Proactive Versus Reactive Studying: A Muggle’s Perspective

Monday, April 8, 2019

Proactive versus Reactive StudyingThink Hermione, Not Ron When it Comes To Studying and Tutoring

When it comes to studying and academic tutoring, there are often two types of students: proactive and reactive learners. For Harry Potter enthusiasts, these students’ study habits will sound quite familiar: proactive learners are the Hermione Grangers of the classroom, while reactive students are more similar to Ron Weasley. Hermiones are students who take proactive measures to get ahead on their studies while Rons often wait until they perform poorly on the first few assignments to seek out help.

Even if Ron is your all-time favorite character, when it comes to studying it’s best to aim for a Hermione mentality and be as on top of your coursework as possible. Keep reading to learn more about how to become a proactive learner and why all students should strive to take a Hermione Granger approach to tutoring. 

Know When to Get Help
Most students will know right away if a course is going to be challenging and get an immediate sense of anxiety relating to a course. We see this throughout the Harry Potter series, especially when it comes to Potions class, which is depicted as challenging. While your teacher may not discuss all expectations the first day of class like Snape did, they will typically distribute a syllabus that will do so. When you acquire the syllabus for a potentially difficult course, it’s important to reach out and ask for help. If your gut is telling you this may be a challenging class, and the syllabus looks daunting, this is a red flag. Students who ask for help as soon as they start to feel these impending nerves will have a major advantage because they will be able to tackle their uncertainties head on and troubleshoot for future confusion.

Take the Instructor into Account as Well
At any school, there is always talk of what to expect from a course and which instructors are thought to be particularly challenging. In Hogwarts, Snape is notorious for being a demanding teacher in regards to the quantity of course work he distributes as well as his high expectations. Once you are matched with the course or instructor that has Snape-level qualities, it’s time to reach out and ask for help. If most students typically struggle with a course, it’s always best to proactively prepare for the need of assistance.

Keep an Eye on the Syllabus
Even if your internal warning buzzer doesn’t go off during the first week of school, keep an eye on your assignments and progress throughout the course. Once homework and quizzes begin to be distributed, it’s important to evaluate your academic progress in order to ensure you are performing at a high level. If you are not satisfied with the grades you are receiving, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Avoid last minute studying or rushed test preparation, like Ron Weasley did throughout his six years at Hogwarts.

Channel Your Inner Hermione
During your next break from school, ask yourself how Hermione would spend her time off. No matter what level of class you’re taking, there are always advantages for reviewing the materials prior to class because preparing in advance will help students become familiar with the material and gain an edge. Hermione perfectly illustrates the benefits of academic enrichment over the summer. Eager and ready to answer any question thrown her way, she always reviewed the coursework prior to the start of the class year to stand out amongst her peers. Getting ahead on your academics is advantageous since it can help you reinforce complex topics, as opposed to tackling every lesson without any insight or background. A tutor can help students build a foundation for academic work and test preparation so that the student feels confident and ahead of the game once the semester starts.

While it may seem easier to be reactive and put off seeking help for a challenging course, it’s better to make like Hermione and stay on top of your studies throughout the year. Our team of expert tutors can help you get a jumpstart on your classes and feel confident throughout every course.


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