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101 Study Tips for better grades

1. Draw up a timetable for revision. Prior to your big exams, draw up a plan for revision spread over two or more weeks. The earlier you prepare for the test, the easier it will be to ask for help for parts that are unclear to you. 2. Select an ideal study place. Whether it’s the library or your room, your study area should have all the materials and references you expect to need during study time, and none of the distractions that could slow you down. 3. Choose a comfortable study environment. Use a wide and uncluttered desk when doing schoolwork. Make sure your chair is comfortable and that the temperature is just right. The lighting should be adequate as well. 4. Decide which revision method works best for you. If you can understand lessons better in outline form, then convert your notes into this format days before the exam. If you can remember things better with the aid of mnemonics, then use them whenever you can. 5. When preparing for a test, think positive. If a particular topic bores you, think of a reward that you’ll treat yourself to if you reach a target grade for the exam. This will help motivate you into looking at the subject matter in a different light. 6. Study for understanding and ask about what you don’t understand. After dividing the material to be studied in several chunks, move on to the next only when you have a clear understanding of each one. Otherwise, ask your teacher for clarification the next day. 7. Use old exam papers to practice on. Be resourceful and ask more senior students for old test papers. The professor won’t likely ask the same questions, but they can be useful to practice with. 8. Make use of colors during revision. Highlighter pens can be effective in bringing out the salient points of a topic. You

if necessary. Double-check your answers on an exam. write a closely related word instead. When you fail to prepare for it and only read about the subject during the test. and water or candy. and to make sure nothing has been missed. Questions can carry a few clues. you will also avoid being distracted by your seatmates fidgeting or furious writing. 11. if allowed. Use index cards for open-book exams. These types of exams test your comprehension of the subject matter. Do not attack the essay without coming up with an outline first. you tend to waste a lot of time searching.can even use them on your notes. you might be given credit. minutes wasted on being interrupted can cost you. When you’re at the exam venue about ten minutes prior to the start of an exam. When there are too many references that can be used during a test. 16. plural or singular. such as first or third person. When added up. 13. Search for clues in short-answer tests. 12. Plan an exam essay intelligently. etc. Make use of various colors to help you visually remember categories. Allot some 5 minutes for re-reading and 10 minutes for providing new answers. rambling. Scan the test before starting. Use index cards for formulae and other important data to save time. you’ll have enough time to relax and assemble everything you need ñ pencils. an eraser. Always come to an exam room early. you’ll be wasting time that should be spent tackling the questions. Never take open-book exams for granted. Not only will the proctor be less suspicious of you. but scanning can give you a bird’s eye view of the task and help plan your time. Always devote about 15 minutes per set for reviewing your answers. If you forget an answer. 15. 14. Don’t sit too close to others during an exam. It only takes a few seconds. 10. . and repetitive ideas throughout the essay. Not having one will result in scattered thoughts. 9. This simple act can save you from committing grave errors or underestimating the time allotted.

students waste time on a single difficult question that could have been spent answering about five or more easier questions. they are not likely to be included in the exam. Plan your time answering essay questions. If allowed. 19. Ask your friend to ask you tough questions that are likely to be asked during the exam. choose topics wisely. Too often. 23. 22. Teachers may occasionally introduce variations to familiar formats just to catch those who habitually skip this crucial text. This is often done by individuals rushing in too quickly during exams. compute for it . Know the items a test would likely cover. If the teacher has written down dates. immediately write the things you have memorized on a sheet of paper as soon as the exam starts. Make a quick mind dump of what you have studied. 18. to ensure that you have mastery of the subject matter. 20. This is a time-worn rule that’s always broken. they are likely to be asked in the exam. The same is true for topics that were assigned as homework.17. spread your time over all five. you’ll clear your mind of some clutter and become more relaxed. You could make use of the extra time reviewing computations and spot-checking your answers. If there are five questions. 24. Prepare for an exam with a buddy. Try to focus on the topics which the teacher discussed over and over. This way. Always read directions. Try not to hand your exam in too early. and other terms on the board. Spend time only with one who is also serious about his studies. Teachers hardly award points for students submitting their answer sheets early. no matter how familiar. When cramming for an exam. 25. Don’t bother to review topics that have not been taken up in class. If you can’t come up with an answer to a problem. 21. It’s better to get five mediocre grades than two excellent ratings and zero points for those you weren’t able to answer due to lack of time. names. Tackle the easy questions first on an exam.

