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Secret Study Tips Nobody Told You




Before going into this article, I’d like to say that the inspiration for this article was from a video I watched on YouTube (link to the video below). The girl really talked about some realistic tips that I think will work for people, or if not, you would be able to pick some ideas. I added my points too, based on my experiences in school. If you wanna watch the video, here it is;

But, if you want the full gist, with less time, and less data, then let us dive into the article together. 

Please, remember to leave a comment in the comment section about anything about the post.


Striving for Academic Excellence

So you want to become that “perfect student”, “That student”, or “the one that always gets straight A’s effortlessly.” At this point, you probably know what you need to do. Study more, be organized, use the Pomodoro method, test yourself, and make engaging notes, but nothing ever sticks. 

You try your new study habits and routines for like two days, then crash, and ultimately keep being the same old chaotic, hot, messed version of yourself, while those other perfect, students in your grade keep acing their exams without seeming to break a sweat. But no more. 

In this article, I will go over some top-secret, non-basic study tips and hacks that actually work and will help you finally see improvements in your grades. 

The Common Struggles

Identifying the Three Main Challenges

Here are three main issues that I’ve personally faced, and I feel like the majority of students face when it comes to studying and grades./h

  1. you don’t know how to study. 
  2. you don’t study enough. Or 
  3. you don’t study efficiently. 

Problem One: Finding Effective Study Strategies

For potential problem number one, this is just a situation where you don’t yet know the strategies and techniques that work for you and help you get top grades. Here are the general rules for playing the game of getting good grades.

Prioritize Weightier Exams/Assignments

First, it’s really important to note the weights of the assignments and how important the exams are, in order to prioritize your time on the assignments or exams that are worth the most, and make sure that you put most of your effort into them. 

Some courses are 5 units, some are 2 units, so make sure you prioritize reading the heavier ones for exams first. The 5-unit course carries a greater percentage of your GPA than 2 units. Put more effort into heavy courses!

Understanding Exam Composition

Two is knowing what’s on the exams. Obviously, you won’t know exactly what’s on the exams beforehand usually, but essentially knowing if the majority of the exam will be based on the lectures, slides or on the textbook, or on everything. Also, after you get the feedback for your first few assignments or exams, try to remember what the exam was like and whether it was more from the class lectures or slides or textbooks, and just overall analyze the exam in the first couple of assignments and try to figure out what the teacher wants. Also, if you have quizzes in your class, then I recommend trying to write down any questions you remember after the quizzes and seeing if they pop up on the exam later. There are some lecturers who give you the exact questions they do in class, they give them in your exams, and some use the exact examples in their slides. I’ve seen this a lot with my classes, and that way you can get free points because the same questions popped up on both the class questions and the exam. 

Leveraging Past Exams and Resources

Again, if there is any access to past exams or past papers or practice questions in the textbook, it’s great to use them to review and see where your knowledge gaps are, and also, again, see if any of the questions end up popping up on the exams. 

Download Some OAU 100L Past Questions

Download Last Year’s Past Questions (For OAU Science Part 2 Students)

Concentrate More On Your Lecturer Slides/Class Notes

Next, if there is a note or slide for the class, just straight up use that. I don’t really take notes anywhere else since if the teacher made a study guide or their own notes for the class, it’s very unlikely that they’ll deviate a lot from the notes, and it gives you a great structured format to know what to study and what to prioritize.

If you would like to watch a YouTube video or watch a course online on a particular topic, probably you don’t understand from class or you don’t understand your slides. Do not just watch literally everything in the video, (it’s not the Youtuber that wants to set your exams, lol) You may not need everything for your exams. Watch the video with your school slides or class notes, if there were parts of the video that were clearly just from the slides, then watch that portion of the lecture and take the notes from the lecture for that part well.

