What is the difference between “Studying” and “Learning”? A good question since there is a subtle difference in the meaning of the two closely related words. Literally speaking “studying” is the process though which one learns. In reality, the word has come to mean quite something else – at least in most cases. “Studying” unfortunately has become synonymous with the word “memorizing”. Therefore when you ask a school or college student if he was studying hard for the exams, it often came to mean whether he was memorizing his notes well enough to write them down in his exam paper.