28. plan your time wisely. Resist the urge to become distracted by incoming text messages. Go beyond mere memorization. draw a mind map on the topic. When reviewing for an exam at the last minute. and won’t hesitate to do so if they see that you’ve at least tried solving the problem. or ask peers to ask you comprehension questions about the topic. on the other hand. Watch a movie with friends or eat out with your favorite brother or sister.anyway. Do a post-test mind dumping.ward yourself after an exam for which you studied well. Prepare an outline of the material you need to review and allocate a fixed amount of time for each topic. Comparing answers would only give rise to negative feelings and will keep you from unwinding after an especially strenuous exam. Avoid negative vibes the day before crucial exams. A blank sheet. 27. Recite the material. Keep a journal for tackling exams. e-mails. Try to find the answers to items which stumped you. write everything you remember about the test on paper. If you didn’t fare as well as you expected. . Committing data to memory is not enough. Don’t compare answers with others after an exam. has zero chances of getting any credit. create a poster. make the necessary changes. or study with a group. 31. 30.examination after every test you take. Perform a self . Treat yourself for giving it your best shot. Study much earlier next time. It’s better to find out the answers on your own or wait for the test results. Only then will you be able to fully relax after the exam. Assess the revision methods you used after getting your exam results. Ask yourself these questions: Which parts ate up most of my time? Where did most of the questions come from? Was I anxious during the exam? If so. 32. 33. After the gruelling exams. Small rewards motivate you to always try your best in whatever you do. 26. or phone calls. why? What should I do differently next time? 29. Most teachers give credit for effort.

Avoid being late for class more than once. 34. 36. However.Don’t talk on the phone with classmates who haven’t studied ñ they will only pull you down or create negative attitudes about not needing to study. you might not have known where the class is held. . Only a handful will be remembered by the professor the first few meetings. Never take a test on an empty stomach. 40. so it’s advisable to make a good first impression. Panicking too much. 35. It’s true that cramming can work to the advantage of some types of people. Show him or her that you’re eager to be in the class and always come prepared. is best. Find the right emotional and mental state prior to taking a test. can be debilitating. Choose the best seat in the classroom. habitual tardiness only shows your disinterest in class. Have a good meal before taking your exams. Syllabi are distributed at the beginning of the semester to serve as study guides. Always prepare for every class. Get the lowdown on your teacher from former students. Focus on your own preparation. 37. or you were held up by something really important. Rear of the class is for deserters and latecomers. 38. though. 39. center. if possible. Avoid too much sugar or caffeine as this will contribute to greater anxiety. Read on the scheduled topics so you can participate in class and ask for clarifications about difficult topics. Take deep breaths prior to starting the exam to help you relax. but whittling your sleeping hours to less than 8 or 7 will wreak havoc on you physically and mentally during the test. Being late once is excusable. Middle. Sitting at the sides can give you a bad angle of vision. A little anxiety is good for you as it sharpens your skills and keeps you alert. Don’t stay up late the night before an exam. Aim for a good first impression with the teacher. but don’t overdo it either and risk having an upset stomach. 41. Sitting in the front row may make you look eager but can strain your neck.

