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Studying 101 - The Guide To Better Study (and Better grades too!)

We are quite familiar with the art of studying.

Not only from our experience as students, but also as tutors.

Along the way we’ve met countless students who are certainly not ‘dumb’ – quite the opposite in fact – but regularly struggle to get good grades.

Along the way we’ve collected a huge amount of ‘data’ about how an academically successful teen studies, what work they do, how they do it, and how it pays off.

Interestingly, the best students aren’t the ‘smartest’ students

Teens that ace exams have three things in common – the motivation to get good grades, the drive to hit the books, and the knowledge of what works best for them when they study. (We call this last one their Study Formula.)

The 6 articles below comprise our Studying 101 Series. They will give you tangible study advice that will help propel your teen to exam-conquering heights!

1. What Do Good Studiers Do?

You want your teen to adopt the same study habits kids who get straight-A’s have.

With that in mind, here are our top 5 tricks and bits that great students use when they study…

2. Three Cardinal Rules Of Studying

The title is pretty self-explanatory – three ‘rules’ every student should know about effective and efficient studying.

3. The Two Biggest Reasons Why Kids Fail At High School

Not surprisingly, the teens who do well at school tend to have a very similar attitude towards studying and doing their schoolwork, while those who don’t do so well also have a number of things in common…

4. The Art Of Puposeful Study

Studying with purpose is something all academic achievers do.

If studying isn’t purposeful there’s no point in doing it. If you fire an arrow without having a target it’s not going to hit anything…

5. How Your Teen Can Use Their Learning Style To Get Straight A’s

Some students learn best by creating a picture in their mind and committing that to memory. Others are incredibly good at storing information by what they hear. Some like to feel what they are learning, by physically doing something or mentally placing themselves in a situation.

Taking advantage of their learning style is a crucial part of your teen figuring out how to study in way that guarantees results for THEM…

6. How To Remember The Boring Stuff

When sitting in an exam room, it can be a lifesaver to have some ‘memory jogs’ prepared to help remember the pesky little bits of information.

Studying to understand is always going to be the best recipe for success, but there will always be some things that your teen will need to rote learn. This is how we make sure we nail it…

Image Credit: Kevygee on Flickr

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Comments

  1. It is very good. Thank you.
    Picked up a quite a few things to help my teen who is sitting exams at the end of the year.
    Thanks again.

  2. IM a teen my self and I study like mad but I don’t get ‘As’ at all because when I go into the exam’s I forget every thing the second the paper is handed to.so I try to remeamber as much as I can but I end up
    with ‘E’D’C’B’s . Can u help me

    • Hi Emma! Are you trying to wrote learn stuff or are you really trying to understand it when you study? Unless I actually understand something I’ll never remember it in the exam. This is also why doing lots of practice questions are great – so you can test your memory before your exams! Best of luck 🙂

  3. When ever I study for a test, I usually will get a C or D. I use flash cards, read things out loud, menomonics, and it doesn’t seem to help. Please help!

    • Hey Jon! Sounds like you’re doing some good study. What happens when you’re in the exam – do you feel as though you know the answers? Do you forget things when you’re in the exam? Do you understand the content at the time you’re studying? If you can figure out where you’re going wrong in between studying and the test then you should be able to work on that area and see those grades shoot up.

  4. Hi,

    I have been studying tirelessly and every time i go into an exam i do the normal preparation, breathing, going through everything and thinking positively. but when i get the paper i seem to not know anything any more….. I will Ace the assignments but only get C’s in the exam PLSSSSS help

    thanks

    • Hi Xavier! I know exam’s can be really stressful – they are. You’re certainly not the only person this happens to. For most students, this problem is solved by putting more time into their exam preparation time: It’s great that you’re trying to make yourself calm going into exams, but you might benefit from working at this problem a little earlier on. Most of the time, there aren’t any nasty surprises in exams. You can usually make a very good guess at what you’re going to be examined on, and you should always know the format of the exam ages beforehand. This means that there shouldn’t be anything to freak out about on exam-day. It’s totally normal to be a bit nervous going into an exam, but if you’ve done the right preparation leading up to it, you should take one look at the exam in front of you and think, ‘yip, that’s pretty much what I was expecting’. Sure there are going to be hard questions, but they are designed to be hard. You’re obviously capable of doing well, so maybe you just need a bit more confidence in yourself when it comes to the exam – take comfort in the fact that you know that you know your stuff. If you want me to elaborate or if you have any other questions you can always email me – clare@thestudygurus.com 🙂

  5. Hello!

    Okay, so I am such a procrastinator and I really try to change, but every time I try, I just end up procrastinating again in the end.

