40 Awesome Study Tips For Exam: How To Ace a Test

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ExamExams, tests, quizzes.

Every student cringes when they hear these words.

Even parents are afraid of them.

“My son recently got another A for his test. Oh ya, what about your daughter? Exam results good or not?”

Immediately stress starts to set in, and naturally you will keep a closer eye on your kids. In fact, MOE had just released a statistic about how well our students are scoring for major examinations. (The numbers are pretty high.)

We are concerned about education in Singapore too. So we thought it would be a great idea to compile this list of useful study tips.

Today you will learn about 40 different study tips for exams.

Pssss! There are some great tips we gathered from our home tutors too!

Study Tips in the Environment

1. Design the perfect study space

Have your own study area. It should be quiet, comfortable and free from distractions. Turn in to your favorite music. Some scented candle wouldn’t hurt either!Perfect

2. The perfect time

There are many different research trying to figure what timings are the best to study. Some studies conclude that morning are best, while others argue that night time is more conducive. Well there aren’t really a certain time for everyone, scientifically. However it is just finding what works best for you. Find the best time you feel you will feel the most productive at.

Click here for 5 ways to stay awake, in class or whenever!

3. Bring only the things you need

More often than not, when you’re at your ideal study location, you tend to bring redundant stuff, or stuff that you don’t necessary need it. Taking notes with your laptop is great, but it is also a great distraction tool. Playing game, surfing the net, Facebook, Twitter, looking through your emails. So next time before you bring something out to study, ask yourself this question, “Is this necessary?

4. Studying at home is not a good idea

Well, some may disagree but!

Answer this question honestly. When you’re studying, have you ever got distracted and did something else? Let me give you an example, have you ever in the mist of studying and realize you have a very messy table? The next thing you know, you’re tidying up your table.

Or what about you felt the floor being dusty, and you started sweeping it?

Doing all these chores when you know you will never ever do them when you’re not studying? Suddenly everything around you seems so interesting, even doing chores!

5. Aromatherapy

Get some essential oils (preferably lavender or rosemary). Studies found out that, it can greatly reduce stress and can clam someone down quickly.aromatherapy for studying

6. Sleep Early

I don’t want to sound like your mother, but you know what I’m talking about.

It is for your own good.(OMG I do sound like my mother).

There are tons of research done on this topic. You just have to accept the fact that an all-nighter rarely lead to an A. 6-7 days before that big exam, make sure you have 7-9 hours of sleep, so sleep deprivation won’t undo all your handwork.Sleep Early

7. Identify your strengths and weaknesses (Contributed by Yrozz)

She say, “To help improve a student’s results, the tutor must evaluate both his weaknesses and strengths. For example, student A’s weakness is solving problems related to fractions. I tackled the problem by giving easy problems first. If I’m running against time (exams nearing), I focus on the easy questions first I know student A can definitely solve. When the exams are nearing, I keep on drilling student A by giving papers.

Before his exam, I gave him a token and a motivational note to push the students and give them a sense of confidence in themselves, that they can do it.”

Click here for 3 secrets every genius knows. 

8. Don’t force

NoForcing information into your brain just couple of hours before exams don’t work. Studying is like a marathon, you got to pace out your studies!





Physical Study Tips

9. Move around!

Pacing up and down to studyNext time when you’re trying to remember something, let say the timetable, start moving. Move from your room to the kitchen, to the living room, to the store room, while reciting and remembering it. Research show that by doing show, we are forcing our brain to form new associations with the same material, thus strengthening our memory.


10. Drink up!

No. Not that kind of drink. But visit your nearest Starbucks, or any other places that sells caffeine products. Research shows that tea and coffee keep us alert, so you can concentrate on your studies. Especially when there is nothing more interesting than that stain in the library window.Coffee

11. Time for Yoga

Yoga is the practice to clear one’s mind. With enough practice, you can have better cognitive abilities and also increase in attention span. There are some poses better for the brain: Downward-Facing Dog, Dolphine pose, Lotus pose.


Haha this is rather interesting. Reading or talking loudly actually does help in memory! This article talks about an experiment which they called it the Production Effect. They found out that when people studied a list by reading half of it silently, and the other half loudly, the words spoken aloud was easier to remember. So next time when you want to study, try to avoid the library yeah?

13. Sweat It Out

Research has found out that just 30 mins of aerobic exercise a day can improve brain power and speed. So this gives you more reason to hit the gym right?Sweat



Mental Study Tips

14. Devise a study plan

Praying for resultThere goes a saying, “Fail to plan, plan to fail“. Every great project comes with a plan, and you need a study plan too. With an effective study plan, you can say goodbye to burning midnight oil and cramming for tests. The key is to create a comfortable plan for learning in a given time frame, rather than last min studying (and pray you can pass).



15. Mind Map

Mind map to help studyingDrawing mind map isn’t new but it is still pretty useful. So how to draw an effective mind map? Basically you will have the main topic in the middle. In this case, we would use “Strategies for taking action” as an example. Every line linking out to another point. If that point have further sub points, then you will draw more links. Simple as that. Of course, when you get better at this, you will have your own way of drawing your own mind map.


16. Be the boss of your time

Probably the most important reason why people fail at most things is because of time management (I’m guilty of this too). Having a study plan is half the battle won, but managing your time is…..phew, you can practically rule Earth!! (Okay maybe not that extreme, but you get the idea.) The greatest leaders of our time are masters of time bending. (If you think air bending is cool, you have no idea how awesome is time bending.)

Time Bender

17. Identify what type of learner you are

Knowing your learning style will help you learn better.

There are 3 types of learners:

  • Auditory learners
  • Visual learners
  • Kinesthetic learners

Through this quiz you can identify what type of learner you are!