Offer to tutor your peers if you have the capacity to do so. 46. social clubs. Although academics should always be given priority. but his or her likes. always attend to the urgent and important matters first. Get involved in extracurricular activities. Include study time. You can estimate the amount of time you would need to devote to these concerns. 44.Not the private details. 45. not important. Donít push yourself too hard and work continuously without rest. meetings. membership in professional organizations. Read about the last topic discussed. and deadlines in your planner. preferred teaching methods. construct a table with cells for the important. If you plan on spending long hours finishing a paper or cramming for a test. Use a planner to balance your academic affairs and extracurricular activities. Without them. or sports teams is also important in helping you become a well-rounded individual. and expectations. Prepare a sandwich or anything you can eat at your workplace if you canít sit at the dinner table. dislikes. and not so urgent tasks at hand. 43. 48. youíre brain would need greater time to recuperate. You’ll fare much better in class if you have a good grasp of what the teacher wants out of a student. lectures. donít forget to drink lots of fluids. seminars. urgent. Classify work to do according to their importance. When pressed for time. Stay fit when studying for long periods. brush up on the lessons during the previous session. Instead. mind you. Any teacher would love a student who is proactive in suggesting activities to benefit himself and the class as a whole. and prioritize the tasks. 47. This . Always forward fresh ideas in class. Before attending class. Schedule regular study breaks. take scheduled breaks say. If needed. every 40 or 60 minutes. 42.

Second. 54. Manage your study time well. Request for make-up tests if youíve missed any. youíll be studying in blocks of 20 minutes with 3-minute breaks in . thatís Brownie points for you! 50. instead of studying for hours on end and resting afterwards. Stay in the room even if the teacher goes beyond the alloted time. Keep up after absences. This gives you an edge in class participation and a chance to impress your teacher. If you must be absent from a class . and you wouldnít want to miss that. Always read about a lesson in 53. whenever possible. First. Make it a point to ask a question at the end of every session. You can also prepare questions on items that were not clear to you. If homework had been assigned. it will also force you to listen during lectures so you can ask an intelligent question later on.secretstudyskills. 49. itís rude to up and leave while the teacher is still www. If he or she sees that you are interested enough to want to study in advance. Your teacher will appreciate the effort. Spend about 5 minutes after the class organising your notes. Review the dayís lecture immediately. 51. they usually extend their time because what theyíre about to say is important. ask for assistance from the Teacher Aide or borrow your classmateís notes.will rejuvenate your memory and get you ready for the next topic. do it that same day (or night) while the concepts that have just been taught are still fresh. 52. www. Create a schedule where. Not only will this show that you are eager to learn more and are interested in the subject matter.

Observe what other factors may distract you and always avoid them. can reveal a lot more than a book illustration could. and why you think it is important to learn about it. After studying a particular topic. Donít sit next to a fidgety student. This way. Find your style and practice that. Different people have different learning styles. 60. Go beyond your textbook.between. Avoid distractions during class. www. Donít sit near the doorway or next to a picture window. how these relate to material learned previously. Find out where you can borrow these tools. Listen to music to enhance learning and not distract you from it. Use realia whenever . Turn off your mobile phone or put it on silent mode. for instance. Some people learn better when they make use of realia or 3D models. 55. A 3D model of a human heart. for instance. Write difficult lessons in your own words.studyskillsrevealed. Explain its most salient points. summarize a topic in your own words. Some say they can absorb material better while listening to music while others say they need to be in a very quiet room.secretstudyskills. Itís not enough that you listen to the www. 56. In History. To assess your comprehension. review your notes with a map in front of you so you can visualise the events in your mind. Our minds need rest from time to time. youíll encounter various angles of that topic. 57. Always use alternative sources of material to develop your comprehension. 59. 58. look for other texbooks dealing with the same subject matter and answer the questions at the end of the unit.

