Here’s a compilation of my top 3 high-performance learning hacks for acing exams:

First you want to start by:

Building a Healthy, Regular Sleep Habit

Frequently and Repeatedly Precision Exercising Your Recall Muscle.

To make the most from your studying don’t focus on the time you invest. Focus on the quality of your study session over the quantity you do. This is one of the key things we focus on and we absolutely think you can get twice the results in half the time. Make sure you grab the free audiobook Unlimited Memory by a chess grandmaster which will absolutely transform your results overnight if you apply the techniques.

Creating a Structure – Through High Performance Habit Formation

Let’s look at each of these briefly starting with:

1- The critical role of a healthy regular sleep habit

A recent study of 61 Harvard College students found that the students who kept a regular sleep schedule had significantly higher GPA scores.

The students, who journaled their daily sleep habits, formed two basic groups:

“Regular Sleepers” who would go to sleep and wake up at around the same time each day; and:

“Irregular Sleepers” – or those who had more of an erratic sleep pattern.

The students’ sleep habits were scored on a scale of 0 to 100.

Students with the highest levels of irregular sleep were assigned lower numbers while students with regular sleep habits could earn up to 100 on the scale.

For every jump in the scale of 10 points up the index of their sleep regularity, students would experience a corresponding increase of 0.10 in their grade point average or GPA!

So why such a drastic difference in academic performance based on keeping a specifically regular daily sleep schedule? Well, according to:

Andrew Phillips, lead author of the study and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, said the findings show that irregular sleepers have a delayed release of the sleep hormone melatonin.

“Our body contains a circadian clock, which helps to keep time for many biological functions,” he said. “One of the key markers of the circadian clock is melatonin. Usually, at nighttime, our circadian clock sends a signal that tells us to release melatonin overnight.”

Source: Study links college students’ grades to sleep schedules

And not only that but a new study found psychology students who slept on average 8.5 hours compared to those who slept 7.9 or less during final exam week actually got better grades:

“If you statistically correct for whether a student was an A, B, C, or D student before their final exam, sleeping 8 hours was associated with a four-point grade boost…”

Source to learn more: https: //neurosciencenews. com/8-hour-sleep-students-120197

And what makes getting 79 hours of high quality uninterrupted sleep so critical to sustained academic high-performance?

To put it simply: you need that sleep to build the new memories your creating as you study over the days, weeks and months before exam time.


Because getting enough sleep is actually “neurorestorative”.

That means:

New memories and habits get strengthened and less important “synaptic noise” from the day gets weeded out.

Getting a great night’s sleep is critical to optimal cognitive functioning during the day.

Not only that, but the memories you’re building through your studying actually get some of their most important neuro-chemical wiring through great sleep.

And a big part of this actually comes from your brain pruning away the “synaptic noise” of less important information through out the day.

Many leading sleep experts now consider getting less than 7 hours minimum each night to be “sleep deprivation.” And remember – that’s 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

And staying up late for last minute cramming?

Bad idea. Better to create and follow a daily, weekly and monthly study structure.

For example:

Findings from.. [a] new study suggest that staying up late to try to memorize the information has the opposite effect, giving the brain no “downtime” to let the knowledge sink in.

Researchers from the Loyola Marymount University in California also found the sleep deprivation corresponded to lower exam scores.

The research suggests that new memories only stick in the brain if they are “consolidated,” which is a process that largely happens during sleep.

Scientists also examined the power of napping to boost memory after studying and found that newly learned facts stuck in people’s brains better after a nap.

Source: Late-night cram sessions may do more harm than good

2 – Repeatedly – Precision Exercise Your “Recall-Muscle”!

Too many students spend too much time reading and re-reading their exam or test preparation materials.

What you need to be doing is taking frequent micro-self tests on the material you cover in each study time chunk.

For example:

According to a recent worldwide study, only 11% of students actually take”practice tests” as a core learning strategy.

Yet researchers discovered that frequently taking practices tests is one of the top factors that separate the high-performance learners from mediocre learners.

What makes practice testing so valuable?

Well, when it comes to learning for tests and exams, the single most important thing you want to develop is your ability to recall the information you’ve studied – quickly and accurately.

Think of it as exercising your “recall muscle” for exam day. It’s not just really learning and understanding a concept, formula or model but it’s the ability to quickly and effectively pull it out of your memory when you need the information most – during a test.

The best way to build a strong, chiseled, high-performance recall muscle is to frequently exercises it.