Get Freshers Materials (Slides and Class Notes)

Download Material For OAU Science Part 2 Students (Slides and Class Notes)

Embracing Diverse Learning Methods

 A major thing here is once you find something that works for you, even if everyone on the internet says handwriting is terrible and passive reading is bad, honestly, if it works for you, just keep doing it. Don’t let anyone shame your weird study methods or your inefficient study methods. Just find something that works for you and that helps you get the grades that you want.

Problem Two: Time Management and Prioritization

Okay, so problem number two is if you don’t study enough or have enough time.

Balancing Extracurricular Activities

So in this case, I highly recommend cutting some extracurriculars, if you just realize you have way too many.

Tracking and Optimizing Your Study Time

Also, I recommend tracking your time for a week or two and just seeing where all your time goes and also tracking how much time you actually study. Because, for instance, if it turns out you only study five hours a week, then you probably know that something you need to work on is gradually building up how much time you can sit at your desk and study.

Efficient Use of Free Hours

Also, a major tip that really helps a little when you have a million extracurriculars and a million classes, is using your time in school wisely. If you can actually set a goal to use every free minute that you can in school to study. It turns out that there sometimes is actually a lot of free time that just floats around. So use your time wisely at school if you can, and you’ll find that you have a lot more time for studying than you expected during the day in school.

Problem Three: Studying Efficiently

Problem number three is that you don’t study efficiently.

Redefining the Study Hours vs. Success Equation

The most important thing to remember here is that the hours that you spend studying do not really equal success.  Because honestly, when it comes to studying efficiently, you do not have to handwrite your notes for everything. It really is just about playing the game that is getting straight A’s and figuring out what is the bare minimum sometimes that you need to do to get those A’s.

Utilizing Online Resources

Another thing that top students do is that they definitely use outside resources that help them be more efficient and study better.

For example, if you look up certain teacher websites, either your own teacher website or you type in a generic class like AP Chemistry, Weebly, online website, you can usually find a ton of free notes, PDFs, and documents that teachers have uploaded to their websites and actually use those as your notes instead of making them yourself. Definitely don’t be afraid of using the internet to research and find amazing resources. 

Seeking Tutoring and Teacher Guidance

 Of course, if you’re really struggling with a specific topic, absolutely reach out to a tutor. Absolutely see, because usually most universities and schools have free tutoring, so try to see if you can find any student tutors or free tutors.

Absolutely reach out to upper-class men if you can and definitely use your teacher as well as a resource, especially if they’re a really nice teacher. Go to their office hours, visit them at lunch if you can, and definitely use them as well. 

Telling God

If you believe in God, you should always tell Him about everything you do, this includes studying too. Tell Him about your difficulties and how you feel, and pray to Him to raise people who will be your friend, encourage, and guide you through. Tell him that you want favor in your studies, He should tell you what to read, and give you strength when you are tired. Let me tell you, he hears every single word you say, and guess what? He can do them all for you. What makes studying more efficient than this?

Cultivating the Right Mindset

Now, let’s talk about the mindset. Basically, when it comes to the mindset, in my opinion, there are three main pillars of this.

Building Confidence in Your Ability to Improve

Number one is the confidence pillar, which is basically the belief that you can improve. Because if you don’t believe it, you’re honestly deep, deep, deep down going to just think, “I could be doing something fun instead of studying and sitting here, and it’s not going to make a difference.”  So, in my opinion, the way that you develop this confidence or this belief that studying does lead to better grades, or that changing the way you study will lead to better grades, it only comes from the results you get, honestly. I understand some people get it by affirmations and all that, and if that works for you, good for you. But if you are going to really try to improve and learn this subject and just see if you can really try for a semester, for instance. And then, once you actually see tangible results, you’ll start to develop that confidence that you can change, and it’s that belief that you can do it that will keep you resilient and motivated and determined throughout the semester, and not have a mental breakdown every time you don’t get the results you want, or you get a bad grade. This ties into the second pillar of how to have a growth mindset.

