7 Frightful Study Mistakes That Could Be Harming Your Grades

Exams can be scary things.

Have you ever felt sick in your stomach the morning before a test, so much so you can hardly eat your breakfast? Have your palms ever been so slippery with sweat that your pen keeps slipping out of your fingers as you try to write an essay in an English exam? Has your brain gone to mush so you can't remember the dates in your History paper?

You're not alone. Many people suffer from nerves, and some allow those nerves to harm their grades.

Today, I'm sharing with you seven frightful study mistakes that could be harming your grades, and how you can chase those demons away so they never hurt your marks again.

7 Frightful Study Mistakes That Could Be Harming Your Grades

Your study break turning into a trick, not a treat

Have you ever treated yourself to a five minute study break on Instagram, only to find 30 minutes later that it's tricked you into wasting your time? You could have spent that time working towards better grades, but no, it was swallowed up into the black hole that is ‘social media time', sapped out of your life (like a vampire sucking the life-blood from it's victim) never to be returned.

Solution: Turn distractions into incentives and be purposeful with your revision breaks. Set a timer for how long you're going to take off and only do active things that will give your brain a rest and your body a chance to move.

Studying in the land of the waking dead

Do you ever put off your homework all day long only to find that you have to start late at night, long after the sun has gone down?

You're working in the land of the waking dead.

This is a bad idea because you'll be less alert at this time of day and you'll be rushed so you're not doing your best work.

Solution: create a study routine that puts study before fun and stick to it, having your ‘you time' after your studies are done for the day. Reward yourself for good work with a treat that you'll enjoy like watching your favourite soap or chatting with your best friend on the phone.

Leaving it 'til the after life

Do you put things off until tomorrow? You think, ‘There's no hurry, I can catch up another day.' When, in reality you should be doing the work now to make time for tomorrow's work tomorrow.

What you're doing is leaving work until the afterlife. Work you put off often never happens and this will impact your grades in a bad way.

Solution: As Thomas Jefferson said, “Never put off for tomorrow what you can do today.” You need to create yourself a weekly study routine and create the good habits to stick to it.

7 Frightful Study Mistakes That Could Be Harming Your Grades Share on X

Your magic potion's missing a vital ingredient

Witches' potions have just as precise recipes for success as Mary Berry's cakes. You wouldn't leave the cocoa powder out of Mary's Chocolate Victoria Sponge (my personal favourite chocolate cake recipe), just as a witch wouldn't leave frog's legs out of her potion for bewitching.

You need to make sure you're not leaving vital ingredients out of the study process. One of the most common things people tell me they're struggling with is exam technique. For me, exam technique is like the icing on the cake. You wouldn't serve Mary's chocolate cake without the icing, so why would you go into an exam without perfecting your technique?

Solution: throw all the ingredients for exam success into your cauldron and see how much more effective your potion is.

Getting spooked

You wouldn't be human if you didn't get a little bit nervous about important things like your GCSE maths. However, there's a healthy level of nerves and there's also nerves that are destructive to you doing as well as you want.

Solution: follow all the steps in The Ten Step Guide to Acing Every Exam You Ever Take so you steadily build your knowledge, confidence and skills through your exam year until the day of your exam.

Selling your soul

It's easy to get sucked into the trap of selling your soul when it comes to exams. You feel you have to do well for the sake of your parents and teachers and forget about yourself. You choose the subjects that your parents and teachers say you should study. You may even apply to medical school because that's what your parents want, not what you really want.

Solution: remain true to yourself. Remember that these grades are for you and will serve you for the rest of your life, no-one else. Also, choose a path that you're passionate about, not necessarily the one that seems most sensible. The people around you mean well, but you need to follow your passion if you truly want to be successful.

It's dangerous to clone someone else's techniques

When you're studying for an exam it's important to do things in the way that works for you. Don't look at your friend's mind maps and index cards and think that's how you should be doing things. Only use someone else's revision methods if they really do work for you.

Solution: find out which study techniques work for you and create study habits that fit your personality.

If you follow all these tips you'll never be frightened of exams again. Instead, you'll walk into the exam room brimming with confidence knowing that today you're going to do your best work.

However, if you need some help to chase away your exam demons, I'm here for you! Check out how you can work with me and we'll do our best to exorcise your study-related phantoms.

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