Get into the habit of creating new questions that force you to think about and process the information you’re learning from a new angle.

Once you’ve taken notes (hand writing causes deeper processing than typing) in class or from studying your assigned texts, take the key, most important points and write them out as questions.

Flash cards are a great high-performance learning tool precisely because they directly exercise your recall muscle. And you can quickly separate the cards that you have the most difficulty remembering the answer for to really laser focus your learning.


The best way to study for exams smart and not hard is through a process I call:

3- “High-Performance Habit Formation.”

What makes high-performance habit formation so effective as a learning technique?

It allows you to apply the single most powerful strategy from applied behavioral science – “positive reinforcement” to rocket fuel your neuroplastic learning – the process by which your brain wires-in new habits and memories.

High-performance habit formation is also an amazing strategy for quickly overcoming procrastination and for increasing and sustaining high levels of focus and motivation.

So how do you actually apply high performance habit formation so you can study smarter not harder?

First you want to:

Create a Daily Study Task List.

Prioritize the order of each study task from your most important task (MIT – task) to least important task.

Create a list of of your top 5 most rewarding and enjoyable activities (MRAs).

Write out each of your MITs and MRAs on seperate post it notes – and stick them up in your study space in front of you.

Identify your top MRA (the fun activity you want to do the most right now) and place it beside your MIT post it note.

Use this Tomato Timer to time 45 minute intensive study chunks followed by 15 minute super reward breaks: Tomato Timer

Click the settings button on the top right hand side of the screen to set your study and reward-break chunk times (make sure to turn on browser notifications and adjust the volume so you hear when the timer goes off).

Set the timer and get to work on your first MIT for 45 minutes.

When the timer goes off, click to start your first 15 minute positive reinforcement break and start your first MRA (most rewarding activity).

Important note: Start your MRA within 13 seconds of finishing your first MIT. This will maximize the neuroplastic positive reinforcement value of your MRA.

Repeat this process 23 times moving on to your next MIT.

Set longer break times to take every 2-3 hours and make sure you:

Eat 3 brain healthy meals throughout your day.

Make sure to stay hydrated throughout your day with a large container of filtered water or healthy tea beside you to sip on.

And you might want enjoy of a glass of organic beet juice before one of your cardio-focused exercise breaks to increase blood flow to and through your brain, and possibly enhancing your neuroplastic learning.

Take at least 2 physical activity breaks (Family Doctor approved exercise) : This is where you go for a walk or bike ride to oxygenate your brain and body while at the same time flushing out stress chemicals.

For example: :

In a study done at the University of British Columbia, researchers found that regular aerobic exercise, the kind that gets your heart and your sweat glands pumping, appears to boost the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning.

Source to learn more: Regular exercise changes the brain to improve memory, thinking skills – Harvard Health Blog

Now before I share this great infographic I found for you from ELearning. Infographics – you need to checkout this powerful:

Bonus Tip:

Do you want cut the time you spend learning by 50% or more?

Do you want to radically improve your memory recall and long term retention rates for that new information – being able to easily recall it weeks and even months later?

Well, according to an amazing new study you might want to try:

Learning intensely in the late afternoon into the evening.

Then enjoy a great night’s sleep of 79 hours.

Next – study the same material the very next morning shortly after you wake up.

Here’s the actual procedure that the researchers used:

During two sessions occurring 12 hr apart, 40 participants practiced foreign vocabulary until they reached a perfect level of performance.

Half of them learned in the morning and relearned in the evening of a single day. The other half learned in the evening of one day, slept, and then relearned in the morning of the next day.

Their retention was assessed 1 week later and 6 months later. We found that interleaving sleep between learning sessions not only reduced the amount of practice needed by half but also ensured much better long-term retention.

Sleeping after learning is definitely a good strategy, but sleeping between two learning sessions is a better strategy.

Link to learn more: Along With Practice, Sleep Makes Perfect

Hope that helps!

David Haldorsen B. A.(Psy.) M. A. (OD).

P. S. If you’re a college/university student or preparing for a professional’s exam and thinking about working with a coach – email me at Your. Behavioral. Health@Gmail. com for a free week of high-performance learning, nutrition, wellness and sleep science coaching. I have 2 spots open as I type this.

This answer originally appeared on this Quora question on Studying.

How To Study For Exams Like A Boss | Study Tips + Tricks!

