Becoming an excellent student is not something that just happens overnight, there are excellent study tips that students will have to follow to make this happen.
To start getting good grades in school, you need to adhere to a routine. One of Winston Churchill’s quotes, “He who fails to plan is planning to fail” is one I love so much and can come in handy in most situations.
How do you plan not to fail in your exam? This is by doing what every A-student does. They dream, plan, and work on themselves more than any student. They are mostly a doer!
We have researched and are able to come out with the best hints that students can use to improve their memory. Retention is key to passing easily and the following tips are sure to help you become a better student.
1. Make a deliberate effort to completely avoid procrastination
Procrastination is very common among students. There is always the desire to keep things till later that students will end up not doing at all. This can happen when a student finds the course boring, difficult, or overwhelming.
This is a dangerous position to be in no matter how close or far the exams are. Procrastination is a thief of time and it will not be doing you any good.
This is a decision you have to make yourself. A deliberate and persistent effort to study is a start even if you are not finding it enjoyable. Meanwhile, you just need to take it bit by bit and with time, it becomes a habit.
2. Gather additional information about the task that feels overwhelming
Studying is a big task on its own. It is something you can sort out yourself. There are several sources you can tap from such as the internet, friends, and textbooks. No rule states you have to limit your information to what was discussed inside the classroom.
Your teacher will not cover all and may not even be kind enough to let you be privy to more straightforward methods or explanations.
3. Use fear as a weapon
Fear does not have to be all gloomy and tragic. It can also be used as a weapon. Think of the consequences of not doing enough to come out with flying colors in your exams. Think of what happens when you fail a course or subject and are asked to repeat it.
Think of how devastating it can be when your friends are concluding and you still need to stay back to rewrite the exam. Think of the additional fees you will need to make.
If this is not motivating you enough, another may not even come close. One thing about trying enough is that if it does not at least make you a straight A-student, it will ensure you pass all your exams with good grades which will be enough to let you graduate.
4. Reiterate the benefits of studying to yourself
The benefits can as well be used as motivation. While fear makes you get started, the benefits keep telling you over and over why you should keep on and not give up on your dreams. There are so many benefits to being an excellent student.
The respect in the schools and outside the schools. The scholarships and awards you can have access to. Meeting up the standard and requirements for any course or job offers and the compensation that may be provided by NGOs and Government. Aside from that, the joy of making yourself and everyone proud.
5. Go above and beyond others’ efforts
You won’t get most things on a platter of gold. Being an excellent student entails there are certain levels you have to be able to meet.
You will need to make a lot of sacrifices by doing much more than what most students are willing to do. For instance, if others are only limiting themselves to the notes given to them by their teachers, you can seek additional materials and sources.
6. Prioritize comprehension before memorization
As a student, you should never try to memorize until you have understood the subject. One of the disadvantages is if you forget a word while memorizing, it can be really tough to finish the sentence. Understanding the topic should be the key.
To understand the topic, you will need to go through as much as you can. If after going over it and you still do not understand, you can ask for help.
Knowing a topic so well makes it easier for you to rephrase it in a better sentence which the examiners often appreciate more.
7. Know what you want
Knowing what you want and being clear from the onset will make adjusting to the schedule easily. To become an exceptional student, you need to hold it in the back of your mind to go all the way for it.
Let it fuel you and become your motivation. This way you will attend lectures at the right time, read at the right time, and also revise when the time is right.
8. Sleep well
Yes, it’s not a mistake. To be able to do things right, you need a balanced night’s rest. No one can do things right if they do not have enough sleep.
Lack of sleep makes your mind less sharp and can harm your body’s health. Going all night to read for an exam you have in the morning won’t do you any good, instead will only drain you and could be very devastating.
To prevent this, make sure you study thoroughly before the exam day. As it gets closer, you’ll mainly need to revise what you’ve already studied. If you still want to study at night, you can sleep early and wake up around 4 in the morning to revise.
In case you are wondering how many hours you should sleep as a student? 7 to 8 hours is perfect.
9. Always take a break
Even if you finally found the will to go on, studying for hours without taking a break won’t do you any good. You will lose focus and end up staring at content without really getting anything further from it.
You can study for 2 to 3 hours, and then take at least a 30-minute break. You can take a walk, chat with friends, play games, take a few snacks or whatever you feel is a good distraction. Much of everything is not good so also when you study for hours without taking a break.
10. Speak out loud to help remember
Saying something louder usually helps to retain information. I have also seen students using this method and they have confirmed that it does help a lot.
