20 ways A* students are cramming their way to exam success

When it comes down to it you’ve just got to remember stuff. But how do you actually get all that annoying information into your brain? 

We asked the very top students in our Grow your Grades blogging competition to tell us how they do it.

This is what they told us.

1. Repeat, repeat, repeat

Repeating things is the best way for me. I go over the same things over and over, but not all in one go. You repeat a bunch of things at the same time in flash card format. I give it about 6 or 7 goes, then it's usually in my head. - chelseadagg3r 

For French I find writing the same sentences over and over again works. For other subjects I prefer repeating the same information in various forms like mind maps and flash cards. - 1secondsofvamps 

2. Flashcards

For the sciences, I'll use all my notes and the specification and turn all that information into flashcards. I remember them better if I do that by hand. - Sternumator 

Flashcards mean my revision is portable, and a little more exciting as I make them really colourful.- Steamboat Mickey

Use TSR's ready-made flashcards here - just chose your subject! 

3. Test yourself

I re-read the information and condense it into note format if I haven't done so already. Then I test myself on what I can remember, either by doing a past paper or essay plan. After that I look back at my original notes, see what I've missed and add it.- auburnstar

4. Learn Together

I find testing each other really effective. Asking each other questions can allow us to see what we know and don't know so we can help each other on our weak areas.- mollyjoy1998 

5. Cover and write

When it comes to pure memory, I like to ‘cover and write’. I cover up my notes and write down what’s there. It’s a simple way of finding of how much you know. - Sternumator

6. Make it visual

I'm a very visual learner, so I try to make all the information eye-catching with detailed, colourful diagrams. - Sternumator

Make mindmaps here using TSR's easy mindmap tool 


7. Mnemonics

For specific lists I like to use mnemonics. The more stupid, the better. I say them to myself every day, and at the start of every exam the first thing I do is write the initials down somewhere. - Scitty 

8. Dream palaces

For remembering a list of things, such as conditions, ingredients, elements in a group using this method. I imagine the objects in outrageous situations as I go through my house/another familiar place. Then I simply have to walk through the place in my mind, and the objects will come to me. - Scitty 

9. Past papers

I focus on doing plenty of past papers to ensure I nail the exam technique and know what sort of questions I will get asked. - emduck

Maths involves understanding topics in detail and knowing how to apply that in the exam. it’s mostly practising questions often enough to make sure the method stays in my head. - Sternumator

Find past papers for your subject here 


colour can help

10. Be colourful

I write out information and make it as colourful as I can. The only downfall of this method is that I go through A LOT of pens and paper and it’s quite time consuming. - MapleMaypole 

11. Draw pictures

To remember case studies I often use pictures by drawing out events e.g. If I want to memorise the number 84, I’d draw an octopus with 8 legs and a sheep with 4 legs. Then, when it comes to recalling information I can think of the pictures I drew. - MapleMaypole 

12. Rewrite

I find that rewriting things out again and again is a good way of getting information to stick, and recently I've started making small revision cards so that I can divide my content into smaller chunks which will be easier to commit to memory. - NiamhM1801 

13. Bullet points

One of my chief methods of memorising is bullet pointing everything, and I mean everything. I have bullet pointed my History textbook and even the background research I had to do for my Extended Project. - Steamboat Mickey 

14. Talk to yourself

I say a lot of stuff out loud when I'm revising - saying things helps me remember more and I'm quite an auditory learner so hearing myself say things also helps.- NiamH1801


15. Novelty

I find funny ways of remembering things, so if I needed to remember what the charge is for exothermic (delta h negative) I would say that exo is negative because exo is a kpop band which I view negatively. - sfaraj 

16. Use your environment

I make sure information is written in different places. For example, I can learn one topic using the notes on my phone, or a colourful piece of card, and another on a white board or piece of lined paper. This also helps to recall a topic or case study so they don’t merge together in my brain. - MableMaypole 

17. Stick it up

If there is a fact, or equation that I just haven't got a choice but to memorise, I tend to make a card and stick it on the wall above my desk. Every time I sit down to do some work and glance up it's just there.- NiamH1801 


18. Move around and learn

I have my notes in one hand and just take a walk around my house. Walking helps keep me more focused. - angelike 

19. Use all your senses!

Chewing different flavours of gum for different subjects doesn't necessarily help me remember specific things, but if I chew the same flavour in the exam as I did during revision it can help my brain get into gear for that particular subject, and keep me focused. Anything that uses as many of your senses as possible really helps! - Scitty 

20. Combine lots of these

"To help me memorise information, I'll make colourful notes in lessons and then to revise I'll create flashcards and mindmaps and use these to answer past paper questions. Basically, to best remember the information, I need to practise using it in a practical way." - Catus Starbright 

More on TSR: 
Find more revision help and advice here 
How exam changes will affect you 
12 things you can learn from the best students

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