How To Study For Exams Like A BOSS | Study Tips + Tricks! {OPEN FOR MORE}

F O L L O W M E: atStudyWithJess




Hi and welcome to my channel! My name is Jessica Holsman, AKA Study With Jess and my mission is to help students and young adults like yourself live a happy, healthy and productive life! Subscribe to my channel and discover how you can unlock your full potential and live your best life! Learn how to enhance your productivity, organise your life, boost your motivation, work smarter and find a healthy work/life balance. If you’re ready to work smarter, improve your grades, and build a future you love then subscribe to my channel!

Also, if you have any questions (study/work/wellness related) then please leave them in the comment box below and I will try answer them in an upcoming video!

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Write up:

if you want to go one step further and really be an A plus plus plus student Hey hey guys is just a local Maxima tunnel I hope you’re having a very happy and productive week and I’ve been getting a lot of questions to me bug asking how to best study or alive for exam so today’s video is all about help so if your exam lack of up okay so I’m going to go through how to be studying here again throughout the year as well as what to do a couple of days or weeks before your exams as well so I hope you guys enjoyed those videos if you find that it’s helpful then thumbs ups let me know and of course if you guys aren’t subscribed already click the subscribe and down below and you’ll get notified whenever I finish up my student videos and we can make studying a whole lot more fun and easier I guess the one thing I’m always advising students when it comes to studying for exam you should actually be studying from day one work I know how annoying well honestly you really do want to be revising throughout the year in fact making weekly summaries is going to help you retain a lot of that information so it does come time to revise your exam it’s not like you’ve forgotten a lot of stuff and everything seems to be new and unfamiliar material so you have to learn and memorize so writing work with summaries is a very very big important part of revising your exam and to demonstrate in my or weekly summaries tip I have this guy so this is the exam summary book from student education in my stationary line now please please guys after this video I really encourage you to click the link below and head over to the Senate Education website apart from all of the extra snow chips and was that I’m posting up the stationary line itself is full of planners and exercise books to make studying for your exam and completing assignments and homework or what easier and also a lot more effective so the exam summary book is not just a cute little crispy nerd glasses to reflect my love of medical asses but it’s actually got some really important templates really handy ten bucks in size I’m going to show you a weekly page layout here if you can see that you’ve got section to be writing the date at the top of the page along with this week’s topics your key definitions and quotes one of the most important part of the summaries always includes visual diagrams representations of the information as well so there’s a little section there and then it’s also buttons on recommended readings to write down and then you start writing your summary and you answer them where there’s a reason for everything you end them with key points to remember with your take home points for each week the things that you eyes down is really difficult to remember or your pet romantic flags that they’re likely to be on your exam now your exam summary books asking it to take the stress out of studying for exams so I really recommend you check them out but I guess what I want you to really get out of today’s video if you get anything out of it is to make sure you are writing weekly summaries to stay on top of the workload avoid that last minute cramming and revise as you go now I think I mentioned this a while ago on my channel but if you guys have heard of this forgetting curve by anyhow the whole idea is that majority of you’re forgetting happens within the first 24 hours which means if you’re not going home and reviewing your notes or condensing your class notes and weekly readings together at the end of every night or adding to it as you go chapter week then coming down home yeah a lot of the stuff that you spend time learning in class and reading on the weekends or after school that’s actually just gone out the window and you haven’t consolidated into your long term memory and it’s not going to stick around we have to spend all that time and effort really learning all that stuff your exams but if you write your weekly summaries that’s not going to be the case so it’s not really get on top of your work now and I promise you will thank me for it later right now part for writing out your weekly summaries and condensing your notes and reading another thing I get asked you can you actually remember the information so writing it out or reading it lots of times no it’s not really enough I’m sorry guys but you do need to make it meaningful so try and rely on a bunch of different study techniques I’ve gone through the four kinds of learners in a previous video I’ll try and find that one and link it as a part of above or even put in the description box but the whole idea is you want to try out some different techniques and make your study sessions interactive and more meaningful as well now I’m a really big fan of my math understand this many times reading is a really good way to simplify as well as get a better understanding of what it’s serious you might be other kinds of techniques could involve auditory techniques such as speaking to your friends and having a group study sessions trying to teach them the information as well or some kinesthetic techniques like building a 3d model or going on excursions and extra that you’re using a range of different techniques and I think I’ve actually written a blog on the four kinds of learners on safety education ring as well so if you guys head over to the website then click the blog and you’ll find a bunch of different tips and one of them will be about four kinds of learners that I’ll also try and link that in the description box you guys to just making your life easier now as you are getting closer to your exam days and you’ve written all of your summaries you’ve read through them in your home alone information showing this really important so you don’t forget to revise a particular part of your course is to have some sort of an exam study checklist or a timeline so I produced when I was in high school and also university it’s so important because you watch naturalizing everything thoroughly so get a hold of your course outline or unit guide and write down all the topics as well as their sub topic and then just cross them up as you go so that you know your advice effective with each one but then if you want to go it one step further and really be an a plus plus student here then all you can do is actually create an exam calendar so I do different I’ll be cool and also at uni so I would write down on a big calendar day stuff on global all that is really big like a story calendars and I’ll just write down the subtopics on various days when I plan to be revising to them and I also you know that I was going to be revising for them but Isis map it out and have some sort of a visual representation for how I wanted to go about my revision as well now one more tip I feel like many people never mention it but I have to do this especially when I was in my final year of high school and I was doing year 12 was actually meet with my teachers so I assumed it with my teachers when I had a free lesson or even during lunch time as well a child work around their schedule too and I would just want to go through the information within natural that I haven’t missed anything maybe clarifying any gaps that I had in my learning as well and honestly your teachers are going today the best tool that you can pop it accent especially coming downtown because they know exactly what you close beyond your dad they’re probably even writing your exam they’re marking it as well so if you’re able to sit with them and ask them questions make sure you come prepared or so how the list of questions you want to address with them then I really think that this is another way to make sure you’re bumping up your grades and that you will be doing the absolute best when it comes to taking your exams and class tests as well I think it’s really important to say one more thing guys which is who just chill chill okay I know that it’s really stressful coming down time you feel like everything you’ve been doing it throughout your education all leads up to this one pivotal moment but it really doesn’t you’ve been laying the groundwork to so long that this is just one way to show your teachers how much you know how much you’ve learned and how effectively you’ve been able to study so don’t quit excessive amount of pressure on yourself just do your best and make sure that door recruit into a little study cave for multiple weeks until the dancer over so make sure that you are just taking some time off yourself looking after yourself and doing things that are going to keep your energy up so don’t neglect yourself and put all of your needs and priorities beyond the bottom of the lip and just focus on your studies because honestly that’s not going to help you you’ll probably get burned out really quickly so I really do recommend that you do some side sometimes to yourself studying for exams is it’s like a marathon so it’s a really long game and you don’t want to burn out too quickly and you want to make sure that you’re looking after yourself you can do your absolute best kind of downtime as well so hope you guys found these tips helpful and if you do then it’s thumbs up also comment below any tips if you want to share it with the jessicaf and when it comes to studying for exams I really love when you guys share all of your tips together and select we’re a very accessible to choose family right now you know really empower one another so I really love that about this channel and of course if you want to check out some previous videos click the cards up there and don’t forget to check out my study skills books for High School Survival Guide for more tips on studying for exams and maging exam stress it’s applicable for students of all ages so I really hope you find that helpful and of course check out my scary life student education area if you want to have a look at the exam summary book too I will release down below as well I’ve has a very happy and productive weight and I will see you very soon thanks..