If you need to retain very important information, you can vocalize it while having your mind fixed on it. Say it over and over until you can finally recollect it without having to look through the source.
11. Have a positive attitude
Being positive is another strategy you can use to your advantage. Tell yourself, you can face and cross the hurdles. Having a positive mindset will prepare your mind to easily collect and retain information.
A tired and worried mind would not get anything done. Being positive helps you cope better, lower stress levels, increase creativity and develop strong problem-solving skills.
12. Always create a summary of your reading
Another strategy you can adopt is jotting down the summary of what you read. This is one of the ways you can gauge yourself and know if you learn something from your effort.
Get a small exercise book that you can easily take along with you and make your summary notes. The advantage of using a small book is you can easily take it anywhere and glance through it at any time.
13. Learn from your mistakes
You should never let a mistake weigh you down, instead, you should use it to become better. The key to growth is to always look for ways to learn from your mistakes.
When you provide solutions to errors, when you come across them next time, it will increase the likelihood of absorbing the information.
14. Teach others
You may not know but when you teach others, with time, you are going to master the information or equation even better. While you may think of it as doing favors to others, you are doing yourself more favor. By teaching your peers, you are more likely to solidify the knowledge you have about the topic.
Aside from that, it is also an avenue to gather new information. During this, difficult questions may arise that you are to work in a group to find solutions to.
15. Engage in regular physical activity
15-20 minute physical activity can bring many benefits for students who want to improve in many ways such as improved focus, enhance academic performance, improved social and problem-solving skills, increased self-confidence, higher energy levels, and, above all, a fun way to stay active throughout life.
Exercise in the morning before anything else. You do not need to spend much time on it, you just need to do a few before taking your bath to prepare for the day ahead.
16. Study with your friends from school
You do not need to go all alone, you can form a study group. You all can agree on a time to come together to learn from one another. It should be too crowded, about 3 to 5 people would make perfect sense especially if you want to get diverse ideas.
You can test yourself as a group, push each other and bring out a difficult topic to the group for a solution. This will easily boost your learning pattern as there can be an advantage when there is diversity at times.
17. Don’t be too proud to ask for assistance.
If you’re struggling with a topic, don’t just keep it to yourself. If you feel too proud or scared to ask for help when you need it, then you’re not ready to become a top student.
Get it to your instructor. If they are not available, you can ask your classmates for help. Asking questions will help to eliminate confusion that you may have to tackle later in exams. You should never let your ego get in the way of unraveling the mystery behind a difficult subject.
18. Find a nice place to study
What works for you might not work for another. This is something you will need to find out for yourself. Some students will never assimilate until they get to a very silent place like a library, some at home, some at a busy place, or even out in the open.
This is what you will need to sort out yourself. As a student, I won’t be able to get into the moment until I leave the comfort of my home. Maybe, you too need to try a few places out to know your main study hub.
19. Find a Part-Time Tutor
You can find a tutor to help you after school hours. There are tutors online but I will not advise as students are more likely to lose concentration learning online than when they meet physically with their tutors.
Some departments and clubs in schools usually hold free lessons for students, you can also take part. But if you need a personal tutor, you will need to part with some money to hire one.
20. Take your time and go at a steady pace
The brain when exhausted can get tired easily. Waiting till when the exam days get closer to cram all in can lead to failure.
Therefore, what is the best time to start preparing? The time is now. Break down the information and study them at your own pace.
21. Get the most out of your time in class
A serious student will always attend classes. The class is the best way to get key areas you can concentrate on when preparing for exams. You will also be able to ask questions and discuss with your fellows about your studies.
Always pay attention to your teacher, and avoid using the phone while the lecture is going on unless it is to do additional research which should not take much time. Concentration is the key here.
Take notes and jot down important hints you can use or work on after the class session.
22. Improve your writing using Grammarly
Grammarly can make your writing better. The app can be used to detect errors in sentences or writing. The more you use the app, the better your flow when writing. It can also suggest a better way of using sentences and word synonyms as well.
The app is available for downloading for free on all devices including Android and IOS.
23. Test your knowledge
To prepare for the big day, you should always test yourself on what you have read. This will not only make you see where you are currently lagging but also train your mind and brain to be fully ready.
You can achieve this by reading for a good 3 hours each day for 3 days. Then, on the last day, you can create questions to assess how well you understand the material.
24. Carefully go through the syllabus
If you have the list of topics outlined to you, then you can start working on them from day 1. That way, you won’t need to rush information during the final weeks of the exam.
Alternatively, you can use the Syllabus as a guide. Go through the syllabus especially if you are preparing for exams such as GCE A-Levels and AP exams.
