How to study and how to succeed in examinations

These are the gist of what experts & expensive books say on…

How to study.. and… how to succeed in examinations.

Learning is concentration, comprehension, memory. Mind is aided by the nervous system e.g. paperclip attached to thread held above a circle or cross drawn will swing in any direction willed. The following enhance your performance.


1. A few times daily stand on toes, clench fists, breath deeply.

2. Prefer mornings if late-sleeper, afternoons/evenings if not.

3. If after a meal, rest for 5-10 minutes also before the meal.

4. Plan time to also complete revision few days before exam.

5. Study & revise, in approx. 40-minute periods, with breaks.

6. If many subjects, follow science with arts and vice-versa.

7. See, hear, in your mind, what you study ~role-play in it.

How to Study

In a quiet place.. first read summary of previous topic.. then…

1. Read the current topic, mark/jot down important points.

2. Check those points & any formulae, understand them.

3. Those you must memorise as are, do jot down & repeat.

4. Do any exercises or test related to the topic -check answers.

5. When you fully understand the topic, write a summary of it.

6. (After a 5 minute break) Read your summary of the topic.

If you dislike the subject, it is often because you have not fully understood it. If you are to study another, rest for 15 minutes.

How to Revise

1. If behind, do exercises/tests covering whole of the subject.

2. Study summaries, check, understand, summarise those too.

3. Do past papers as if in exam. -it’ll rid you of ‘exam.-nerves’.

The Examination

Sleep, be there -15 minutes, early ~2 black/blue pens, pencil, sharpener, eraser, ruler, watch -synchronise with clock there.

1. Read instructions carefully, mark the compulsory questions.

2. Divide time between questions -allow 10 minutes at the end.

3. Do each on separate paper ~don’t copy question -number it.

4. Start with easiest to you -state principle, apply it to question.

5. Write legibly, relevantly -don’t padd/criticise ~nor abbreviate.

6. If points about other questions occur, do jot them down.

7. If you finish early, don’t hand it in yet -review your answers.

Use pencil for subtotals, sketches, maps -can ink them in later.

If behind & there is another question a short sentence can get marks. If you don’t understand something, do ask invigilator.


UK’s 2000-2002 exams. had impossible questions/marks ~if so, later consult teacher/tutor. On how to study often chapters are devoted to memory systems based on association -also using numbers (e.g 1789, Antoinette cutting cake with 1 candle on it for 7 guests too into 8 pieces listening to 9th symphony ~or in imaginary town placing cake on shelf 9 in room 8 on storey/floor 7 in house 1 -Graeco-Roman library indexing). Those’ve been disfavoured as necessitating also reverse association -that itself being questioned…

Suggestions above, to avoid confusion, are advice that are generally considered useful.