The main objective of this study was to find out the factors affecting study habits on academic performance of University students. In all, 420 respondents comprising University students in National Open University (NOUN) study center were involved in the study. The purposive and simple random sampling techniques were used to select students for the study. A questionnaire, Study Habits Inventory (SHI) was the main instrument used for data collection. Data from the questionnaire were coded, categorized and analysed using multiple regression and independent samples t-test. The main findings revealed that despite other dimensions of study habits thus; examination, homework and assignment, reading and note-taking, concentration, only time management explains the bulk of the variables that predicts students’ study habits. Therefore, for an excellent performance, there is the need for students to form good study habits in respect of the other dimensions. Also, male students use time management related study habits more than their female counterparts. Based upon the findings, it was recommended that all stake holders in should encourage students in their respective areas of responsibilities. This will help to motivate the students positively towards their study. More so, it is important for female students whose studies are negatively influenced by femininity to be encouraged to work hard as academic is not only reserved for men.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
How a student takes his or her studies, greatly determines his/her level of academic achievements. The level of preparation and learning strategies developed and employed consciously by students, go a long way to influence their level of academic performance. Thus, study habit is one of the greatest students or learning factors that hugely influences students’ academic achievements. If undermined by students at all levels, teachers, administrators, parents and guardians, school counselors and the government, then, the trend and menace of students’ abysmal performance in both internal and external examinations would continue to boom and become more devastating and alarming.
Mark and Howard (2015) are of the opinion that the most common challenge to the success of students in all ramifications is a lack of effective or positive (good) study habit. They further maintain that if students can develop a good study habit and with good discipline, they are bound to perform remarkably well in their academic pursuit. Husain (2010) stresses that lack of effective or positive (good) study habits is a critical study problem among students at all levels. Grace (2013) also maintains that the process of learning is still a little mysterious but studies do show that the most effective process for studying involves highly active behavior over a period of time. In other words, to study effectively, one must read, draw, compare, memorize and test himself over time.
Study habit is; buying out a dedicated scheduled and un-interrupted time to apply one’s self to the task of learning. Without it, one does not grow and becomes self-limiting in life. Study habits tell a person that how much he will learn and how far he wants to go, and how much he wants to earn. These all could be decided with the help of one’s study habits, throughout the life. Stella and Purtshothaman (2013) opined that the researchers have analyzed the pupils achievement with reference to the classification high, average and low achievers, in this conventional classification, the point of reference in the average score of group or a standard norm, but study habits differ from person to person , hence in an attempt to help the learners progress by developing suitable study habits, we need a different set of parameters that takes into account of the individual capabilities. Attitude towards study has great contribution on academic achievement, and good study pattern. Successful learners adopt positive attitude towards study, and do not waste time or energy over what they have to do. If the learning experience is pleasant, the learner’s attitude and motivation is usually positive, and if the learning experience is not pleasant he tends to avoid it.
Negative attitude towards study sometimes finds expression in comment such as “I study but cannot remember what I study” or “the lessons are too long”. Attitude serves as index on how we think and feel about people, objects and issues in our environment. Study attitude, according to Husain (2010), refers to the predispositions which students have developed towards private readings through a period of time. According to him, study attitude offers great possibilities for successful achievement in studies. Study method is the knowledge and application of effective study skills or techniques by students. Several study methods have been identified several effective study methods and skills that could be used by students based on the learning environment (Husain, 2010).
Kelli (2015) posits that for students to succeed in their studies, they must be able to appropriately assimilate course content, digest it, reflect on it and be able to articulate the information in written and/or oral form. What is fundamental is the ability of a student to acquire effective study habits. Many students feel that the hours of study are the most important. However, students can study for hours on end and retain very little. The more appropriate question is how students should study more effectively. Developing good time management skills is very important. Students must realize that there is a time to be in class, a time for study, time for family, time to socialize and time to just be alone. The critical issue is recognition that there must be an appropriate balance. Students should also have vision. A clearly articulated picture of the future they intend to create for themselves is very important and contributes to students’ success in school. This will promote a passion for what they wish to do. Passion is critical and leads to an intense interest, dedication and commitment to achieving career goals and objectives.
Marc (2011) explains that students with learning problems, however, may still have generally inefficient and ineffective study habits and skills. Becoming aware of your learning habits or styles will help students to understand why they sometimes get frustrated with common study methods. He observes that good study habits are essential to educational success; as they contribute to a successful academic future. Good study habits lead to good grades while good grades lead to admissions to better colleges and universities, possibly with a scholarship thrown in. This in turn, will lead to a great career. Developing good study habits to Marc is very crucial for every student irrespective of his level of education. It boosts students’ ability to be self-disciplined, self-directed and ultimately successful in their degree programs.
The sooner a student starts practicing and developing good habits, the better chance he will have that he will continue with them. Procrastination can be overcome with proper study habits and improving one’s study habits is the key to better studying. Being organized and having homework routines are the most important things in helping a child/student develop good study habits for life. Developing good study habits help spell success and a student will find himself working more efficiently and experiencing lesser stress in the process. He adds that having effective study habits creates a more efficient academic environment. Planning your study schedule as a student in advance and faithfully sticking to it saves time. When students have good study habits, they tend to be less stressed. Students who are anxious on exam day are typically the procrastinators who come unprepared. Students who organize their lives and stick to their established study schedules are confident and relaxed at test-taking time (Marc, 2011).
Ashish (2013) opines that if students must ensure academic success throughout the entire year, it is important to ditch bad study habits and establish good ones. He further maintains that no matter what age or academic level, employing effective study strategies can make all the difference between acing a class, barely passing or worse and failing miserably. She admits that many of today’s most common study methods or habits can lead to utter disappointment despite best efforts and intentions. To Ashish (2013), knowing exactly what does and does not work on a personal level, even tracking study patterns and correlating it with related grades and then proactively creating a study plan and schedule around the proven effective methods, is the most powerful study tool of all. Similarly, Bolling (2010) asserts that good study habit through planning helps students prepare for what is ahead, and accomplish their academic goals. Thus, lack of study habits clearly puts students at a disadvantage, and is one of the main reasons students need remedial classes, fall behind in coursework and drop out of school.
In Nigeria, there are so many factors influencing the ability of students to cultivate effective and efficient study habit. Ozmert (2015) emphasized the importance of environmental influence as a major factor in the development of students studying habit. In the same vein, Adetunji and Oladeji (2015) submit that the environment of most children is not conducive for studying; it is in the light of this that made some parents to prefer their children to go to boarding school for proper discipline and to inculcate better reading habit.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Due to the increasing nature of poor academic performance of students, many educationists tend to shift the blame on the teaching methodology adopted by the teachers and lack of fund from the government to provide quality education. However, these might not be the main reasons why students perform poorly. It is clear from all indications that most students have poor study habit which might lead to poor academic performance.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The study sought to know the factors affecting study habit and academic performance of National Open University study centre. Specifically, the study sought to;
- determine the relationship between study habit and academic performance of students.
- examine effect of poor study habit on academic performance of students.
- Examine the challenges faced by students in developing good study habit for better academic achievement.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What is the relationship between study habitand academic performance of students?
- What is the effect of poor study habit on academic performance of students?
iii. What are the challenges faced by students in developing good study habit for better academic achievement?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
Ho: There is no relationship between study habit and academic performance of students.
Ho2: Poor study habit has no effect on academic performance of students.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this study and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their research work. This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other study.
1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study is on factor affecting study habit and academic performance of National Open University study centre.
Limitations of study
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Study Habit: Study habits are the behaviors used when preparing for tests or learning academic material.
Academic Performance: This is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their short or long-term educational goals.