Kayla Porter

Content Strategist and Ambassador Program Manager

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Top 5 Study Tips to Ace an Exam

Top 5 Study Tips for Acing an Exam

Flashcards, practice quizzes, memorizing, research, reading…. Those are all things that come to mind when we think of how students should prepare for a test. While all of those methods might help, none of them will help you reach your full potential if you’re not in the right headspace. 

It’s hard to do well on a test if you haven’t studied, but it’s even harder to get yourself to study if you don’t take care of your mental health. 

Here are the top five tips to getting a good grade on an exam. 


This is the key to success. It’s so important to acknowledge and understand your individual habits. You need to know what to expect of yourself so you can adjust accordingly. Everyone is different, so generic study methods aren’t always going to work for you like they might for others. 

Pay attention to what works best for you. 

In college, I would try my best to stay ahead of schedule. That meant when I had down time, I would try to start drafts for essays that were due in the next couple of weeks. 

No matter how hard I tried, I still could never get them done until the night before they were due. I would blame procrastination, when in reality I just had writer’s block. 

It took me a while, but I finally realized that I just do my best writing when limited on time. I work best under pressure. My papers were always graded with high marks, it was just the feeling of needing to get them done ahead of time that made me stressed. 

Once I figured this out about myself, I was able to focus on my other work so that when the night before my paper was due came around, I didn’t have anything else to worry about. 


If you’re the kind of person that needs to confront issues ASAP, then do it. Get it over with and don’t waste time worrying about it. It’ll feel much better to just get things off your chest, rather than have thoughts distracting you while you're in a test. If you can’t handle confrontation, then don’t! 

Do what you need to do to remain stress free. 

One of the best ways to do this is to take a break from social media. It has the power to bring down your mental health with negative thoughts. Twitter will still be there when you’re done acing your exam. 


Make sure to be completely satisfied before you walk into the exam room. It’s so much harder to focus when your stomach is rumbling. You also don’t want to over-eat and risk feeling ill or even sleepy. Eat something that is going to fulfill without going overboard. You can always bring a (quiet) snack just in case! 


While it’s important to study, you should also prioritize tool preparation. Make sure you have your #2 pencil, eraser, scantron, calculator, etc. all where you can easily find it during the exam. 

It’s stressful when you can’t find what you need during a test. But it’s even more stressful when you’re that frantic student loudly rustling through your entire backpack to find your pencil. 


Why wait until after you’ve bombed your exam to get help? 

Assess your understanding early on. 

If you notice you’re not fully grasping the concepts early on, don’t get discouraged. Be proactive and ask for help. 

There is nothing wrong with needing support. 

And you have some many options. Ask family, friends, peers, professors or tutors for guidance when you need it. Sometimes it can be one small piece that’s not clicking for you. It’s better to figure that out before you’re stuck in a whole too deep to climb out.

The most important takeaway is to be honest with yourself about what you need. If you need a five course meal before your exam, do it! If you need to delete instagram for a few days, do it! If you need a quality tutor that can meet today, download TutorTree on the app store and make it happen! 

Take care of yourself, and do what you need to in order to be happy and successful.