From Average to A+: 7 Study Hacks Every Student Should Note

Noah has an exam upcoming, and this is his biggest exam yet. It counts for around 80% of his final grade, and he knows he has to do good. But, he always has a hard time studying and gets distracted easily. His phone will always ring from his friends telling him to play video games, he plays music extremely loudly especially when he studies and he also procrastinates his studying until the last minute and doesn’t sleep the day before. During the test, Noah became extremely tired and he could not think straight. He ends up guessing on half of the questions, unsure about what is the right answer. When Noah receives his test results, he receives a 40%. Upset by this grade, Noah realises he needs to fix his studying habit. 

As exam periods emerge, we need to understand how to effectively study without burning ourselves out. We all want good marks on our exams, but the backbone of a good mark is efficient studying. Most students don’t know how to study and often study for a long time without commensurate results. Would you rather be the student who studies for an hour to get an A+ or a student who studies for 10 hours to get an A+? 

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Here are some tips: 

1. Remove Distractions

If you want to minimise the amount of time studying and maximise what you learn in that period. Distractions such as phones, music, and any outside disturbance may affect your study time. Therefore, try to find a quiet space for you to study. Noah could put his phone on silent, so he won’t hear the recurring rings from his friends. He could try to study without listening to music. A quiet space would allow you to only focus on what you’re studying, without getting distracted. 

2. Develop Studying Habits:

There are many studying methods that people use to help study and a few have been listed here: 

a)Pomodoro study method 

The Pomodoro study method is studying in timed intervals. You would set a timer for a set timed interval, and eventually, take a short break. Then you would repeat studying for that set timed interval, and eventually take another short break. vice versa, until you are prepared for your exam. 

b)Active recall method 

 The active recall method requires you to blurt out everything you once learned before. You force yourself to recall the information and helps you learn what you understand versus don’t understand. 


Flashcards are an example of an active recall method. We associate a term with the meaning or information. You have to be aware of how many flashcards you have in a study set. You don’t want to go overboard and have 200 terms to study in a sitting. 

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d)Making Questions 

Making questions will help address topics that the exam may test you on. It will help you understand the concepts more, and help actively recall different concepts. 

e)Loci method 

In the Loci method, you would go to a location you’re familiar with. You would associate random objects with random facts or concepts. For example, a lamp. You can associate that with any topic that pertains to your test.

3. Take Breaks 

In order to effectively study, you need to take breaks. Cramming information at once will not help you understand or memorise the information. Cramming information can also cause you to mentally burnout, and be mentally exhausted. Noah could take breaks after a set timed interval. 

4. Awards for Repercussions 

What’s studying without rewards? Most people know that studying will pay off when you receive a good grade. You can give yourself snacks, once you understand every topic/concept. This will help you develop a hard-work-to-reward mindset and will help motivate you to study. Noah could set a snack as a reward, like candy, after every topic that he understands. 

5. Setting a study buddy 

Yes, friends can be distracting. However, having a study buddy that has the intention of getting a good grade, may help you. You can go over concepts together, and quiz each other. You can also practise problems together, and help each other when someone doesn’t understand something. 

6. Going to the teacher’s office + Asking them questions 

Sometimes, it’s scary to talk to your teachers. Your teachers might think you’re dumb, but it’s the teacher’s job to assist you. You would be surprised how talking to a teacher would improve your grade. Your teachers are there to help you, and they would be able to help you with any concept or question you may have. 

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7. Making A Study Guide 

A study guide allows you to put all the topics of the test onto a single document. Everything is organised, and if you need it, you can look at your study guide for assistance. 

After realising that he needed to fix his study habits, Noah changed them. He goes to the teacher after school for help. He silences his phone and tells his friends he cannot play. He actively recalls for the best understanding of his knowledge. On his next test, he is able to get an A. Developing a new study method may be hard at times. Your phone and distractions are extremely tempting. However, with practice, you will ace those exams.


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