18. Smile no matter what

Simple. Law of Attraction. Positive thinking breeds positive result. For those who don’t know what is Law of Attraction, you can read more here.

Avoid any negative thinking, because I have never seen anyone ace an exam when all they think about it, “I will do badly”.Smile no matter what

19. Make up your own exam paper

This is actually a pretty cool idea.
Thinking of your own questions are actually pretty challenging and fun at the same time!
So get your brain cracking!

Thinking of exam questions

 20. Memory Games

Also known as Mnemonic Device. Basically it is method to remember pieces of info by associating these information with simpler words. Say for example, North South East West. From clockwise would be (N)orth, (E)ast, (S)outh, (W)est – (N)aughty (E)lephant (S)plash (W)ater. Easy right?

The key is to find new sentences or phases that is easy to remember or just funny.

21. Patterns of learning 

The key is to find the patterns in information. Look at the whole information in a big picture and try to identify the patterns. When you found the pattern, it is easier to organize these information in your brain.

22. Learn, not memorize

It is very risky to rely on memory alone. What you should do, is to learn and understand.


Click here if you know an uninterested student who needs inspiration to study.

23. Personalize your learning (Contributed by Sindoori)

Sindoori say, “In my opinion, the best way to improve a child’s results is to personalize the way that you teach them. Each individual will have a different style of learning and the way students are taught in schools often favor one group of students while putting another group at a disadvantage.

For example, in JC, content is taught during the lectures which is beneficial for auditory learners. On the other hand, kinasthetic learners like myself were at a disadvantage as we had to learn the content through repeatedly doing the problems.

This is why I believe that the best way to see improvement in a child’s results is to personalize the style of teaching to cater to his need. Once the child is comfortable with the way the content is taught, he will begin to look forward to the learning and he will be more comfortable to ask questions to the tutor as well. In the long run, I believe this really helps to improve a child’s grade”


Study Tips Do’s and Don’ts

24. Find a study partner

WARNING. This method does not work well on some people.


Having a study partner is actually a great studying tip. You no longer have any excuse to procrastinate. You will have a more legit help from your partner rather than Google (Google is still fantastic BTW). You will feel also pressurize from another person’s presence. (Just make sure you find the geekiest friend in school, and not some lazy friend.)

25. Be the teacher

What this means is to start teaching your peers what you understand and know about anything. This actually reinforce the concept in your brain, and further embed it into your mind.

26. Study every day

Study everdayThis is literally fool proof. Set aside a short time, probably an hour or 2 each day, and dedicate the time to study. Can’t go wrong with this. If languages such as Chinese, is something hard for you, here is a tip for you: 8 Ways To Improve Your Chinese!


27. Take breaks

Yeap, exactly. All work and no play makes Jack a dumb boy. Take regular breaks. You can’t study efficiently when you aren’t able to rest.

28. Bee to the thoven

Music is one of the many ways to beat stress. I’m sure you’re already using it. But do you know classical music in particular, has shown to reduce stress and anxiety? Stop that Rihanna and give Beethoven a shot!

29. Get some Omegas

Nope, not the luxurious watch Omega, but Omega 3 (also known as fish oil). There are literally tons of research about the benefits it gives. It will have positive effects on one’s mind.

30. SOS (Help?)

Don’t know anything? Ask for help! Bug your teachers, they will be happy to teach you, trust me.

Ask for help


Study Tricks

31. Set Study Goals

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible to the visible” Setting up a study goal is the most basic step to identify the things you want to achieve. Another A? No more fail? Finally able to hear this from your teacher ” Wow, Desmond. I’m impressed.” in front of the whole class? To set effective goals, ask yourself a few simple questions: Is this goal realistic? Do I need to work harder?

32. Study when sleepy

WHAT?! This doesn’t make sense! Okay clam down. Before you come charging towards me with torches and pick forks, do hear me out. Studies have show that sleeping will improve memory. So it will be a great idea to study just before bed, since whatever you studied is still fresh in your mind.

33. Write, Hide, Compare

Remember this method? how did you “study” for spelling bee? Hide the answer, write your word, compare the result. You must be thinking,”This doesn’t work for me now!” Well, you might be wrong (what). I’m sure there are certain “Standard Answer” in exams. Like definitions, or just standard way of answering a particular question. It is still useful! Doing this repeatedly also build muscle memory too.

34. App for study

Technology could be of a great help to study. There are many mobile apps in the market.

One of such app is Notability.  Quite an interesting app. Allows you to get creative with taking down your notes. East and fun to use.

The only downside is that is cost SGD8.98!Notability

35. Quiz yourself

Remember your study partner? This is where he/she come into the picture again. Get him/her to quiz you on the key concepts. Quizzes are great ways to better identify what you don’t know.

36. Understand the big picture first

Don’t worry about the details, understand the concept first.

37. Flash cards

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the good oldies, flash cards. The work like a charm. Got a really important formula? Flash card is here to help.

38. Study right after a lecture

Take the opportunity when the things are still fresh in your mind, and start to study/make notes about it. Trust me, it works!

39. Story time

One of my favorite ways to study is telling a story. Hard to remember? Think of a way to tell a tale with it. For example, remember the order of mathematic operations PEMDAS this way: Philip (P) wanted to eat (E) his friend Mary (M) but he died (D) from arsenic (AS) poisoning.

40. Food Bribery (Contributed by Pearlyn)

She says, “Use food to bribe them. 😂😂😂”

I say that’s a brilliant idea! A correct Math question = a MARS bar. Who can say no to that?

MARS bar


Many of these ideas may not be new to you. It all boils down to implementing and enforcing it on yourself. Because at the end of the day, only you can help yourself.

So what ideas are you using for your study tips? If we’ve missed an awesome idea let us know in the comments below.

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