The number one challenge facing students is how to improve their grades, and as it turns out this is a pretty universal thing. Almost every student has faced a report card they wanted to set on fire and throw out the window, wishing they could improve their grades – and realizing they don’t have a lot of time to do it in.

There’s no reason to panic. It can be done, and it doesn’t matter how bad you think your grades are. It just takes a few easy tricks.

Here’s why your past grades might have sucked, and what you can do to turn it right around.

Past Grades: Why?

So, why didn’t past grades score as high as they should have?

It’s not you. The reasons for a decline in your grades could be any number of things – but it’s not you, and it’s no reflection on your ability to learn or write a test. Just a few things that could be affecting your performance on the day of an exam or test can include:

  • Stress that has nothing to do with the test.
  • Stress that has everything to do with the test.
  • Things that distracted you while you were writing the test.
  • Things that distracted you while you were studying and might affect your recall.
  • Something you ate the day before or the morning of.
  • Anything that screwed with your focus when you couldn’t afford it to.

If you aren’t happy with your grades or tests are making you nervous, relax – you feel just like any number of millions of students from all over the world, and you’re not as screwed as you might think.

Failing an exam isn’t the end of the world. Nobody is going to judge you, and nobody’s going to shoot you in the face for it. What’s going to happen if you fail? Usually, the worst that can happen is a bad grade and the need to take the test again.

Take a look at these simple tips to improve your focus, take most of the pressure off exams and tests and get those killer grades you know you deserve.

Improving Grades for Tests

So, how can you actually make your grades better? It’s about making the process of studying to test easier. Here’s our best advice for making your exam seem like a breeze.

Reducing the Pressure

It’s the pressure of the exam that gets to most people. When they’ve got to write the test and the clock is ticking, they start sweating, feel their heart rate shoot through their chest and blank on every answer.

This, this is just panic talking. It’s the exact same thing musicians feel when the lights go on and they’ve got a million or so people staring back. It makes guitarists forget their notes, and it makes students forget their answers. Panic screws you every time.

Take the pressure off of writing an exam by not seeing it as an exam at all. Tell yourself this: “It’s not a test or an exam, I’m just going to sit down and answer some questions.”

Once you’re just answering some questions that you probably know the answers to instead of HAVING TO WRITE A TERRIFYING TEST WHERE THE OUTCOME CHANGES YOUR LIFE.

See? Just taking away the element of panic is enough to improve your recall.

Go Verbal

There are hundreds of studies out there that show the benefits of visual and audio recall: We just remember stuff easier if we’ve seen it in action and gotten more involved in remembering it.

Most students don’t know that you can apply to write most of your exams verbally, too – and this can be a big help if you’ve found writing tests in the traditional way to affect your grades.

Even when you don’t do this, you can use verbal cues in your methods to make sure recall becomes easier.

Weird Things for Killer Grades

Did you know that dirty jokes can boost your grades, and that your diet can be what’s been making your grades drop? Here are some of the weirdest techniques that work for better recall and an effortless exam.

Dirty Jokes

It’s common for people to remember things with mnemonics or simple sentences, but sometimes they just don’t stick. Your brain is far more likely to remember facts if you manage to turn it into something hilarious (or dirty) instead of just trying to remember a really boring fact. Yes, this works, and if you have any doubts, try it and see.

Complete Distraction

Want to take the pressure off a few minutes before the exam? Don’t study, don’t revise, don’t cram: Do the opposite instead. Trust that you’ve learned the facts up until this point and stop worrying about it completely. A few minutes before the test, distract yourself with something senseless that has nothing to do with your exam.

As a last note, remember some snacks during the distraction period – the action of chewing helps to improve recall, especially if you also happened to have been chewing when you learned the facts you’re trying to remember.

(And yes, that’s true, you can look it up for yourself.)

Image Sources: Leaf Languages, rocknroll_guitar, Thomas Leuthard, pxhere

Simple Tricks to Killer Grades

Have you ever sabotaged your success doing this silly little thing?

Ever procrastinate?

You only procrastinate the stuff that sucks. You don’t say, “Ahhh… I’ll read that text from my crush later.” Nope. Now… Any pause is intentional and coordinated to respond better.

Here is the problem with academics:

You probably think most academic stuff sucks – at least a little. (Especially compared to other things you could be doing.)

And the thing is:


You’re slowly hardening your association of school and being miserable.

You need to create positive associations with academics. You want your brain to be getting hyped  up and positive when you’re thinking about studying and giving into this internal oligarchical instinct to force yourself to studying – ain’t helpin’.

Chill the internal dictator for a moment…

A big secret: You need to STOP forcing yourself to study so much.

But, if you’re not forcing yourself then how are you going to see those killer straight-a’s that you’re always dreaming about?


Get your copy of my book about How To Get Happier Straight A’s.

It only costs $4.99 (and if these strategies don’t work like magic like it has for thousands of other students then you can get a full refund.)

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