up is a great way to add excitement to your life.

2) Don’t use a calendar, OR buy one and never use it.

Another way to be an ineffective student is to keep all of your test dates, homework deadlines, project due dates, sports’ games, and choir competitions in your head. You’re smart enough to juggle a bunch of dates without using a wall calendar, a planner, or an iPad to keep track of things for you. The only people who keep all of their due dates on one calendar are people who want to plan ahead and not get caught having to study for two tests the same night as a band concert. Who would want to live life planning ahead?

3) Don’t set up a quiet place where you will do your homework every day.

A great way to procrastinate and not get into “homework mode” is to do your homework anywhere and at various times. People who sit down at the same time, in the same place every day to do their homework are the kind of people who actually want to get into “homework mode” faster and focus better.

  • Don’t forget the corollary to number 3: Do your homework with distractions all around you so that once you start, it takes you three times longer to get it done. I suggest listening to your iPod while looking at Instagram, watching your favorite show on Netflix, and answering the occasional text.

4) Sign up for too many extra-curricular activities.

One way to be an ineffective student and NOT reach your goals is to sign up for extra-curricular activities based on how busy you are the first week of school. Don’t think ahead and assume that you will have more work as the semester continues. And, definitely over-commit so you can be sure to let someone down sometime during the semester.

5) YOLO (You only live once.)

Remember this is your only freshman/sophomore/junior/senior year. Why spend it doing homework, planning for up-coming tests, and setting up a quiet study area? You should only do homework and study after you’ve done all the fun stuff, like hanging out with friends, texting, talking on the phone, or updating your social media profiles.

  • Don’t forget the corollary to number 5: Life is short, why waste it sleeping? Sleep is for people who want to be alert and attentive in class, and to be an ineffective student you need to be nodding off in history, staring aimlessly in math, and barely keeping your eyes open in English.

6) Don’t build a good rapport with your teachers.

To be an ineffective student, don’t get to know your teachers, don’t find out when their help sessions are, and definitely show up late to class, preferably after class announcements. This is a great way to get the school year off to a bad start and remain clueless about changes in test dates and extra help sessions.

7) If you don’t get something at the beginning of the school year, just fugetaboutit.

The first week is just review anyway. It’s not like you’re going to be tested on this stuff. If you don’t get it, don’t try to get help from your teacher or find a tutor to help you early. Finding a tutor early in the semester, might mean that you actually learn the material and get a good foundation that will prepare you for when the class gets harder later on. Plus, finding a tutor early might mean the tutor gets to know you, he or she may actually help you improve your study habits!

Follow these 7 habits and you are sure to get the school year off to a bad start. However, if you are interested in being a successful student, consider a Revolution Prep tutor to help you build good habits to get you off to a good start. Just call our academic advisors at (877) 738-7737.


The Revolution Prep Team  

Our team is made up of professional tutors and academic advisors who are passionate about sharing their wealth of academic success knowledge.