Sure-fire tips to help you study for exams

Kristi Biswas, NJHS Contributor

Whether its personality or manners, everyone is different. This also applies for study methods. People can be visual, auditory, or hands-on learners. The key to becoming a better student when it comes to studying for exams is to find out how you best learn when it comes to studying. I talked to several “A” students at Darnell-Cookman (and one “close personal friend” who knows a lot about studying) and asked them to share what works for them.

  • “If the test is on vocabulary I recommend an app called Quizlet. The online flashcards are like a mock test and are useful for memorizing terms and definitions. However, to study for regular tests such as history, it depends on what type of learner you are. If you are a visual learner, then I would recommend crash course videos on YouTube. If you are someone who understands best when you read then note-taking is most likely to help you.” (Anonymous National Junior Honor Society member)
  • “So I first study for tests by making a Quizlet for it, and this really helps me because there are no many useful strategies on there to help you get the hang of it. As an example, they have the learning button which repeats the person studying until they don’t mess up on the questions. This is a feature I absolutely love! The next thing is after the first test from the teacher I realize the way the teacher gives their tests and from there I study what I realize where they came from. For example, I realized my history teacher gives questions on his test based on very tiny details from the textbook and not large details, along with things you just can’t leave out to study. I do this for all of my teachers. Even though it takes a lot of thinking about how they put together their tests, it helps me understand what they will most likely use. Then, of course, if there is a textbook I always make sure that I read it over and over again until I completely understand it.” (Mia Clark, NJHS member)
  • “I highlight important information and make questions out of it. I use it because it helps me remember important things. When using this technique and preparing for upcoming exams, study hard until you fully understand what you are reading.” (Johanna Abrams, 8th grade “A” student)
  • “Personally, I like to read over the text and make notes about them to review later. For other students who are struggling to get a good grade on exams, I would suggest watching videos on YouTube to understand the topics at first. Then I suggest that they read the textbook and think of little jokes or riddles to help them remember important facts.” (Another anonymous NJHS member)


I also talked with my brother, Devanik Biswas, who is a student at Johns Hopkins University, which is ranked in the top 10 universities in the United States. He says it is very important to go over what his professor lectured about in class to make sure he understands the concepts. “First I review all the notes and lectures, make a summary sheet for each one, and make questions for each lecture that could be on the test,” Devanik told me. “Then I keep on adding to my summary sheet with questions I miss. Then I review that.”

On a personal note, I like to annotate. After annotating, I go back to the important information I marked and make notes. I also like to think of certain riddles that help me memorize the concepts. For example, in biology, I remembered that the phloem transports the products of photosynthesis because it sounds similar to food.

Finally, in talking to successful students at Darnell-Cookman, here are some good rules to follow:

  • Start studying or reviewing ahead of time. NEVER cram!
  • Try using several learning methods to make sure you understand the concepts.
  • Map out what you are going to study and for how long.
  • Start studying at a time when you know you won’t be disturbed.
  • This is for people who hate studying for a long time – make treats for yourself. For example, after you study one section, you get to hang out with your friends for an hour. As long as you stick with it, this can motivate you to get tasks done!