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QCE Maths – should you be studying every night?

By Rui Tong in QCE
7th of March 2020
QCE maths study tips - ATAR Notes

Answer: NO!

… Alright, that was not convincing. There’s only one reason here, but it’s an important one.

The misconception is that consistency is everything. Although it is important, it’s not all that matters. Put simply, ‘over-studying’ as I like to call it, damages your mentality and attitude towards the subject(s). It makes mathematics feel less like a useful or interesting subject, but rather a forced one.

As a rule of thumb, the subjects you’ll be more inclined to study for are the ones you feel positive about. As a mathematics student, part of your job is to ensure that happens for you.

 

Boredom

You rarely find anybody that’s never bored of always doing maths. Often, even the brightest and talented mathematicians still need a break. (And that’s despite the gossip of how there’s always more to learn and discover in maths!)

Studying mathematics every night is basically doing the same task every night. It might be harmless initially, but it builds up a huge lack of motivation. It means you’re subjecting yourself to the same frame of mind needed for doing practice questions and exam preparation, for days without end. It’s going to be boring, because it’s the same one or two subjects! Practice might be crucial, but you have to remember that it’s the same style of practice you’d be using! (Or perhaps, with some tweaks, but tweaks at best.)

At the very least, take some nights off from maths to study for your other subjects. Sure, your studying techniques might be similar, but at least there’s variety in the content now!

 

Fatigue

This is really nothing different than the previous point to be honest. But basically, you begin to relate mathematics to a chore. You’ll start to feel that it’s something you have to do, by some non-existent obligation.

This might actually affect more students that don’t enjoy maths to begin with! Has it ever occurred to you that sometimes a break might be the best option? During a period where you have no maths assessment task coming up, take a weekend, or 3-4 days off from it. Or if you believe that’d guilt trip yourself, try one or two day gaps. Focus on studying for subjects you enjoy more throughout this period, and come back to maths when you’re ready to continue!

Of course, that’s not to say go ditch maths altogether. It just means to keep things within moderation more.

 

‘Learning block’

Adding to the demotivation, content may just stop entering your brain. This could happen for a variety of reasons, including the following.

After studying so much for certain subjects, you become obsessed over fully mastering it. Consequently, it’s not willing enough to absorb new knowledge.
Previous gaps in learning have unfortunately led you on to not understanding concepts now. (Going back to basics is a separate issue though.)
If you’re already fatigued, it’s natural that content doesn’t sink in.
Perhaps you used the same study routine every day. And it’s past its expiry date. Meaning you should try a new study technique from here onwards.
Or perhaps the above, but your study techniques weren’t the most effective! Know that this varies from person to person. You should always find what’s best for your studying.

 

Even if I consider myself bright and capable?

Yes! Don’t study every night! Unless you can’t help yourself.

If your passion for mathematics is crazy strong, you may have random urges to study maths. Letting these take over you is generally not a bad idea. That is, provided you don’t needlessly delay something else. For example, an English essay.

But even then, let that be it. Once that drive to study maths fades, go back to something else. Or reward yourself with a break.

 

Other subjects!

Remember, mathematics is definitely not your only subject! By deliberately studying maths every night, you’re cutting the time spent on everything else. The ATAR system rewards students that have a healthy balanced performance across their subjects – not just one or two.

So make sure maths is not going to eat up all of your time! Sounds obvious enough, but it’s still a worthwhile gentle reminder!


QCE General Maths help
QCE Maths Methods help
QCE Specialist Maths help

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