Are there any difference between Study and Thinking Skills

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Do you think what does study have to do with thinking skills?
To understand why thinking skill is required for studying. We first need to understand the difference between studying and learning.

Relation between Studying and Learning

The dictionary defines learning as

the activity or process of gaining knowledge or skill by studying, practicing, being taught, or experiencing something

The dictionary definition of studying is

the activity or process of learning about something by reading, memorizing facts, attending school, etc

From the above definitions, we understand that there are multiple ways to learn something such as studying, practicing, listening, experiencing, etc. One such way of learning is called studying which means reading and memorizing the facts.

Studying alone is not enough

Studying is a lower level skill which is one way of learning. The skills cover organizing, managing, scheduling time, concentrating and memorizing using various mnemonics techniques. If we learn a subject by using only study skills, knowledge will be very limited in that subject. Moreover, this knowledge does not last for a longer time. Just reading and memorizing the subject and recalling it during examinations are not enough to become an expert or become knowledgeable about that subject. After exams, the memorized information decays fast taking us back to zero knowledge on that subject.

Why thinking improves learning

Thinking is the vital process which aids learning. The one who learns to employ thinking techniques such as generalization, abstraction, comprehension, analyze, etc. are better in using the knowledge than the ones who memorized the subject. We often forget things we studied during examinations because we have very few trigger points to recall the answer. We create trigger points by employing thinking skills such as associations, classifications, comprehension, application, analysis, evaluation on the subject.

Relation between Study and Thinking Skills

If we spend some time thinking about the subject, we make large numbers of connections between the newly studied knowledge to the existing knowledge. It increases many trigger points to reach the studied subject leading to low memory retention. By employing thinking skills, we move from lower level study skill towards higher level learning skill.

How much time to think after studying

The minimum time to be spent in thinking about the subject follows Pareto’s principle or 80-20 rule. If you spend 1-hour studying subject, then spend at least` 15 minutes on thinking about the subject being studied. More time you spend thinking about the subject, more intelligent you will become on the subject.

Eighteen ideas for becoming a master student by

Students who study poetry should think poetically.  People while reading a book do not know how to think like a reader nor do they know how to think like a writer. Each subject we learn sets a new direction for our thinking. Let’s say you learn economics; you should think historically, geographically, statistically about the topic to gain insight and greater knowledge. Ten Ideas are listed below, Read more at for all the 18 ideas.

Idea #1: Understand the requirements of the subject and the class
Idea # 2: Learn actively by reading, listening, discussing and writing
Idea # 3: Each subject is a form of thinking.
Idea # 4: Ask questions to discover what you don’t know
Idea # 5: Relate what you already know about what you are learning.
Idea # 6: Consider classroom as playground and play with subjects
Idea # 7: Book is what author’s thinking about the subject. Role-play different author frequently.
Ideal # 8: Classroom is the place to practice thinking
Idea # 9: Connect the subject to the real world.
Idea # 10: Apply study and learning skills which you lag.

About Prabakaran Thirumalai 809 Articles
Blogger on topics including Life Skills such as Learning, Thinking, Emotional Intelligence, Motivation, and Social Skills.