Study guides hurt more than help

Ethan Richards, Staff Writer

Imagine just finishing a college class there are no more lessons and there is only one challenge remaining: The final exam. There is one problem: the teacher didn’t make a study guide and there over a month’s work to look through. How is it possible to prepare?

A study guide is a type of packet or paper in which the teacher puts problems or questions on in order to help prepare for their exams. But what they sometimes don’t realize in the long run is that it can hurt a students study habits for when they aren’t given a study guide.

Study guides are something that can hurt a student’s learning more than it helps because it can give students a belief that whatever is on the study guide is on the test. Also eventually not all teachers will give a study guide. Without a study guide to help them some students may not know how to prepare for a test. “Some students expect the math teachers to type up the test but then change the numbers of the questions,” math teacher Rick Brooks said.

In other words the students are expecting some type of rendition of the test. “At a certain point students should be able to take the materials from class and form their own study guide,” Brooks said.

By this Brooks is meaning that a student should take the notes they have over a broad topic and form it into a way they can study. This so that students are able to learn the material and not just memorize it.

“If a student only does a the study guide to prepare for a test and they fail the test it’s great because that means the student is trying to memorize the materials and they aren’t understanding it,” science teacher Dave Oldham said.

A study guide can be something that can prepare somewhat but it is never enough to be full prepared. “Study guides can be helpful for certain topics in a class,” Oldham said.

A study guide for specific words from a chapter can be helpful if you know the definition. But we as students need to be able to use the words in our own way not just what the book or what the internet said.

Some teachers however support the study guides one of those is history teacher Ben Knight “The main reason I give a study guide is so that a student can narrow down a month’s work down into main ideas,” Knight said.

One important thing Knight brought up was that how study guides can come in many different forms; one with broad topics or one with specific questions about a specific person, place, or event. “Depends on the type of test if it is more written or multiple choice or math test in economics,” Knight said.

My brother and current Iowa State student Noah Richards ’16 found good study habits to be more beneficial than a study guide when he began college. “When I first got to college and my first examine was approaching slowly I was super nervous. But luckily I knew how to  prepare by using the notes I took in class in order to study,” Richards said. Richards was able to do this because he practiced good study habits in high school. That was because he didn’t just fill out the study guide the teachers gave him. He took his notes from lessons and formed them into his own study guide of main ideas.

Personally, I believe that students rely to much on the teachers in order to study. Maybe practicing taking notes and creating their own knowledge would be more beneficial.