• Zizipho Ziesh


Compiled down below is a list of simple yet practical ways in which you could improve your marks. However, the process does not start here, it starts with conviction, self belief and determination. In the words of Janelle Harris," No matter what your grades look like, you are a strong, capable student. I see you growing and making progress."

1. Draw up a list of all your assessments. This list should comprise of assignments, projects, tests and any other task meant for curriculum evaluation. This puts into perspective the amount of work you have and how much time to allocate towards each subject.

2. Speaking of time allocation, you have to create a time table. Time tables help with establishing a studying routine and keeps you accountable for every time you spend.

3. Prepare for class. Preparing for class gives you time to understand on your own and thus be able to create questions from the content which you would then ask in class.This brings us to our next point.

4. Engage in class. Engaging with the content in class creates a better understanding and creates confidence in the work and thus you look forward to trying out the work on your own.

5. This is the last point entwined with preparation, consolidate your work after class. This solidifies your understanding and removes any specks of doubt about any previously drawn conclusions on the work and corrects them if they were erroneous.

6. Prioritizing self-care goes a long way. Taking care of both the body and mind.

7. Set a target mark for each subject. It helps keep track of progress made thus building morale.

We asked you to contribute to this blogpost and we can not stress enough how each of these will help maximize the value in your studying whilst practicing not only efficient but effective studying.

These study tips were contributed by Scimatix tutors and fellow students, both in High School and University.

1. Know if you good at studying during the day of at night then stick to your most productive time.

2. Drink lots and lots of water.

3. Be ready for your test or exam at least a week before the date, then revise for the whole week until you write.

4. The more you revise is the more you understand and will remember the work.

5. Studying is all about hours, the more you study the more you will get smarter. I can't study 10 hours daily and you study 3 hours then expect to pass more than me. Impossible!

6. Use keywords to define concepts.

7. Surround yourself with people who work harder than you, not the other way around.

8. Study before class, it's boring but effective, because when you're in class, you'll be ther for clarification.

9. Be organised. Have a notebook for each subject.

10. Always sit in the front row in class. There are less distractions between you and the teacher.

11. Always aim for 100%.

1. Have a timetable to make studying a habit. (Study at the same time everyday)
2. Know when your learning curve peaks.
3. Study is a quiet area. (Don't lie to yourself and claim that you can study with music - you'll be writing things, not learning or studying) 
4. Have a list of things you want to study for each subject that you want to study for each day. Once you complete that specific section, tick it/scratch it off. Your mind will believe that you’ve accomplished something and will be encouraged to work more. 
5. Prioritize on sleep & good mental health. @thando.shabba

1. Set your own home studying timetable that balances all your subjects.

2. If you're a practical learner, take down notes on important high order topics. If not, study then recall info.

3. Never study last minutes; start prepping 2/3 days prior to know what you need help with.

4. Use past exam papers for self-assistance or download the apps.

5. Never study when you're tired.

6. Get enough sleep.

7. Avoid discussing info with friends on the day of the exam as it might cause confusion. @bubbly.pineapple.lover

1. Make sure you are well rested, to prevent falling asleep while studying.
2. Eat something nutritious before you study because studying while you're hungry can really distract you.
3. Try to study without your cellphone or study in place without WiFi if you need your phone for notes or something, this will prevent replying to messages or going through Instagram/Facebook and wasting time that you don't have.
4. Use colours or anything that can prevent you from getting bored while studying, some people listen to instrumental music. Make it fun because it will be discouraging if studying feels like a job.  
5. Try studying in a place where other people are studying, like the study center because you’ll feel motivated to study and if you play with your phone or do other things you’ll feel bad as if the other people in the study center are judging you.
6. Make a countdown to your first teat on a piece of paper and put it on your wall/door/mirror. Cancel out a day every morning, this will remind you that time is running out and need to start studying for your tests. @kreamy_khanyi

1. Set up a to do list a week before hand so you can prepare yourself physically & mentally for whatever test you'll be doing.