Don’t assume all your needs are covered by your instructors, time may not be on their side to take all, but having the syllabus will point you where else to cover.
25. Work with Past questions and answers
Unless you are the first set, every course or subject always has past questions that you can work with. Some may even come with already prepared answers to make it less of a task for you.
Study the past questions and compare them with the answers from your textbook. One thing common with past questions is that there is always a high chance that some questions will be repeated. Nevertheless, the past questions should only be a plus!
26. Know how the exam is usually structured
Will the exam be all objective questions, theoretical questions, or a mixture of both?
How many questions are usually set?
How many questions are to be answered?
You should know the answers before the exam date. You can find answers using the previous or past questions. Your teachers can also help you in this regard.
27. Improve your handwriting
Handwriting can also play a great part if you want to come become a topper. Poor handwriting could make it difficult for your teacher to score you good grades especially when they have to struggle every time with the answers you provide to the theoretical questions.
Handwriting can be improved over time but that could take a lot of time. You can begin now by experimenting using different postures, drills, and writing as slowly as possible until you have perfected the art.
28. Always do your homework
We have seen situations where instructors recorded homework as a test. As a student who wishes to score good grades, you should never ignore your homework.
It also allows you to tackle questions that might be repeated in tests or exams. The more questions you work on, the better you are at it.
29. Never miss a test
How do you become a straight A-Student if you are missing tests? Except it is a school leaving exam, there is a high possibility that your score is made up of your tests and exams.
To avoid losing important marks, always treat your tests the same way you treat exams. Prepare as you would prepare for exams. A good score could get you closer to your target.
30. Avoid cramming
Just because you are unable to understand a passage does not mean you should cram it all in for tests and exams. This could have a devastating effect especially when a question is restructured which might put you off the edge.
Understanding the topic will help you to know how to answer it better in a way that the examiner will love. Even if you are to cram the definition, buttressing with points will give you complete marks as it will show that you truly understand the subject.
31. Always check over your essays for mistakes
To become a successful student, you also must always go through your essay after writing. Never make the mistake of thinking it is perfect enough for submission.
Always have your watch with you if you are on a limited time and learn to work with it. Go through the sentences and spot for errors. Glancing should not take much time. If there is any error or mistake, you just need to correct them.
Most times, the errors usually come in the form of omission of a word or words incorrectly spelled which should not take much time to adjust.
32. Avoid studying on your bed
When finding the will or focus to study, your bed should not be an option. Using it might easily make you feel sleepy. In the end, you will end up not getting much done.
Even if you are the type who loves to study at home, you should get yourself a chair and table. Avoid a place where you can easily lie on your back as it only takes a small temptation to fall into a deeper sleep.
33. Always sit at the front during classes
Don’t be a backbencher. Students who usually love to sit at the back will end up losing concentration as they can easily maneuver the attention of the teachers.
When you sit in the front of the class, you are more likely to be focused especially knowing that there is nowhere to hide. You will always make eye contact with the teacher which is good for your development.
34. Remove all distractions before studying
At this age, one can be easily distracted and end up losing valuable time. We now have the internet with lots of distractions there. If your phone is your number one distraction, you can put it off or in silent mode until you are done. Television is another form of distraction that won’t do you good during study time.
If you have friends that usually come over, you can open up to them. If they need to stay, you can excuse them to find a suitable place where you won’t need to chit-chat at any given opportunity.
35. Use earplugs when necessary
If you do not play nicely with abstract sounds or noises when studying to the extent that even a little noise can get you off, then you should invest in earplugs to cut them off.
Although it may not block it totally but will no doubt reduce it. To make it better, you can also play healing or relaxing music. Classical music is recommended.
36. Know what to take for a healthier lifestyle
What you eat is as important as what you drink. You need to create a routine of eating healthily. Knowing what to eat and when to eat is key.
Foods with excess calories, sugar, and fat can put you at a disadvantage. According to research, this can make you easily tired and can cause a lack of concentration. Instead, take more foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Examples of such foods include soybeans, walnut, eggs, and dairy products.
Alcohol is also not an option. This has a high tendency of making you lose your focus.
37. Avoid energizing drinks
It is common knowledge that students usually turn to drinks like Nescafe, energy drinks, and ones with caffeine to stay active when studying, especially at night.
The human body needs rest and should not be denied. These drinks won’t do you any good in the long run, instead will complicate things for your body.
Have enough sleep and come back in better shape, The important thing is to know how to manage your time.
