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How your teen studies is critical to their exam success.

That’s the underlying theme of everything we do and say at The Study Gurus.

With the right study techniques and a good work ethic, good grades are within anyone’s grasp.

My exams are creeping up horribly fast, only six weeks away now. But the good news is I’ve come across a fabulous exam-study technique that I know will help my study.

And I’m sure it will apply just as well to your teen’s subjects at school too!

What’s different about this technique?

A lot of students go wrong because their study has no direction.

The reason this technique is so effective is because it forces your teen to think specifically about what’s going to come up in the exam. This will focus their study without them even trying.

Some students fail to think about their study with the exam in mind.

Unfortunately this means that when they’re in the exam, they’re not sure how to mould what they’ve studied to answer exam questions. They don’t understand how what they’ve studies applies to the question in front of them.

This exam-study technique will prevent your teen from falling victim to this situation. It will help your teen tailor their study to the types of questions that are likely to come up in the exam.

Question and answers

That’s really what exams are all about isn’t it?

The idea of this technique is to come up with hypothetical exam questions, and then plan your hypothetical answer.

English Exam Example

Let’s say that for your teen’s English exam they’re going to have to answer an essay question.

Obviously they don’t know exactly what the question is going to ask. But – they should be able to hazard a pretty good guess as to what topics are likely to come up.

What they need to do is to write down some essay questions that are likely to come up in the exam.

And then plan out the hypothetical answer to each question.

Let’s say that your teen will have an essay question on a novel they’ve read in class.

Their essay question is going to (hypothetically) have something to do with the theme of the book, its characters, the setting, or an important event.

They need to head up a piece of paper for each hypothetical question. Something like “Essay question for setting” is absolutely fine.

Then they need to jot down each point they would make when answering that question. Bullet points are fine.

So for a hypothetical ‘setting’ question your teen might plan the following points:

Your teen needs to do this for each possible essay question they think they might be asked.

When they’re ready to crank things up a notch they can actually have a go at answering their hypothetical questions in full. This would simply mean expanding out each bullet point.

And it doesn’t just work for English either

I’ve used an English essay exam question as an example, but your teen could use this technique for all word-based subjects. (It probably wouldn’t be applicable to math or other pure number subjects.)

For example, Chris is using it to study for his med school exams. He won’t be writing out essays, but he is using questions (like flash cards) to prompt short answers.

I’m planning on using this technique a lot during my upcoming exam study, and I hope your teen makes good use of it too!


If you have any questions about this I’d be glad to answer them in the comments section below!


Image Credit: SLU Madrid Campus on Flickr


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