How to develop the right study mindset

Updated: Nov 22, 2020



“You will see me struggle, but never see me quit”


This was a quote by Tom Coleman, a professional bodybuilder in the weightlifting industry. This is relevant to the type of mindset students must possess when studying. However, it is not easy for students studying in Singapore to adopt such a strong, determined mindset since they are going through the mandatory education of at least 10 years, which is long and arduous in the mind of many.


Hence today, Math Lobby will be sharing some tips and advice on how to gradually fine tune your mindset to be one that is more motivated and goal-driven. Let’s begin!

1. Types of mindsets: Fixed vs Growth


In order to learn to develop the right study mindset, we will have to first understand the two different types of mindsets that exist. The first type is called the fixed mindset – people with this type of mindset generally believe that one’s intelligence is unchangeable, which means that a person’s capabilities are predetermined when they are born. They are more inclined towards the portrayal of a smarter image, and hence always try to steer clear of challenges as they would not want to risk facing failure.

Whenever encountered with obstacles, they tend to see the efforts they put in as “wasted” or “fruitless”, causing them to falter easily and give up in the early stages. Criticisms are never accepted by people with such mindset, regardless of how useful or constructive it can be. The only people they would like to see succeeding is only them themselves, the success of others would be deemed hostile in their view.

On the other hand, the other type of mindset is what we call the growth mindset – people with this type of mindset have a different perspective of one’s intelligence, believing that it is not predetermined by birth, but can be meticulously nurtured through the stages in their life. This leads to a mindset which is set out to eagerly explore the vastness of the things around them, discoveries made would always intrigue that mind of theirs.

Instead of avoiding challenges, they embrace challenges as they believe that it can help them with gaining new experiences and benefit from it. Efforts placed into the work they do are never viewed as being a “waste”, but part of the journey to their ultimate success and goals. They are very receptive of constructive feedback and criticisms, regardless of how harsh it may seem at times, and attempt to learn from the loopholes in their efforts. The success of others motivates them further and pushes them to strive for greater lengths, reviewing and breaking down the process of others’ success to learn from their mistakes and to make sure they never repeat them.

Through this, you should already know the type of mindset you should adopt in order to begin cultivating a better study mindset, now let’s talk about the other possible points that can potentially help fine-tune your mentality to further improve your study mindset!

2. Share your problems with someone you trust

There is once a saying, “A problem shared is a problem halved.” And what this means is that whenever you encounter difficulties in your revisions or problems that you are unable to solve, do not stop just there and give up. Remember one of the attributes in a growth mindset is to embrace challenges and learn from the obstacles you face!



Share the problems you face with someone that you can trust, keeping it bottled-up and being afraid of judgement can never benefit you in this journey of nurturing a better study mindset. We are only humans, and there is no way we will understand everything right off the bat, hence take the initiative to ask and raise questions, nobody will fault you for it!

3. Dominate over your inner demons

Let’s face it: It is impossible to feel motivated every single day in front of your study desk, even the students of top caliber will need to take breaks once in a while during study sessions. During times like these, our inner demons get awakened, try to seize the chance it sees and conquer our mind with an aim to instill negativity into us. Hence, this result in us facing adverse emotions like fear, anger, frustration and hatred.

Does all this sound familiar? Because if it does, then most probably you encounter these scenarios frequently when you are studying: FEAR of the deadlines closing in, ANGER and FRUSTRATION when you just cannot seem to wrap your head around a concept during your revisions, HATRED for the subject you are actually dislike studying.

So, how do we eliminate these nasty demons in our mind?


Face your fears confidently


When we try to avoid confrontations with our fears, it actually allows our inner demons to “feed on” the feeling of depression in our minds, causing them to thrive further.

Hence, we must instead face our fears confidently and look for ways to overcome it. For example, when deadlines are closing in, stop think about how it is too late and procrastinate. Instead, act on it immediately! Can’t seem to wrap your head around a concept? Raise it up to the teacher during lesson time, so that both you and your classmates can have a chance to listen to the explanation.


Letting go of the past


Letting go of the past means that you are forsaking the negativity that was weighing you down before, the negativity can comprise of a number of things: past examination results that are not desirable, regretting not studying for the previous examination, regretting leaving the question blank when you have figured out how to do the question only after the examination ended. These are all unnecessary worries that are hindering you and your progress into the future. Therefore, learn to let go of them by focusing on the task at hand, tell yourself positive things like how you will never repeat the same mistakes again, taking this as a learning point.


It all lies in your mind, so believe and have faith in it


There is a well-known phenomenon called “mind over body”, this phenomenon is one that generally states that the human mind is much stronger than the body itself, being intensely focused on something will unleash the boundaries that you never thought you could have broken (For more about this phenomenon, stay tuned to the article coming soon, “Mind over body”!).


Hence, if you set out to achieve something, make sure that it is your sole aim, have confidence that you can actually do it, and be brave to in preparation for any incoming setbacks.


And that’s all we have for today, students! Math Lobby hopes that you enjoyed today’s article on how to develop a better, right study mindset. If you have any questions or inquiries, feel free to contact Math Lobby on our website, Facebook or Instagram page! As always: Work hard, stay motivated and I wish all students a successful and enjoyable journey with Math Lobby!



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