How to ACE your Exams

By Charlie P.

High school and 8th grade students will know that exams are upcoming. Even though most people will not like exams, they are considered to be one of the most important processes during school since most of the time they reflect students’ effort and overall improvement. This article will help you get better prepared for examinations by giving tips and tricks based on my experience.

Tip #1: Pay attention and participate in class

The most important step to get a good grade, in my opinion, is to focus during class. Note-taking is essential but understanding what you have written is even more important. Sitting in the front row helps a lot because you will naturally talk less with your friends and get less distracted. Another important aspect is to participate during class, and what I mean by participating is to ask questions. If you don’t understand something or even want to know more about it, ask! If you don’t ask, teachers will assume that you have understood the material and move on. Are you too shy to ask during class? Don’t worry, you could ask the teacher privately after class.

Tip #2: Do NOT start studying the night before the exam

If you plan to study for a certain exam only on the day before it takes place, good luck, because you will feel really tired by studying an overwhelming amount of material. It is, however, still possible to score good grades by studying the day before, as long as you have extremely good concentration skills and the ability to manage your time well. I would, therefore, suggest that you do not start studying the night before the exam because it will exhaust you while you are studying, which will eventually discourage you from studying anything.

Tip #3: Study progressively

Instead of studying everything the night before the exam you could study regularly on chosen dates for a certain amount. For example, I review my Physics notes only on the days I have Physics at school, which takes me about 30 minutes every two days. If I study consistently for 2 months, I will have already accumulated about 5 hours of study time. Researches also reveal that studying regularly helps you remember more easily than studying everything at once. If you feel tired one or two days, you could organize your notes or even rest instead of studying as long as you will review them some other day.

Tip #4: Keep the distraction away

One of the greatest challenges faced while studying is getting distracted by your phone or laptop. As soon as you start chatting with your friend or watching a Youtube video, 2 hours or so just flow away. Even though it is really difficult, try to study before using your phone. It would certainly give you a feeling of accomplishment and you would also become more resistant as you gain more self-control. Since it is really difficult to do that, what I do and suggest is to keep the phone or laptop away while you are studying. For instance, you could give it to your parents or keep them far away from where you study, and get it back after you are done. You will not be distracted this way, which will make you more focused on your studies.

Tip #5: Quality over Quantity

If you think that you cannot maintain a high level of concentration throughout a long period of time, try this: Set a timer to the time you think you can maintain high quality concentration, and it does not have to be long because the time set should increase overtime. While the timer is ticking, you really have to concentrate; no other thoughts and you should only be focused with your studies. When the timer goes off, you can take a break and set the timer again. With repeated processes, you could increase the time bit by bit, which will ultimately increase your overall level of concentration.

Final tip: Improvement is KEY

If you haven’t gotten an ‘A’, but have improved, don’t worry. The most important thing about studying is making an effort, and improvement is one of the factors that shows that you are doing this. Also, a small improvement can represent a potential to reach a high score. I, myself, had an average of 75 in my old school but improved bit by bit, which eventually led to a GPA of 3.96. If you haven’t improved, it should be your primary aim because it would incentivise you to work more. As you continue to improve, you will eventually reach the ‘A’ range where it is very difficult to improve your scores. In this case, your aim would be to maintain your grades instead of improving them.


So here are my 6 tips that could help you achieve a better score, and the most important ones in my opinion are the first and the last one. The first one should be followed during the process of studying, and the last one should be done after you get your grades. The last thing I want to tell you is that it is never too late and some improvement is better than none: so get started now!



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