The Best Way to Get an “A” – 12 Tips to Get Exam Ready


As Menchville enters its halfway mark before the end of the fourth marking period, the next big step follows directly behind it: midterm exams.

While semester and other marking period exams are always overlooked, final exams account for 20 % of a student’s overall semester grade, meaning they could “make or break” a student’s average. This makes passing a crucial aspect of what’s factored into a student’s GPA. A bad grade can cause a significant change in a student’s GPA as well as possibly cause the student to need to retake the class, prolonging their graduation. There is also no way to avoid the exam, unless the student has passed the SOL, or else the class credit would be rendered “incomplete.”

The stakes of exams can overwhelm students, leaving them unsure of where to begin in preparing for the upcoming assessments. To aid in the exam-prep process, the Lion’s Roar has key tips to guarantee exam success:


Organize study groups with friends.

Get together with friends for a study session. You may have questions that they have the answers to and vice versa. As long as you make sure you stay focused on the topic for an agreed amount of time, this can be one of the most effective ways to challenge yourself.

Take advantage of office hours.

If you are having trouble with a concept or topic, your teachers can help. Stop by during their office hours or email questions to them to understand the class material better, gain helpful study tips on how to prepare for your exams, or write a better essay. You will also create a relationship with your teacher that could lead to a valuable mentorship.

Create Flashcards.

One of the top study tips for students includes rewriting important facts, concepts, and definitions on flash cards. Flashcards also let you quiz yourself without the help of others. Digital flashcards and study apps are another way to organize and review the material.

Organize your notes.

It is easier to remember individual details when they are grouped into mini-sections. Make a list of the areas you need to know in each subject and write down headings and subheadings. Add material you have learned from your reading to your notes according to the subject area. Underline, highlight, or write comments in order to emphasize the idea of each section.

(TIP: If it is written on the board, add it to your notes. It just might be on the test.)

Stay organized.

Scheduling class meetings, homework, assignments, projects, and study sessions is crucial to staying organized. use a planner to keep track of deadlines, dates, and times so you do not forget anything important. Check your class syllabus for key dates and plan out the time for a study schedule that works for you.

Take breaks.

Give your brain and body a chance to refresh so you can approach the material with energy and focus. According to Oxford Learning, ” For every 30 minutes you study, take a short 10-15 minute break to recharge. Short study sessions are more effective and help you make the most of your study time.” So, stand up, stretch your legs, and get some fresh air before getting back to the books.

(TIP: Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which can give you more energy and better comprehension. A yoga or Stretching session can help with concentration and focus.)

Focus on understanding and pace yourself.

Memorizing means finding ways to remember and repeat facts. Understanding goes a little deeper and means you can apply new knowledge to various scenarios and know how it relates to other concepts. College exams often test understanding, not just memorization.

Cramming in all your studying during finals week can lead to burnout and anxiety. Split the material into topics and review it in stages to fully absorb information into real understanding. The night before, write out a few key ideas to look over before the exam.

Use flow charts and diagrams.

Visual aids can be really helpful when revising. At the start of a topic, challenge yourself to write down everything you already know about a topic – and then highlight where the gaps lie. Closer to the exam, condense your revision notes into one-page diagrams. Getting your ideas down in this brief format can then help you quickly recall everything you need to know during the exam.

Learn by teaching others.

Explaining concepts to a classmate is a great way to make sure you really understand the material yourself and to help them learn as well. When you find new ways to explain a concept, you are mastering the information by processing it for others. That will help you to get it clear in your head, and also to highlight any areas where you need more work.

Sort out your schedule.

You can actually spend less time studying for your exam if you start with a great game plan. Make a list of what topics you need to cover and when you’re going to cover them. Start your study schedule as early as possible (usually a few weeks before your test), and figure out how much time you’ll need to study each day to stay on track.

Take good care of yourself.

Filling up on junk food to save time is not the smartest strategy for studying. Instead, keep a balanced diet of “brain foods” like fresh fruits and vegetables, balanced with protein and healthy fats to fuel your mind. The same goes for sleep: Plan to get a good night’s rest the night before the exam.

Reward yourself.

Good study habits are hard work! Treat yourself to breaks and little rewards to keep you going. Healthy snacks, nice walks outside, or even an episode of your favorite TV show are good ways to keep you motivated.

Knowing your own effective study strategies is key to success in your college career, and will help with career projects and presentations after graduation, too. Finding the study tips that work best for you will save you time and energy and earn you the best results.