Fostering a Growth Mindset

 Number two is the growth mindset, but it’s basically that mindset that every failure is something to learn from and shows you what doesn’t work rather than internalizing that failure and basically concluding that you suck. And again, in my opinion, you’ll only deeply believe that failure is not the end of the world. Once it actually comes true, you actually learn from failures and then you bounce back. That’s why pivoting or changing study techniques, if nothing is working for you is super important, so you don’t keep doing the same thing over and over again and setting yourself up for failure. 

So for instance if handwriting notes it’s just too slow or too boring for you and you can’t concentrate, then definitely try watching videos or making flashcards or mind maps or something completely different and see if that works for you. It’s better that I eventually figure it out in a year, than just continuing to do the same thing that I did for the past several years and continuing to get bad grades. 

The Significance of Valuing Your Grades

The last pillar is simply placing importance on grades. So, obviously, making grades a priority is important for getting good grades because if you don’t care about grades, if you don’t think it’s important, then you’re just not going to prioritize it. You’re not going to study a lot, and you’re not going to get good grades. So, I highly recommend trying to figure out why you want to get good grades and just really thinking about it. It’s probably not going to come to you in like three seconds. It might take several months, even. But just really thinking like why are the grades important to you? Is it for your parents? Do you want to make them proud? Do you want to get a good job in the future? Are you obsessed with a certain subject, and do you really want to learn it and be amazing? And it really doesn’t matter ultimately what that reason is. You don’t have to tell anyone, but the stronger your emotions are about that reason, the better. Because ultimately when you’re sleep-deprived, when you’re tired, it’s remembering that reason that will help you continue pushing through instead of going on your phone or giving up or not caring.

Playing to Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Alright, this part is playing to your strengths and weaknesses. It’s just basically trying to know yourself and how you work. 

Breaking Down Tasks for Success

Break up your assignments or the things that you have to do into little chunks.  So if you get overwhelmed a lot, I also recommend breaking up tasks into little pieces and then, you know that you’ll have a break after you do a certain amount of things. 

Finding Inspiration and a Supportive Community

Surround yourself with an artificial community or a real-life community of peers who are also interested in studying. This is just really helpful when you feel like you completely don’t care about studying or school, or you’re just really lacking motivation. It can be really helpful to find maybe five to ten people on YouTube or on Instagram. It can also be whoever you see as an academic inspiration, and watching them in your free time to kind of reminds you to kind of glorify the process of studying. And that way, you’re getting motivated, and inspired to study even on your breaks, instead of getting completely distracted by a fantasy book or some really intriguing murder mystery show or something like that, that completely distracts your brain from studying and from school. So basically use your study breaks in your Pomodoro sessions or between study sessions to watch, study people, or study inspirations to kind of help focus your brain on studying. 


In conclusion, the path to academic excellence is an exciting journey filled with opportunities for growth and improvement. By addressing common challenges such as effective study methods, time management, and the development of a growth mindset, you can set yourself on the course to achieving your academic goals.

The key lies in self-awareness and adaptability. Recognize your unique learning style and embrace it. Whether you thrive on the pressure of last-minute deadlines or prefer a well-structured study plan, understanding what works best for you is essential. Don’t fear failure; view it as a stepping stone to success. Experiment with various techniques until you discover your personal formula for success.

Placing importance on your grades can be a powerful motivator. Identify your reasons for striving for excellence, be it personal fulfillment, making your family proud, or securing your future. Let these motivations fuel your determination, especially during challenging times.

Finally, remember the value of a supportive community. Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals who share your commitment to learning can be a wellspring of inspiration. Whether you find study partners online or in real life, a sense of belonging to a community of learners can reignite your motivation during tough moments.

In your journey to academic success, remain undaunted by setbacks or unconventional study habits. While the road may be long, the destination is worth the effort. So, equip yourself with the right strategies, cultivate a resilient mindset, and draw strength from your unique motivations. With these tools in hand, you’re well on your way to becoming the exceptional student you aspire to be. Feel free to share your own insights and experiences in the comment section below. Your feedback is greatly appreciated and can inspire others on their educational journeys.


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