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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Instead of wasting hours trying to understand something. But even small achievements. 76. Instead of brooding over it. They not only perform academically. always begin with the more difficult subjects. 75.secretstudyskills.com www. www. explain to your teacher the possible reasons you didnít perform well. Create a table where you will list down all your accomplishments and the rewards. knowing that you have already hurdled the most difficult. . 74. This will motivate you to always top your last achievements. Letís say you failed big-time in an exam.com 77. theyíre heavily involved in various school activities as well. This will motivate you to move on to finish all the subjects you need to study for that day. The rest. 78. When studying. such as a night at the movies with a friend. both material and non-material.will give you renewed vigor to continue studying. When stumped. This helps them build confidence and responsibility. always ask for help. Donít allow a single failure to eat you up. This is one time when e-mailing or phoning a friend is allowed while studying. will be easy as pie. you have received for them. and ask if there are any projects you can do to make up for it. Reward yourself in proportion to your achievements. Build your confidence. You can reward yourself with a dream trip after passing a particularly tough course. Observe the most popular and well-loved students in school. Emphasize accomplishments and downplay failures. such as topping a quiz. ask a friend who might be able to trigger that light bulb in your head. 79. as they say. deserves a small treat.studyskillsrevealed.

University is quite different from High School in many ways. Associate with students who will pull you up. Get to know the most important people in school. . find someone with whom you can discuss your concerns. Always be open to change. Avoid the pessimists. Personal problems can take a toll on your studies. If you associate with students who constantly depend on you for help. as they will influence your own attitude.com 85. but itís reality. 81. www. Unless you accept your situation. Spend time with the ìwinnersî for a change. Accept the things you cannot change. 82. 83. youíll find it difficult to move on and do your best in other tasks.secretstudyskills. What are these things? A death in the family. This may be a counselor. or a friend.80. teacher. 86. Find a counselor you can trust to help you with stressors.studyskillsrevealed. You have to constantly be on your toes and prepared to get out of your comfort zone. Non-acceptance at your dream school. join those who see the bright side of everything. Keep a stress journal within easy reach. Learn new skills and always be a step ahead of others. Instead. Weíve all had classmates who do nothing but complain. These are people you would need to avoid. 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. chances are youíll soon get pulled down with them. Rather than trying to handle all these by youself.com www. This may sound a bit harsh. On it. 84.î Youíll be able to move on after unloading some weight.

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

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

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