Proven Study Hacks From High-Achieving Students


Exams are few days away!

Does this news bring pressure to you? Could that pressure be due to the mountain of notes you are yet to study? Let us glean insights from high flying students of Precious Cornerstone University, Ibadan on how to study to excel. 

Meet Abraham Akinwole, 400 level Student studying Physics with Electronics from Department of Physical Sciences. He is currently serving as the Chapel General Coordinator but has succeeded at keeping his grades healthy.

In a chat with Priscilla Oyewole and Oreoluwa Ogunlumade from the Corporate Affairs Unit, Abraham gave credit to God for his academic success.

Abraham Akinwole, 400 level Student studying Physics with Electronics

“Abraham: The first thing that brings academic success is putting God first. Being a child of God, it is God’s help that has seen me through because the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong. Most students long for academic success and put aside service of God hoping to focus squarely on academic success and most times, they are not able to get what they want.”


Abraham further stressed the need for balance between spiritual and academic activities. He said, “It is really about knowing how to do the right things at the right time. When it is time for classes, I ensure I am present and attentive. I ensure that understanding is gained when I am in class. I counsel other students to learn to stay on a topic, even if it means going to the Library, until it is very clear. If you do not do this, you will have another class that will be built on the understanding you should have gotten from previous class. A pile up of topics not understood is a recipe for failure. When there is understanding, studying is easier.”


For those who have not consistently attended classes and gained understanding of the courses taught, does this eliminate you from exam success?

Temidayo Adelaja, 200 level student studying International Relations

Now, let us meet Temidayo Adelaja, a 200 level student of International Relations who has an understanding of how to study not just to know, but to also excel. She painted a vivid picture of how her study time looks, most especially during exams.

“Temidayo Adelaja: I first of all write out the course outline of all my courses, ranking from the most complex to the simplest because I need to put in more time to understand the complex courses. Then I dig into my notes and complement it with textbooks.  Normally, I revise my notes after most lectures even before exams approach. When exam comes, I ensure to get all past questions because questions may be repeated. “

It is worthy to highlight that this study pattern will be best for studying 2-3 weeks ahead of the exams if the ideal daily study pattern has not been embraced. Get more tips to help you build an ideal study pattern here

For situations when a course just seems too bulky to cover or your refusal to start studying on time, the International Relations scholar, Temidayo, shared these study hacks.

“Temidayo: “ACRONYMS. That’s the secret. I make acronyms out of the points and ensure to commit it to memory. When I get to the exam hall, I ensure to write this acronyms out on my rough paper so that it will be easily accessible in case a question is drawn from that topic.”

For Abraham, the Physics and Electronics student, he is a firm believer of studying ahead of time and he had this to say to advise a person who has not started reading.

“Study one course per day. Get complete and correct notes from colleagues who have comprehensive and accurate notes. Then, get a handy note during your study and jot what you are reading. When you do this, the brain is cooperating with the hand. This way, you can assimilate faster and demonstrate your understanding about a topic even before exam.”

The journey of academic success requires grit, commitment and accountability. Nevertheless, it is achievable only if you practice these study tips and know what kind of learner you are.

Here is a summary of these practical tips for effective study and assimilation:

  1. Prioritize faith for guidance and wisdom in studying.
  2. Attend lectures regularly and take thorough notes.
  3. Begin studying immediately after lectures, not just before exams.
  4. Focus on understanding each topic thoroughly to avoid information overload.
  5. Identify your preferred study methods and habits.
  6. Combat procrastination by maintaining a disciplined study schedule.
  7. Keep a handy notebook to jot down important points while studying.
  8. Adapt to each lecturer’s teaching style and exam expectations.
  9. Practice with past exam questions to prepare effectively.

Success in your exams.

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