Tag Archives: Education

10 Rules of Bad Studying

Excerpted from A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel in Math and Science (Even if You Flunked Algebra)

by Barbara Oakley, Penguin, July, 2014

Avoid these techniques—they can waste your time even while they fool you into thinking you’re learning!

1. Passive rereading:

Sitting passively and running your eyes back over a page. Unless you can prove that the material is moving into your brain by recalling the main ideas without looking at the page, rereading is a waste of time.

2. Letting highlights overwhelm you:

Highlighting your text can fool your mind into thinking you are putting something in your brain, when all you’re really doing is moving your hand. A little highlighting here and there is okay—sometimes it can be helpful in flagging important points. But if you are using highlighting as a memory tool, make sure that what you mark is also going into your brain.

3. Merely glancing at a problem’s solution and thinking you know how to do it.

This is one of the worst errors students make while studying. You need to be able to solve a problem step-by-step, without looking at the solution.

4. Waiting until the last minute to study.

Would you cram at the last minute if you were practicing for a track meet? Your brain is like a muscle—it can handle only a limited amount of exercise on one subject at a time.

5. Repeatedly solving problems of the same type that you already know how to solve.

If you just sit around solving similar problems during your practice, you’re not actually preparing for a test—it’s like preparing for a big basketball game by just practicing your dribbling.

6. Letting study sessions with friends turn into chat sessions.

Checking your problem solving with friends, and quizzing one another on what you know, can make learning more enjoyable, expose flaws in your thinking, and deepen your learning. But if your joint study sessions turn to fun before the work is done, you’re wasting your time and should find another study group.

7. Neglecting to read the textbook before you start working problems.

Would you dive into a pool before you knew how to swim? The textbook is your swimming instructor—it guides you toward the answers. You will flounder and waste your time if you don’t bother to read it. Before you begin to read, however, take a quick glance over the chapter or section to get a sense of what it’s about.

8. Not checking with your instructors or classmates to clear up points of confusion.

Professors are used to lost students coming in for guidance—it’s our job to help you. The students we worry about are the ones who don’t come in. Don’t be one of those students.

9. Thinking you can learn deeply when you are being constantly distracted.

Every tiny pull toward an instant message or conversation means you have less brain power to devote to learning. Every tug of interrupted attention pulls out tiny neural roots before they can grow.

10. Not getting enough sleep.

Your brain pieces together problem-solving techniques when you sleep, and it also practices and repeats whatever you put in mind before you go to sleep. Prolonged fatigue allows toxins to build up in the brain that disrupt the neural connections you need to think quickly and well. If you don’t get a good sleep before a test, NOTHING ELSE YOU HAVE DONE WILL MATTER.


Four Essential Parts to Ta’lim (Islamic Education)

“Ta’lim (Educating Muslims about Islamic knowledge) is a very broad concept that encompasses many entities, which are all necessary… thus when it has a broad-spectrum and divisions within it, which are all required, and scholars are only fulfilling the responsibilities of only one division, then has this obligation of ta’lim reached its aim and is it absolved?

Most definitely this is a weakness you will agree upon. Whatever the case, you must admit to your deficiency.

So now isn’t it important to absolve this issue? Without a doubt it is very necessary.

What I am saying is, Ta’lim is a very broad concept, and all the parts of this concept are required [for the Muslim community by Shari’ah].

Now let us understand the different areas [of ta’lim], some are in my head at this moment, I inductively present to you four main divisions of ta’lim [translator: which can be further divided into subdivisions]:

1 – Delivering speech/sermon publicly
2 – Teaching
3 – Privately advising people (amr bil ma’roof bi khitaab al-khaas)
4 – Writing

Religious scholars should focus on these 4 areas.

These are easily achieved [in the first two points] when you teach in front of students, and when you speak in front of the general masses.

And when you selectively approach individuals or groups and advise them privately (the third point is achieved).

What I mean by ‘selectively’ is where your influence can have a positive outcome, because advice is not gladly accepted everywhere and sometimes it has a confrontational effect and in consequence enmity between the individual increases and not everyone can tolerate that.

If someone is able to tolerate opposition whilst advising him then SubhaanAllah! He should carry on. However it is important not to be harsh and ruthless when advising but be gentle. If confrontations persist, then carry on tolerating. But if you cannot tolerate this, then stop trying to advise him selectively and just advise him generally without any details.

Basically, advise people where you sense your influence.

Sadly, this practice of amr bil ma’roof is completely ignored today. Father and son, Teacher and student, Spiritual Mentor and votary, employer and employee and wife and husband all seldom advise each other. Moreover these are such connections through which humans take influence and give inspirations.
This is a very big religious error, which we will be questioned about.

So these are three points explained.

The fourth point is writing. When a situation arises they will be a need for scholars to write. This does not necessarily mean every scholar of the community becomes a professional writer or speaker, but it does mean that according to the needs of the community, a number of scholars should be proficient and talented in writing and speaking.”


Shaykh Mawlana Ashraf ali Thanwi Rahimahullah (May Allahs mercy Descend upon his soul), Huqooq wa Faraaidh Page 114, as cited by Mufti Zayd Nadwi in Adaab Taqreer wa Tasnif pg 19, Ashrafiyyah Multan, Shaban 1415