Effect of Study Habit on Academic Performance of Secondary School Students


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1.1 Background to the Study

Education is an acceptable instrument for change. It is generally regarded as an activity undertaken to bring about learning or desirable changes in the behaviour of a learner. Learning cannot be said to have taken place if at the end of the lesson the learners’ behaviour has not changed in line with the objectives set down at the beginning by the teacher. For learning to thrive, there are key factors that need to be considered these factors include; school location, study habits, home variables, classroom size and teachers’ quality (Inyang, 2001). The author maintains that these factors are so important that they can affect the performance of students in school.

Effect of Study Habit on Academic Performance of Secondary School Students

However, study habits as explained by Nneji (2002) are learning tendencies that enable students learn. It is a regular practice in studying that affects how well an individual learns or study. It is also the students’ way of studying whether systematic, efficient or inefficient. Going by these definitions, it literally means that good study habit produces positive academic outcomes while inefficient or bad study habits leads to academic failure. The researcher further outlines examples of good study habits to include; setting a particular time and place to study, being organized, listening in class, doing of home work, school assignment  and projects, efficient note taking,  effective reading, outlining, rewriting notes, studying with friends and being resourceful. While studying in a noisy and distracted environment, listening to music while studying, skipping class, not listening in class, not doing homework among others are considered as bad or poor study habits.

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On this note, Onyejiaku (2007), points out that any behaviour that is stimulated regularly will be repeated learning to habit formation. A student who has developed good behaviour in terms of having regular and scheduled study periods and follows certain study strategies always have better academic performance in school. It has been observed that students are really different; thousands would love to study at night before going to bed, while thousand others would love to study at dawn. Late night is normally quiet and students are unlikely to be disturbed by anyone.

Effect of Study Habit on Academic Performance of Secondary School Students

Besides, students have longer hours to review all their notes and works unlike the dawn when they will have to struggle against time; for a thorough review at night help learners remember the whole thing they learnt, while the hesitant studying at dawn are highly prone to forgetting. This is true for a particular group of people. This is entirely against the theory of early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. Waking up the whole night to study for examination is sure to affect one’s health; late night study is less productive as the mind loses concentration at late night (Enamhe, 2008). As a matter of fact, lack of sleep affect daily life, weakens the strength of the students and also lead to serious memory impairment, thus making learners lose focus during examination.

Consequently, most of the students do not know whether their study habits and attitude are effective or whether there are other techniques that would yield better academic performance because study habits, strategies are not systematically taught to students in most of our schools. Therefore, the present research will examine study habits as its affect pupils’ academic performance in Home Economics in primary schools.

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