38. Create a study timetable
You do not go into battle without having a plan. You need to create a study timetable and you need to stick to it unless it is unavoidable.
Sticking to this schedule may not be easy during the early stage but with time, your body will master it. A plan is like a mission statement that reminds you why you started in the first place.
39. Make your phone your personal assistant
Your phone can do much more than you think. It can be your reminder, search hub, and sources for more information.
If there are distractions like social media apps that are going to become an issue, you should try to restrict data usage using a preinstalled app called Security on Android. This is also available on the iPhone via the Mobile Data menu.
There are also several apps on the store such as My Data Manager, Data Usage, Google’s Datally, and Freedom.
40. Always have complete notes
Despite your best effort to always be in attendance, you may miss class at times which may be due to a sickness or situation beyond your control. This should not be an excuse to let go of the notes, you can try to complete them.
If they are too much and you feel it might eat away time you should have used to study, you can always make photocopies to keep up. Most importantly, read all through to cover what you have missed. And if you’re unsure about something, don’t hesitate to ask your teacher or classmates for assistance.
41. Make sure to go over any new information the same day
As soon as the teacher is done or when you are free, spend some time reviewing the new lecture. Even if it is just 20 to 30 minutes, the topic would no longer be new to you. This should happen on the same day.
When you next want to study, you won’t need to spend much time on it as the guide will still be fresh in your head. According to our findings, we found out that when students pick up what they were just taught, it helps them solidify the information.
42. When reading, use a pen as a guide
When reading to assimilate properly, you need to be fully involved and you can supercharge your focus by using the head of a pen or pencil to stay on the task.
When you hold the pen and gradually move it along the notes, it is you telling yourself where to focus on. This is a really helpful trick for students.
43. Do it first even if it is unpleasant
There is no reason to continue ignoring them when you may have to face them later. If a topic is very difficult, it makes it a priority especially if it could come back to haunt you later in exams.
Start right away by going head to head. Ask your teachers for help and consult other materials for the simplest way to understand them.
Challenges are not to be hidden from but to be surmounted.
44. Write down information using your hand
Although we are gradually transitioning into a digital world where students now use devices to record lectures instead of writing them down. Some even use a computer to take notes in class.
According to our findings, we found that students are more likely to get familiar with the content when they take notes by hand as compared with using a digital device such as a computer or pad.
45. Get ready for each class
There are teachers that usually provide a course outline to students, usually as a guide. This will help the students to know what to expect and where they should concentrate their efforts on.
Read the topic your teacher will be treating before going to class. This will help you understand better during the lecture. You will be more prepared and know exactly what questions to ask in class.
46. Always bring your 100% self to the class
As a student, you should never assume you know the topic so well even if you have studied or come across it before. Even if you know A to Z of the topic, you should still treat it as you will treat other new information. This will help you get better and avoid losing important information that you might not be aware of.
47. Play a little
You must have heard that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. This is actually true as working all the time without relaxing or having some fun can be bad for your overall well-being.
You can have brain fog if you overwork yourself. Brain fog is when you begin to have fuzzy thinking, less sharp mentally, and become forgetful. Have fun, get enough sleep, share jokes, and take a walk occasionally. The key is to have a balanced schedule.
48. Reassess yourself after each test and mock exam
Despite your best effort, you may still fall short in tests and mock exams. This does not mean you have to give up on everything, you can still come out with distinction.
Reflect on your performance. Know what to work on and the adjustments you need to make.
49. Give yourself a treat
To be honest, there is no fun in studying. It is just what anyone has to do as a student. It can be challenging and at the same time exhausting.
If you can complete a phase, there is no reason why you should not get yourself a reward for it. Rewarding yourself can help you keep the motivation going.
Make it a rule. Complete and you have a reward. No treat if you fail to meet a target. This should be enough motivation
50. Discover how you learn best
This may not be something you will quickly figure out. Knowing what works for you might take a lot of trial and error. To know your best study method, you can try the following methods:
- Scan through the notes > Extensive reading > Intensive reading.
- Extensive reading > Intensive reading > Scan through the notes.
- Extensive reading > Scan through the notes > Summarize what you have learned.
- Intensive reading > Scan through the notes or information > Jot out the points into a small note.
- Check what you already know and expect to learn > While reading, jot down notes about new info > Write down your questions > Summarize what you have learned and find answers to your questions.
51. Before you begin your homework, go over your notes
By going through your notes again, you will do a lot of good. It not only helps you review but also ensures you reinforce the information which can be very helpful to your understanding.
Reading your notes will help you remember things you may have forgotten and also make doing homework a better way to learn.