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How to Top Your Class

Updated on May 30, 2019
Priya Barua profile image

Priya Barua has found out remarkable ways of studying efficiently and has shared them with the online community.


Becoming a topper means getting better grades than your peers. I am pretty sure that you have already read similar posts on different websites, some even dished out by experts.

Even I have read plenty of those websites to understand how exactly those students study so hard and come first in the class or batch. I have even talked to plenty of my classmates. But then nobody wants to give away their secrets.

Now two years have passed since I went on a search to find the best methods to study. I have tried and tested most of them. The ultimate result: this year, I topped my stream.

Many people, even my parents were pleasantly surprised since they knew that I didn’t even study much for my exams. In fact, I didn’t study hard at all, I just studied smart.

Below I have listed 5 methods that have worked for me, and hopefully, will for you, too.

WARNING: These methods will work well for all subjects excluding maths, physics and chemistry where you need constant and devoted practice.

1. Listen to your teacher

As a self proclaimed lazy student, I don’t believe in either homework or listening to lectures. In fact, 75% of the times, I would simply pretend listening to the teacher when in reality my mind in somewhere else.

But what I make sure I do is to keep one ear half open. With that half-open ear, you register snippets of information. And when a teacher stresses on a particular paragraph or makes you mark/underline a particular content, make sure you do it. Over the years, I have learnt that whenever a teacher stresses on a particular content, chances are that it is going to come for the term paper.

2. Write down Revision Questions

I am not asking you to do the revision in class because I know that you haven’t studied anything for it. I have never yet studied for a revision and I don’t think I ever will. But do make an effort to precisely note down all the questions.

The revision questions have the highest chance of appearing on your question paper.

Do you take class revisions seriously?

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Writing your own notes is very crucial
Writing your own notes is very crucial | Source

3. Make your own notes

The problem with most students is that they copy their friend’s notes. This never works. Those are your friend’s notes, and they make sense to him, not to you.

I know that you are lazy, and making your own notes is the last thing that you want to do. So instead what I do is: I look at the schedule and a week or so before it, I start making notes. And when I do settle down to make notes, I make sure that they are knock-out ones with proper material and grammar.

If you have a problem making notes, or with your sentence formation and language, you can try a method which I call Copying. Not the best name, but according to this method, I read, and re-read my material, pick out the best lines, and present them concisely one after the other. Here, all you have to do is select the lines that tackle your question and present them in proper sequence with small changes here and there.

4. Try and analyse which questions are more important

This is one of the main steps in order to score well in your exams. You need to take a few minutes trying to analyse what sort of questions your teacher will set. One way is to (#2) skim through the revision questions. Those questions give a general idea about the topics that you need to be clear about. From those questions, branch out on another set of questions related to those topics.

The other way is to understand mark distribution. Ask your teacher for a blueprint of the question paper. In this way, you will know how many questions will be there for 1, 2 4 or 6 marks, and whether or not you will have options. Try predicting higher mark questions. There are so many questions that can come for 6 marks. So learn all of them, and chances are that you’ll get really lucky. This option has always been very useful for me.

5. Ask help

There can be times when you don’t understand things. In that case, never hesitate to approach your teachers. They are there to help you. If in case, a teacher turns you down, then go to the brightest student in the class and ask his/her help. That is why, always be good friends with the naturally bright students.

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© 2016 Priya Barua


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