These quick tips on getting As on your final exams or school tests are for students who weren’t born with the ability to absorb information quickly and easily! If you’re like the majority of us, you have to work at getting A’s on your exams and tests.
“You don’t understand anything until you learn it more than one way.” ~ Marvin Minsky.
This is why it’s crucial to go to classes and read your textbook! I took a Canadian history class in university, and didn’t bother to buy the textbook. I passed, but probably should’ve flunked. Besides learning your material in different ways (which I describe in the first tip below), you should read about strategies for getting A’s on your college tests. These tips will help you set the stage for acing your final exams and tests.
Tips for Getting A’s on College Finals or School Tests
Are you a science or math major who struggles to write academic essays and reports? Read 10 Writing Tips for Science and Math College Students.
And remember: there are no shortcuts for getting straight A’s in college! It takes work, discipline, and time. But there are things you can do to make it easier…
Learn the material in different ways
One of the best ways to study is to explain the material to people who don’t understand it. So, read a paragraph of your textbook and put it into your own words. Write it, discuss it, explain it to your dog, put it on index cards, type it in EverNote — do whatever you can to understand it.
A final exam is supposed to assess whether you understand the course material. So, the easiest way to get an A is understand the material! One of the best ways to understand test material is to join a study group – or even just one other classmate – and talk about it. Teach each other what you’re learning, and discuss what you don’t understand.
Work with your natural rhythms
Are you a morning lark or a night owl? Do the “hardest” work when you’re least tired. This may mean studying right after breakfast if you’re a morning person, or studying mid-afternoon if you’re a night owl. Studying for your finals is hard when you’re tired – especially if it’s for a class or subject you dread.
Try not to consume too much caffeine. Some caffeine is good for your brain – it helps with quick thinking. But, overdoing it can have negative effects on your health and ability to get A’s on your finals.
If you lack motivation to get good grades, read 5 Ways to Stay Motivated to Go to College – From Bored to Inspired!
Set a one hour time limit on the hardest tasks
If you’re sick and tired of studying for certain subjects (or school altogether!), set an hourly schedule. Study for 30 minutes or an hour, then take a break. Reward yourself with something you love (with either a school subject you enjoy or a healthy activity such as a workout or bike ride — not chocolate bon bons and potato chips in front of the TV!).
Do you procrastinate? Read 5 Ways to End Procrastination for College Students.
Remember the A’s you enjoyed in the past
Remember those academic goals you achieved — that exam you aced, the speech you got an “A” on, or project that everyone loved? Savor those victorious feelings! It’s about visualization: picture yourself feeling that victory and sense of accomplishment while you’re studying for this final or test. Recalling your academic accomplishments can motivate you to study harder and longer in your current college courses – and get A’s on your final exams!
Break the big assignments down
If you have to write a 10 page essay, break it down into small sections. If you have a huge final exam to study for, break the material down into several mini-tests. Separating huge tasks into several smaller ones is a great way to improve your study skills -– and it’ll boost your confidence, too!’
How to be a Successful College Student has more tips for getting As on tests and assignments.
Don’t try to be perfect – an A on your final exam is good, but not necessary!
In the “real world”, it probably won’t matter if you got A’s or C’s on your school tests. More important are your overall academic skills, study habits, and involvement in college activities that stretch you as a person. Whether you want to get another college degree or a job right after you graduate, your transcripts won’t make or break your plans.
High college grades are good, but the rest of you — who you are as an overall person — is more important! Not just in life, but to college admissions boards and employers.
If you feel overwhelmed, read How to Cope When You Feel Too Stressed to Study.
Thoughts on how to get an A on your final exam or school test? Comments welcome below…