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  • I actually tried out weekly summaries this year and started from week 1 and even though it always takes quite a lot of my weekend it really saves time when you have to study for multiple exams at the same time and it helps to keep track of your subjects. Also my grades improved a LOT and I think the weekly summaries and better organisation (like study plans and exam calendars) did have a huge effect on my grade improvement. So I want to thank you Jess bcuz after applying your tipps I watched throughout last school year to this year from the start really helped me to get on top of my work^^ Thank you so much Jess <3

  • Does anyone has tips how to remember tons of chemistry formulas? I can’t even go to exams if I don’t study all the ~180 of them 🙁 I’m having my first chemistry exam on this Friday and on 25th January the organic one 🙁 I have hundreds of pages beside these formulas :/

  • Thanks to your techniques for now it looks like I’m the top student in my class!! Thank you so much Jessssss!!!! By the way I’m from Turkey! And Turkish education system I is kinda complicated and tough but thanks to you I’m on this position.

  • Hey Jess! I`ve just been watching you for about a few days and I m already in love! Your videos have been helping me so much with my studying and now my studying are so much more fun! So thank you!

  • LETS KICK EXAMS BUTT GUYS!!! y’all got this, keep going. Don’t give up, you are stronger than you believe. Exams will pass by eventually, but make sure you are getting plenty of sleep, balanced diet, and of course time for your self to wind down. LOVE Y’ALL!! You got this!!!!

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