the greater their . These are useful for emphasizing important notes. When making reports. always include trends and developments. Ask friends to listen and ask questions while you simulate your actual presentation. ask your teacher for the answer. and exams. always do a run-through. Know what weight the teacher gives to quizzes. You can even classify abstract ideas into meaningful groupings. Itís better to memorize stuff when these are classified into clear-cut categories. The more isnít always the merrier. Determine the ìbig pictureî of any lesson. Whatever your topic may be. Involve yourself in small study groups rather than large ones. 63. or expounding on certain topics. The larger a group is. If you are using your own textbook. scribble marginal notes when needed. 65. Know about the grading system being used. Enhance your memory by organising your notes. When making a presentation. This emphasizes your topicís relevance. marking points that need to be clarified. 64. projects.61. 67. youíll get plus points if the teacher sees that you have gone out of your way to research on the latest issues related to your subject matter. papers. Donít assume that everything will be perfect after you have finished making your Power Point slides. Teachers often give the formula at the beginning of the semester. but you can always ask for a more detailed list. 62. class participation. If this is vague. 66. Always relate a lesson to a larger picture to help you discover how it relates to past lessons and to enhance your understanding of the subject matter. Rewrite illegible notes and make them more neat and orderly. Use marginal notes to your advantage.

com www. 68. 70. and . Always set goals that are attainable so youíll enter the exam room with a sense of fulfillment. work your study schedule around that time. assign topics that each one should master while browsing through the other topics to get an overview. 72. Define roles for group assignments. make it a point to work on it a little every day. 73.secretstudyskills. This will flex the tense muscles from your neck down to your feet. Some peopleís brains work best early in the morning. A moderately sized group allows for a more fruitful exchange of ideas and eliminates the apathetic. Post a diagram of relaxation exercises next to your study area. others are night owls who are more productive beyond 9:00 PM. Set realistic study goals. It is important to occasionally stop what youíre doing.studyskillsrevealed. Always set submission deadlines or ask for regular updates. Work on a large project a little bit each day. www. Make commitments when working in groups. There will be less pressure on yourself as the day of submission approaches. Once you find out the time most conducive to you.tendency to depend on others. Determine your most ideal time for study. To keep work from piling up as the deadline for a project nears. put everything in writing when asking a member to commit to a task. 71. Letís face it. no matter how small. itís humanly impossible to study ten chapters in one night. If 69. and perform stretching exercises. Never assume that a group member will pitch in. Instead of asking everyone to read all the covered topics thoroughly.

78. as they say. 74. will be easy as pie. ask a friend who might be able to trigger that light bulb in your head.studyskillsrevealed. Build your confidence. explain to your teacher the possible reasons you didnít perform well. such as a night at the movies with a friend. theyíre heavily involved in various school activities as well. such as topping a quiz. This will motivate you to move on to finish all the subjects you need to study for that day. This helps them build confidence and responsibility. deserves a small treat. Letís say you failed big-time in an exam. When studying. . and ask if there are any projects you can do to make up for it. Emphasize accomplishments and downplay failures. www. You can reward yourself with a dream trip after passing a particularly tough course. Reward yourself in proportion to your achievements. The rest. This is one time when e-mailing or phoning a friend is allowed while studying. Donít allow a single failure to eat you up. both material and non-material.will give you renewed vigor to continue studying. Create a table where you will list down all your accomplishments and the rewards. 79. knowing that you have already hurdled the most difficult. Instead of wasting hours trying to understand www. When stumped.secretstudyskills. They not only perform academically. This will motivate you to always top your last achievements. Instead of brooding over it. always ask for help. Observe the most popular and well-loved students in school. always begin with the more difficult subjects. 75. But even small achievements. 77. you have received for them.

