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I have mentioned this tip several times in previous articles, but it really deserves a whole article all to itself.

This morning Chris and I were talking about studying (Chris heads back to uni on Monday), and we decided on the one thing that has been most important to our study success.

And here it is.

In order for your teen to get good grades, it is essential that they figure out what they are most likely to be examined on, and pay much less attention to everything else.

This may sound simple, and it is. Yet for some reason, so many students study by blazing over everything like a headless chicken, without taking the time to really think about what topics are 95% likely to come up in the exam, and what topics have a 5% chance of making an appearance.

I really believe that this is the distinguishing feature between students who get A+’s, and those that don’t reach their academic potential.

This method gives your teen focus.

Your teen has a heck of a lot of material to go over during their study break.

Realistically, there is not going to be enough time to study and memorize every single thing their teachers have said over the past year. Trying to do so is not making good use of the precious time your teen has to study.

Trying to learn EVERYTHING is a fruitless – actually detrimental – exercise. It will make your teen stressed, make them loose confidence in themselves, and worst of all, will stop them from properly learning and absorbing what really matters.

But won’t my teen miss something?

Exams are not designed to trick your teen, and examiners are not expecting them to know everything there is to know.

Your teen will be examined on the topics that come up repeatedly in class – the ones that they have spent multiple lessons going over.

Your teen’s biology teacher might have mentioned some interesting/completely left field fact about whale sharks last August. Is this going to be in the exam? Heck no. But your teen better understand the difference between meiosis and mitosis, otherwise there’s no point in turning up to the exam.

So in a nutshell…

I guess what I’m saying is that your teen needs to learn how to filter.

What is important to know, and what is not. Study the stuff that goes in the important-to-know file.

This is honestly the best exam study tip I have. (I have others too in the Exam Survival Package)

If you want your teen to really nail their exam study, help them make an important/not important list.

Get a piece of paper, and make a list of what your teen would be foolish not to study.

Now your teen has a table of contents. Something to help guide their study to help them stay on track.

So simple, yet soooooooo effective.

Image Credit: Valerie Everett on Flickr


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