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Throughout our lives, we face millions of problems and challenges. The solutions that we come up with are constantly changing our lives. In college, exams are the biggest overwhelming factor that students face. The truth is…every student – well, 99% of them – have failed an exam at least once. The problem is, the average student fails many times.

You mustn’t be perfect in order to be successful in college; it’s all about the strategies that you use in order to pass exams without trouble. In order to improve your exam performance, you shouldn’t necessarily spend more time learning; instead, you should find the best ways to approach your study process and your specific college exams. Work harder, but most importantly –  work smarter.

Let’s take a look at a few insightful tips and tricks that will make it easier for you to pass your college exams:

1. Take Clean Notes

Taking notes while attending your college classes and studying individually is extremely essential in order to pass your exams. The notes that you take shouldn’t be blocks of texts; instead, you should focus on keeping them very clean and neat. When you need to take a quick peek over what you’ve learned two days ago, your notes will be your biggest friend.

2. Spot Key Ideas and Keywords

Throughout your notes, highlight the key ideas and the keywords which you believe are most relevant to a “bigger picture”. Those keywords and key ideas should immediately send your mind to different pieces of information.

They’re just like triggers that set you up on the path that you choose to take. Use different highlighters with different colors; with time and repetition, you’ll begin to easily master this approach.

3. Take Responsibility

Successful people take responsibility for their actions and choices. If you want to be a successful student and pass most of your exams, you should definitely take responsibility for your grades.

If you chose to walk in a T-Shirt during autumn when the weather is not that favorable, you’ll get a cold. If you can’t study for your exam because of the cold you caught, it’s entirely your fault, not your “cold’s fault”.

4. Create a Learning Roadmap

Studying without knowing where the end of the road is will make you overwhelmed, stressed out, and will definitely damage your chances of passing your exams. Start with the end in mind instead. See what you must learn, split it into more pieces, and tackle them one by one.

5. Introspection

Are you ever taking time alone to ask yourself whether you’re still on the right path or not? Or you’re just going on with your life, never stopping and never optimizing it? Introspections are extremely beneficial for your overall progress, so start treating this activity more seriously. Have one each month and notice how your study performance improves.

6. Eat Healthy and Drink Water

This is probably the most mainstream advice that you can get. Even the TV commercials say it all the time. Because it’s so mainstream, many people tend to ignore it. Eating healthy and staying hydrated is crucial to an efficient academic performance. You shouldn’t neglect these habits!

7. Exercise

Again, another common tip: exercise. Besides the fact that exercise will make you happier, it’ll also improve your memory and productivity. Learning new information will seem easier, and that’s because your brain is receiving the needed stimulants in order to work at higher performances. If you hate jogging or lifting take a walk; if you hate walking, go swim. Whatever you do, stay active!

8. Find a Lifestyle Balance

Studying non stop is not actually the right way to pass your exams. Sometimes it’s even better to study less, but more focused. Working hard and working smart are two different concepts. Everyone can work hard, but not all of the students do it smartly. You need to disconnect from work from time to time.

Have a social life – it mustn’t take a lot of your time, but a bit of diversity should improve your chances of passing more exams.

9. Change Your Study Environment

Don’t study in the same place all the time. We tend to get bored of our environments and start craving for something new. Even if you haven’t yet thought about it, maybe you can find a better place to study. I always change between library, office, and home. It makes me feel like I’m not creating monotony in my life.

10. Take a Break

Everyone needs a break. Without breaks, we couldn’t accomplish much. Our brains aren’t supposed to work like robot’s programming. We have certain needs that must be fulfilled. These needs take some time; for example, some people can never become successful without feeling like they belong somewhere. Or, they need affection and friendship in order to survive.

Breaks will help you disconnect from work and will give you a fresh and new motivation.

11. Eliminate Limiting Beliefs

Eliminating your limiting beliefs should give you a big boost for any type of exam. The confidence that you’ll get after removing the limitation from your mind will truly improve your study performance and exam’s performance. If you believe that you can never pass with an A, you’ll never pass with an A. If you believe otherwise, you might just accomplish your wish.

12. Understand What’s Being Asked of You

Before any exam, you should clearly understand what is it that you’re required to study. Many students have trouble with selecting the study material. Moreover, many students fail to understand the exam’s true requirements; that is why proper care must be taken before the planning and studying process.


Passing your college exams isn’t rocket science. It’s not easy, of course, but it’s not impossible either. If you choose to act upon these fifteen strategies, and you choose to act upon them consistently, I can guarantee your success. Nothing comes easy in life, so start putting up the work and become a better student!

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