1. Don’t miss a class
‘A’ students never miss a class. They also never miss the beginning or end of a class, because important announcements about exams and projects are often made then. If you find you lose concentration during lectures, record them on your phone or a simple voice recorder and listen again later.
2. Review your notes quickly and often
After a lecture or class, read through your notes quickly again. It helps store the information in your long-term memory.
3. Organise your notes visually
It helps to re-write the key points of a class or subject as a diagram – try using a mind-map or flow chart, or colour coding key elements of the topic. Then you can give it a quick glance before you go into an exam.
4. Plan ahead
Make sure you allow enough time for assignments and exam revision. At the beginning of each term, note down due dates and exam dates on a planner, and schedule in time for research, editing and final review.
5. Explain things to others
It helps you get things clearer in your head if you try to explain your answers verbally to people who do not know much about the subject. Your parents and annoying siblings could be useful for this!
6. Get together with a study group
You can still have a social life and study – get together with your friends and a pizza, and share ideas or test each other. You might get a new perspective on a topic, or work out a better way to approach an assignment. Online groups can work for this too – although cyber-pizza is not as tasty.
7. Stay positive
It all comes down to attitude. Be enthusiastic about your subjects, and use positive affirmations to tell yourself that you will succeed and meet your goals.
8. Trust your instincts
If you’re under pressure in an exam, don’t second-guess yourself. In most cases, the first answer you think of will be the right one. If you’re really not sure, make a note of it and move on – you can always come back later if you have time.
9. Test your teachers
Question your teachers before an exam, make sure you know exactly what will be covered and what type of questions you should expect. They may have some practice papers you can try first.
10. Feed your brain and stay healthy
Eat well. Good brain food includes fish, nuts, blueberries and yoghurt. Get enough sleep, and plan in some active time to keep fit. Oxygen also helps your memory and concentration, so take a break and get some fresh air. Many people have their best ideas away from their desk, so if you’re really stuck for words just get outside and run around the park.
Have you got any other tried-and-tested study techniques? Share them with us here!