2. Try to not study late at night , everything might get overwhelming for yourself and you might just not remember certain things you've studied the night before. @f_darries

1. Study 1-3 hours daily (School work can be overwhelming if you try to study a few days before tests!)  
2. Practise, practise and more practise . YouTube videos ( yes, youtube videos, they really help!).
3. Identify problem areas and seek assistance.
4. Take breaks and rest well. Very important!! @amanda_lovable21 

"Work ahead of time.

It's honestly the best piece of advice I can give to any student who is studying.

When you're working ahead of the class you'll be able to revise when in the class instead of struggling to keep up. A lot of our memory retenti

on boils down to time × concentration. It's much easier to give yourself more time and make yourself familiar with the work

then it is to force yourself to concentrate." @shay_dra

"Keep yourself updated as your teacher teaches in class. So study the concept before the teacher teaches so that you can ask if you have any queries" @b_pratham13

These tips can go a long way but don't forget to apply them to yourself; so know your learning style and the peak times at which your brain works:

1. A study timetable is best because it creates discipline. Use your school timetable as a template but also consider that your brain works best bwyeen 25-30 minutes so take breaks after 30 minutes (see POMODORO method).

2. All the content you study links together so when you're done with compiling your notes, a mind map can help with drawing out the links in the content.

3. Practise once you start getting familiar with the content; do practise questions from your textbook, from the handouts your teacher/lecturer gives you and always make sure to go through past papers. @thando.t_o

1. Prepare for your classes. This is not a trap. Reading the lecture/class material ahead of your class makes the content easier to comprehend when it's being taught by the lecturer/teacher.
2. Attend class. This is not a drill. You retain more information from class than you think.
3. When you finally sit down to study, read through the content twice or thrice without making notes to ensure that you understand the work.
4. After you've read through the content twice or thrice, make notes. It's like looking at a puzzle box and then trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together.
5. Finally, teach the content to yourself. Your are the lecturer/teacher and you are the class.

1. Study in intervals and take breaks in between. You're not a robot.
2. don't procrastinate.Yes, watching an episode of 'Friends' during your study breaks is procrastinating. Also, taking a nap to "rest your eyes" is the biggest lie you'll ever tell yourself. Do a Sudoku etc to keep your mind active.
3. Be kind to yourself. It takes time for you to get into a study routine.
4. Finally, my biggest study hack? PRAY. Proverbs 16:3. @marthamuruya

1. You have two ears and one mouth use them in that proportion. LISTEN LISTEN and LISTEN some more. Extra lessons are meant to build upon your already established foundation due to paying attention in class. It’s not supposed to try and build a foundation from scratch. 2. Stretch your limits and continue to work harder. You’re a lot smarter than you think. You can go as far as you allow yourself to travel. Don’t set limitations upon yourself. 3. Live a balanced lifestyle. It’s of utmost importance that you get enough hours of sleep, drink water and eat healthy. Studying is 60% of the work, the other 40% is what you do to your body to create a conducive environment to study. 4. Don’t underestimate how much you can get done in one day. Work consistently and make sure you just do something everyday. It will add up in the end. 5. Do as many past papers as possible. They are crucial to your success. They indicate how much you know and what are the FOCUS areas for the test. My golden rule was not less than 5 Past papers per exam. 6. Ask questions. It’s better to look like a “dumb” for a second than to make the same mistake repeatedly. Don’t be scared to ask your tutor or teacher questions when you don’t understand something. It’s the wisest thing you can do. 7. Change your attitude. Believe it or not, work becomes enjoyable and not bearable when you actually enjoy it. Try find 1 thing you’re grateful in each subject and before you know it you’ll naturally enjoy the work a lot more. You’ll begin to succeed in that subject. All humans do better when you enjoy things- your attitude determines your altitude. 8. Prioritize your life. It’s impossible to satisfy everyone during your matric year and still do extremely well. Write down your goals and start saying, “yes to prioritizing yourself.” Invest in yourself now so that you can invest in others later. It’s okay to be “selfish” with your time to create a future for yourself. @chezney_drabile

Did you find these tips from fellow classmates useful? Did you spot any common tips? Are there any tips that you disagree with? Leave a comment below, we would love to hear from you.

With all this information at hand, you are well on your way to turning your marks around. It all just boils down to one thing, discipline.

George Whitefield writes, "Press forward. Do not stop do not linger in your journey, but strive for the mark set before you."


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