    I was gone one Friday and now I have to make up 6 tests, and every time I study, it just won’t come back to me during a test, I’ve only gotten 2 A’s this year, and all I did was guess the whole time, so I feel like that doesn’t really count..

    Thank you for your time your taking out of your life to read and respond to me.

    ~Faith

    • Hi Faith! You are so not alone when it comes to procrastination. We all do it to some extent. Unfortunately I don’t believe there’s any ‘quick fix’ solution to stopping procrastinating, but it’s certainly something you can work on. When we procrastinate, we’re putting of doing something because it’s not going to be that fun. Unfortunately study isn’t a whole lot of fun quite a lot of time (although it can be enjoying and satisfying when you get into it). This means in order to kick ourselves into gear, we need to remind ourselves of all the bad stuff that will be happen if we put off study any longer. Such as – you’re going to have to do it at some stage, probably when there isn’t enough time and it will just be stressful and even less fun. You can also remind yourself that every minute you put off study is going to make it less like you’re going to do well in whatever it is you are studying for. Basically, studying might not sound like much fun now, but NOT doing it will have much worse consequences for you in the future.
      Another reason why we often procrastinate is because we don’t know where to start, or because it just all feels too much. This is why it is really important to break down the task in front of you. Try and break down your study in manageable chunks, rather than just thinking ‘oh my goodness I have a whole semester-worth of material to go over’.
      In regard to not remembering what you’ve studied when it comes to the test, I’m afraid this is usually a sign that you haven’t really done the preparation you needed to. It’s totally normal to maybe be nervous before a test, and maybe you might feel a bit scatter-brained for the first 10 minutes or so of a test. But if you really put in the study beforehand, you should find that the right answers are in your head somewhere.
      A final little tip – if you come across a question you know you’ve studied, you know you know the answer but you can’t quite remember it – move on to the next question. So many times I have done this and the answer has popped into my head part way through the test, and I’m able to go back and answer the question.
      I hope this helps – best of luck!!

  6. Hello, my problem is that i always forget that there is homework or a test. I’m a visual learner. Do you have any tips on remembering simple things such as assignments or things to do? Thanks for the help!!!

    • A few things you could try – all of which involve writing those important tasks and dates down – using a diary or notebook; using an app on your phone and setting reminders; using a wall planner. If you really want to get organised I would use all three! After not too long you should get in the habit of using these things daily, and hopefully life will become simpler and less stressful! 🙂

  7. I normally get A + or sometimes B’s but nowadays I understand it , take tuition and I try my best to get good marks but always end up getting B’s …I start to remember the answers AFTER the exams and not in the exams.. I feel like i have gone through this and i know it yet i cant remember … its so frustrating… Im taking energy bars and studying till night 1:00 am and getting up at 5 in the morning.. but STILL I cant finish .. after every 200 min i feel like i want a break which won’t do since my exams will be there soon

    • Sara, I completely understand what you are going through, and I feel your pain. I am a student who gets strait A’s in school, but I have done poorly on my past few tests. For me reviewing the material I learn in class directly after school later that day has helped me quite a bit. I also spend all night studying, but ever since I started reviewing the topics we covered in class later that day I know more of the material, so it doesn’t take as long. Also don’t go through your homework quickly, use it as a studying resource, that also decreased my future studying time. I hope that this helped, I wish you the best of luck.

  8. I am weak at mathematics ,but it doesn’t mean that I don’t like it……when I solve sums slowly I got interest in it and I fells that I knows everything but when the day of exam came ,iforget every thing but thing infact I started forgoteing these thins which I practised several time..so how can I deal with it….

    • If you’re doing enough practice then you should be able to remember what you’ve studied in the exam. Maybe you need to have a go doing some practice exams in the same amount of time you’ll have in the actual exam – try to simulate the higher pressured experience. Making sure you actually understand what you’re studying should also help you retain information and remember it in your exams, because if you really understand something, you should be able to recall it at a later time, even in a stressful situation. Best of luck.

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