It’s never too late to develop good study habits! In fact, they can make the difference between a good student and a great student. Here are our top study tips to help you ace your exams:

  • Use your planner to delineate what specific information you are going to study each day. For example, instead of writing “Study” in your planner, write “Study Spanish vocab. from Chapter 1.” If studying is treated like a specific assignment, it makes it more likely to get done.
  • Use the Skills 4 Life Study Folder. Study your course materials in an organized manner using this 3-pocket folder. This Study Folder allows you to focus on the material you “Kind of Know” and “Don’t Know…Yet” as opposed to studying information that you already know.

  • Find your space. Decide what kind of environment is conducive to your study routine. Some students prefer to be around other people, whereas others prefer to study by themselves.
  • Stock up. When you sit down to study, bring everything you will need to study effectively, including relevant assignments, books, study guides, notes and old tests as well as pencils, pens, sticky notes and highlighters.
  • Use a study guide. If you didn’t receive a study guide in class, create one. Organize notes and materials in an order that corresponds with the study guide.
  • Space it out. Break your study material into chunks that you can space out in the days and weeks leading up to your test.
  • First things first. Start by studying the most important information first. Learn the main concepts about a subject and then dive into the details once you are comfortable (“Study Tips & Study Skills”).
  • Switch it up. Study different types of material in each study session. This helps you to be more flexible in finding the right strategy or solution to a problem. For example, focusing on only Civil War questions for an entire study period will trick your brain into thinking every history question has to do with the Civil War. Instead, study the Civil War and Reconstruction in the same sitting so that you have to stop and think about the context of each question.
  • Rotate between study locations in the weeks leading up to your test. Research suggests that studying the same material in different locations creates stronger memories by forcing our brains to form multiple associations with the same material (Lebowitz).
  • Study before bed. Forgo evening books or TV before a big test and study until you’re ready for bed. Your brain strengthens new memories while you are asleep, so there is a good chance that you are more likely to remember the material you study right before bed (Lebowitz).
  • Choose your study partners wisely. Only choose study partners that you know are dedicated to studying and doing well in a test. Make sure that you are focused on studying when your study group meets and save the small talk and games for a time outside of your study session.
  • Memorize. For hard-to-memorize terms, create mnemonics/flashcards/reminding words/etc. Try using the LINC vocabulary memorization method:

       L – List the Parts

                                            I – Indicate a reminding word or phrase

                 N – Note a linking story

                       C – Create a linking picture

S – Self-test

Write the name of the term you are trying to memorize on the front side of a note card. Underneath it, write a reminding word or phrase that sounds like the new word.

On the back of the note card, divide the card into three portions by drawing a “T” shape. Write the definition of the vocabulary word above the “T.”

In the lower left portion of the card, write a linking story that links your reminding word to the definition.

In the lower right portion of the card, create a linking picture relating to the reminding word and story.

Now, self-test!

 Front of Notecard                                                 Back of Notecard

front back



Lebowitz, Shannon. “22 Science-Backed Study Tips to Ace a Test.” Greatist. N.p., 8 Sept. 2015. Web. 3 July 2016.

“Study Tips & Study Skills.” Study Tips & Study Skills. Test Taking Tips, n.d. Web. 17 July 2016.

About Skills 4 Life:

Skills 4 Life Pediatric Occupational Therapy offers a broad range of pediatric occupational therapy services to help your child master age-appropriate developmental skills, become more independent, increase academic success & develop confidence. The experts at Skills 4 Life specialize in handwriting, keyboarding & executive function coaching, but also work with children on social & emotional learning, motor skills, self-regulation strategies & activities of daily living. Skills 4 Life Pediatric Occupational Therapy offers your child a safe, compassionate environment to learn the critical skills they need to be successful. Learn more about our team & services at, or you can contact our office by email at or by phone at 303.351.1828 for a free consultation.