86. This may be a counselor. Keep a stress journal within easy www. join those who see the bright side of everything.secretstudyskills. If you associate with students who constantly depend on you for help. Accept the things you cannot change. Find a counselor you can trust to help you with stressors. Get to know the most important people in school. Avoid the pessimists.80. but itís reality. Always be open to change. youíll find it difficult to move on and do your best in other tasks. chances are youíll soon get pulled down with them. Non-acceptance at your dream school. Learn new skills and always be a step ahead of others. 83. University is quite different from High School in many ways.studyskillsrevealed. What are these things? A death in the family. These are people you would need to avoid. Weíve all had classmates who do nothing but complain. as they will influence your own attitude. Unless you accept your situation. 82. You have to constantly be on your toes and prepared to get out of your comfort zone. Spend time with the ìwinnersî for a change. Instead. 85. Rather than trying to handle all these by youself. or a friend. find someone with whom you can discuss your concerns. This may sound a bit harsh. 84. teacher. Personal problems can take a toll on your studies. Most would call it a ìstress journal. write down your thoughts or just anything you need to write in order to relieve you of unwanted baggage. www. Associate with students who will pull you up. . On it.î Youíll be able to move on after unloading some weight.

Utilise an effective filing system. and reports organised. A messy workspace does nothing to help a mind already laden with information overload. the Librarian. especially during crunch time.Introduce yourself to these people ñ the Dean. Keep your work area clutter-free. the Counselor. 90. Social phone calls. Learn to delegate tasks for a group project. think of a filing system to keep your notes. Volunteer for work if you can. 91. 89. donít even bother opening it. 87. When studying. Let your answering machine do its job and only reply when your studying is done.studyskillsrevealed. can eat up a big chunk of your precious study www. . If you receive social e-mails. From the very start. Store away books and magazines that you have no intention of reading in the next 3 months. thinking that they canít do it as well as you can. Your paperwork and school stuff can quickly accumulate during your stay at university.secretstudyskills. donít try to do everything yourself. Limit e-mail reading to only 30 minutes a day. just to be on their good side. flag and deal with it next time. reply only to urgent matters. If youíre a group leader. projects. have them encode the final report or do the legwork. www. If you donít know the sender. If youíre afraid theyíll botch up the job. CDs. turn on your answering machine and donít pick up unless the call is urgent. and all the other people who may help you in your school life. 88. Spend minimal time on unnecessary activities to focus on your studies.

You should be able to know how to access all the files in it in record time. and blog about what makes your classes interesting. it means you rambled on senselessly. Rewrite it in a way that the text can answer the question adequately. having to deal with an entire month can be overwhelming. 93.î Rather. If youíre a novice. Keep yourself technologically updated. Showcase your achievements. Donít just jump on the bandwagon ñ lead it! If you managed with Power Point presentations and slideshows in the past.92. State your goals in a positive tone. The best view of ìthings to doî is a weekly one.î 95. ìSo what?î If it doesnít answer the question. always follow the So What? rule. 94. Shamelessly plug yourself via a website. make them personal. When writing goals down. Use it to advertise yourself to your professors. Post an entire weekís schedule on your wall to help you plan your activities. treat it as you would a real filing cabinet. 98. Whether youíre using a notebook or a desktop. Whenever you write a paragraph. ìI must get at least a B+ in Accounting. you should now be able to make videos and podcasts. Put some order into your computer. ìI must not fail my Accounting course. ask yourself. Merely glancing on a daily to-do list limits your planning to 24 hours. Delete or transfer to CDs all outdated files. and state them in a positive format. On the other hand. put up a blog. always use an engaging opening and a . When writing an essay. Itís so easy to put up a site these days. When writing essays and reports. 96. Donít say. 97.

Save important files on CDs and label them accordingly. Proofreading only takes a few minutes. People who love you would only be too happy to help you achieve your goals. If you are aiming for honors this year. Make your commitments known to others. 99. 101. Nothing can be as frustrating as losing everything you have worked so hard for in one simple case of a computer crash. Keep a backup of all your important files. Always proofread your work.strong closing. Donít always rely on your PCís spellchecker. print a large sign and tape it on your wall for your parents to see. especially if your teacher is a pedant or is extra-meticulous about presentation. 100. but failing to proofread can harm you. and how closing statements unify the important points of the essay in one strong conclusion. . Study the works of the great essayists and observe how their opening statements attract your attention.