Students: Do you know how to study?

If your current study techniques are unsatisfactory and they do not produce results then you ought to re-look at the way you learn.

Many students have mock exams from now to January and real exams in May, so it is even more important to get this right now.


Getting Organised :

Be disciplined. Get started. Don’t wait until you feel like studying.

List the study tasks. Count the number of days left before your exams. Have a countdown each day.

Divide each subject into units. Then monitor the progress daily.

Review, revise and relook at your notes daily. It puts learning into your long term memory.


Exam Papers Preparation :

Familiarise yourself with the format of the exam. Adapt your learning technique according to the type of exam.

Review previous test papers. Establish topic patterns and predict questions.

Give yourself an exam and get your teacher to mark the paper.

Reattempt questions you didn’t know the first time. If the exam is cumulative and you struggled to master any material, return to it.


Getting Help :

Meet with the teacher, a tutor or a learning specialist.

Then write summary sheets for each session with them.

Link the new knowledge to the old information you already knew. Forming these links will help you improve your understanding.

Check the front of your revision guide. Often publishers provide online revision aids. Use them to fill the gaps and expand your understanding.


Learning Techniques :

Create mnemonic devices.  Methods include acrostics, rhymes or acronyms, to help you remember information.

Visual learners, draw it. Tables, diagrams, mind maps and pictures help learn the topics.

Brilliant way is to teach it to a parent, a sibling or a friend or even tutor a friend online.

In your study room pretend to teach the material to a class or someone but try and use your own words as it helps you with comprehending the information.

Remove distraction. Mobiles should be distant. If you end up browsing online and it distracts from maths, English science etc. you from then put the laptop or iPad away into another room.


Breaks :

Short breaks is important. Your brain has to process learning.

Keep yourself on track. Set specific measurable goals for each study session.


Attempting Questions :

Answer the questions at the end of each topic in your learning guide.

Cover up your notes. Rewrite them. Go back to your original notes. Add back what you missed out. Learn it.

Create colourful flashcards.

Change techniques in learning if holding particular information is difficult to learn.

Study with friends in a group. Teach each other.

Over learn the material.  When you think you are finished, keep going.


Take rest. Have fun :

Manage your stress. Burn it through exercising and listen to calming music and meditate – breathing in and out. Delete negative thoughts.

Reward yourself with activities you enjoy such as Facebook, x-box and socialising with friends.

Eat healthy. Sleep well.


Finally, the most important advice is to examine your beliefs about learning. Learning does not happen quickly. Intelligence is not fixed. Stay positive, upbeat and persist and believe that intelligence can be developed. It is never going to be easy. Hard work is necessary seeking help and using effective strategies is vital.

Faheem Hussain is an Educational Journalist, Educational Consultant and USA Director of Improve Tuition. To contact the Improve tuition email us on He also directs online tutoring in London and online tutoring in Washington.