3 Steps towards studying more effectively

Intishar Alam Misbahul
2 min readMar 27, 2021


Photo by Jaeyoung Geoffrey Kang on Unsplash

Studying can be hard. It can be worse when you study something you hate. Or perhaps you feel no shred of motivation to learn.

You might feel stressed and even hate everything because these are happening to you right before the day of the exam. So what can you do? Well, here are the three steps that I use and can aid you to study more effectively.

Step 1: Download your Subject Specification

I was surprised to see how my grades improved just by having a copy of my course/subject specification to aid me. It helped to check if I missed out on any topics and better prepare for my exams.

To give you an idea of how well this works, I was a B/C student and now a straight-A student. So quickly go and check which exam board you follow, e.g. CIE, OCR, Edexcel, Pearson, and go to their website to download relevant specifications for your course.

Once you got the specification with you, grab a pencil and tick what you know and circle those that you need to revise and leave blank the topic you have not covered. Don’t follow along with your school. Study independently. It is more effective than it seems at first glance.

Takeaway: You won’t miss out on any of the topics

Step 2: Self-Assessment

As laborious as seems, the rewards for the hard work will last longer than the pleasure of not doing it.

Start with chapter wise past papers, then progress to yearly past papers of your exam board. Once you are comfortable with the exam questions, switch to other exam boards, preferably harder ones like the international boards. Do at least a past paper every day.

If you follow along with the steps correctly, getting As are in the bag!

Takeaway: Now you know how to study like the straight-A students.

Step 3: Common Mistakes

If you become a straight-A student like me and aim for A*s, you will hit that one last obstacle where no matter how much you study, you can’t get that A*!

So what now? Make a list of the common mistakes you make. As for me, I make mistakes like spelling mistakes, forgot to show a step in maths and such. Write those mistakes you made from solving past papers down on a small notebook…and there you go! All you need to do now is get rid of them.

Takeaway: You get A*s!


If you want to increase your chances for A/A*s, I suggest you do the following.

  • Read beyond the specification: In-depth knowledge of topic will not only prepare you for current exams, but also future exams.
  • Use Online resources like lecture videos on YouTube or cheatsheets which have all the notes covering the specification(e.g. Snaprevise cheatsheets).



Intishar Alam Misbahul

Currently 17. Loves to learn. Doing AS level. Using medium to write easy-to-understand essays/stories regarding science and study tips.