How can I do well in my exams? Top Ten tips to Study Smart!

This is the question on every student’s mind with the exam season around the corner. It’s normal to feel anxious or nervous as the exams approach, but here at DRS International School we believe that assessments are nothing to worry about- they are a part of learning. With the right approach and support, and our top ten tips to do well in exams, you can get through the exams with confidence:

Here are our top ten tips for preparing well your exams:


  • Break it down

Studying can seem daunting when you don’t know where to start. It’s a good idea to clearly identify the syllabus, the chapters being tested and the notes you need to prepare well. You can look at our Year Plan and Revision Plans for each class for examples. Once you do this, break down the material into smaller, more manageable chunks.

  • Schedule

Grab a chart and a marker or even your Google Calendar and just distribute these smaller chunks over the days you have left. Schedule more to study on Sundays and holidays, and less when you have lighter days. Are you night owl or a morning bird? It can be helpful to have blocks of study-time when your concentration level is at its best. Try to schedule more difficult topics to tackle when you are at your best.

  • Mind Maps

If a particular unit or chapter is too long or difficult, it’s a good idea to get a grip on it by making a large overview of the lesson by creating a mind map of its most important aspects. Mind-mapping helps you make connections between the different elements of the lesson and will give you the big picture in a matter of minutes. This works especially well for subjects like History, Economics, Biology, Geography, Entrepreneurship etc.

  • SQ3R

Too many students waste time reading their text books over and over again, only to have poor understanding and recall. Effective reading skills are important if you want to do well in your exams. SQ3R stands for Survey, Question, Read, Recite & Review. You can read more about the technique here.

  • Memory Techniques

While learning at DRS International School is about inquiry and understanding, there are some things you do need to remember. Memory techniques like the Memory Palace, Mnemonics and Acronyms, Flash Cards etc help you remember better, by tapping into the power of visual thinking.

  • Buddy System

Two heads are always better than one! If you have a group of friends with whom you can study, it can be a good idea to divide chapters amongst yourselves and teach it to each other. Alternatively, you can also have study sessions to quiz each other or develop some fun acronyms together. Your weakness could be your friend’s strength!

  • Take breaks

This might sound too good to be true, but research suggests that the human mind focuses better when it gets a break every 50 minutes or so. Ensure you take a ten minute break for every 50 minutes of study. Breaks can refresh you and be the reward that can help motivate you to get through each session. Meditate, do some jumping jacks or go for a brisk walk! If you have a favourite sport, ten minutes a good time to let go of steam!

  • Movement

Studying can literally be a pain if you ‘sit and study’. Try and vary where you study and how for every study session. Make the most of natural light, definitely avoid your bed and wherever possible, try to incorporate movement into your study sessions. Recap as you walk or try to dance to the tune of the periodic table!

  • Sleep

Psychologists believe that getting enough sleep is the key to performing well. The human brain processes information from the day and codes it into the long-term memory when you get enough rest. Staying up all night can lower your chances of being able to remember what you learned the day before.

  • Visualization

Research also indicates that people who visualize successful outcomes and results are better motivated and therefore tend to perform better than those who don’t. So what are you waiting for? Close your eyes and see yourself handing in that answer sheet with a big smile!

Still feeling nervous? Need more support? Meet or get in touch with our counsellors at or make the most of our Student Wellness Programme.