Study Tips For Exams |12 Super Effective Psychology Tricks for Students

Learning can be a challenge. Especially when you are not interested in the subjects that you are supposed to learn. Let’s face it, that is exactly what the modern education system requires. Therefore, learning it and remembering it is a challenge. That is why I am recommending 12 psychological study tips for exams that every student can benefit from.

12 Psychological Tricks for Students
12 Psychological Tricks for Students


Study Tips For Exams List

#1: Chunking

This simply means that you break down your material into parts and study them separately. Do not have a 10-hour long study session the day before the exam. Instead, break the study session into 1-hour study sessions and complete them in 10 days. For difficult lessons, use few sessions rather than one sitting.

#2: Interleaving

Do you have the habit of finishing one topic before going on to the next topic? Interleaving is the exact opposite of that. In this method, you move between topics or subjects without completely finishing the earlier topic. A good example of this is doing a few Math questions and then study a few pages of your history book before returning back to your maths lesson. However, make sure that you do not study similar content one after the other as that can cause confusion.

12 Psychological Tricks for Students
Chunking and interleaving

#3: Teach someone

Studies show students who teach other students do much better on exams than students who simply re-study the material alone. This is because when you teach something you find gaps in your knowledge. You can then fill these gaps before the exam. Those who study by themselves, only realize these gaps, while writing the exam.Furthermore, teaching requires you to simplify everything you learned and explain it in understandable terms. To do this you must first understand the material thoroughly. This technique is also called the Feynman Technique. It is one of the best study tips for exams.

#4: Write it down

Another study showed that students who take notes using a pen and paper do much better than those who use their laptops.

In the same study, they discovered that students who use the laptop take twice as many notes as those who use the pen and paper. I believe these results are due to the fact that you can never simply write down everything your teacher says using a pen and paper.

Therefore, you have to actually listen to the teacher and summarize what he says. As a result, this process requires more brain-power and leads to better understanding.

#5: Flashcards

While highlighting and color-coding has not shown to influence a person’s test scores significantly. Flashcards, on the other hand, has been proven to do so. Flashcards usually have a question on one side and the answer on the other side. The student must first read the question and recall the answer without looking at the other side. After the student answers the question you check the other side for answer. This allows the students to actively recall the information they have studied. This creates stronger neural pathways in the brain that will help during the exam.

#6: Practice tests

Doing practice tests, helps you evaluate your understanding before the exam, giving you the opportunity to find out which material needs more work. This helps you fill in the gaps in your understanding before the exam. It also helps you learn to write answers more clearly and within the time frame of the exam. Moreover, students who never do practice tests often complain about not having enough time to complete the exam even though they knew all the answers. Therefore, Timing your practice test will help you perform better in exams. Among all the study tips for exams, this is very crucial. It doesn’t matter how well you know the material if you cannot answer the questions within the given time.

#7: Do Not Play Music In the Background [or Play Classical music with no vocals]

Some students have a habit of listening to music while studying. According to various studies, students who listen to classical music perform much better than students who listen to other types of music. Compared to the other types, classical music is less distracting. Classical music without any vocals is even better since the voice is distracting than the music itself. However, studying without any music is the most effective way to study. Therefore, if you have the habit of studying with music in the background, I suggest that you shift to classical music without any Vocals. But if you do not use music in the background continue to do so as this is the most effective way.


#8: Visualization

You can use visualization techniques to remember certain details. This is one of the best study tips for exams when it comes to memorization.

Let’s say, you want to remember that there are four types of teeth, you can visualize a person with only four teeth, one in each type.

If you need to remember certain things in a sequence create a storyline and visualize it to help you remember. For example, imagine that you are trying to remember the planets of the solar system. Then your story will sound like this.

The sun said to mercury, “you are the closest to me, but you are not the hottest. Look at Venus, unlike you, it has an atmosphere that traps my heat, that’s why it’s the hottest. But you are the smallest, so obviously, you are the cutest.” After hearing this Mercury visited her neighbor Venus and told her. “The sun told me that I am cuter than you’…”

Can you see how this kind of story will help you memorize the planets in order along with some associated information?

Visualization as a study Technique example
Visualization as a study Technique example

#9: Priming

Studies have shown that having a certain place for studying helps you remember better. Make sure you only use this place for study-related activities. Then, when you sit at this place, your brain will know that you are going to study and prepare to remember the information right away. This is much better than studying on the couch in front of the TV because these are resting places and when you study at these places your brain takes a while to understand what is happening.

#10: Make your own quiz

Take a book and read it with the intention of making a quiz. This will help you identify the most important parts of the material. Once the important points have been identified turn them into questions and make a quiz. Now put it away for at least a few days. A few weeks will be better. This way, when you finally do the quiz you will be recalling your information from your long term memory rather than your short term memory.

Another good trick is to get your friends involved. You and your friend both make quizzes and then a week later you exchange them and you do the other person’s quiz. Then together both of you can discuss the answers. By getting your friends involved you will learn important-material that you may have missed when you read the content.

Make sure you do not get into a contest with your friends to see who can make the most difficult quiz. This will be unproductive and a waste of your time, since the exams usually cover the most important parts of the material and not the most difficult bits and pieces of information relevant to the content.

#11: Make a summary sheet

Let’s say, the lecture notes for a certain topic is 10 pages long. What you need to do here is to identify the most important information and summarize it into a note of one or two pages. This helps to identify the most important parts of the lecture. Also, you have a set of notes that you can review the day before the exam. Studying summarized notes the day before will take a lot of pressure off you and help you perform better in the exams.


#12: Relax

An exam is stressful and you may think, studying until the last minute, is a good idea. But that is not true. It is better if you can relax and believe that the right answers will come to you when you get the paper. That does not mean that you should not study in advance. It means you should prepare early and also take sufficient breaks and make sure you get enough sleep so that when you write the exam, your brain will be functioning properly. Lack of sleep and too much stress will reduce your memory and decrease your reasoning skills. Neither of them is beneficial during an exam.

I recommend you to do the simple relaxation exercise when you feel stressed and even while sitting down in the exam room waiting for the paper to be given to you. I discussed this technique in detail in my article on relaxation techniques. You can read it by clicking on this link.


If you follow these 12 study tips for exams you can expect to get a good grade with minimum effort. Grades don’t always depend on the amount of effort. Strategy matters too.

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