Not knowing the most effective strategies for studying could be the barrier between you and those top grades. Wanna know the secrets of A+ students? We’ve collected the top study tactics that you can use to maximize your learning and achieve your academic goals — here’s our curated list of the best secret methods for studying!

Looking for more study and focus tips? Subscribe to The Flow — our free quick, snappy, value-packed focus and recharge newsletter:

Table of Contents

Time Management Methods

When it comes to studying, dedicating a specific time just for planning your activities for the day goes a long way. This includes scheduling study sessions, prioritizing certain subjects, and even making time for breaks. TLDR: Studying effectively starts with proper time management.

Here are some study time management tactics:

Time Blocking

Knowing what and when you’re going to study is crucial. With time blocking, you can plan all your study sessions for the entire day or week in advanced. No more time wasted thinking about what you’re going to study for the day or what you’re going to do next after an intense study session.

Wanna learn how to do time-blocking? Check out Flocus, a free aesthetic productivity dashboard, or our post on Notion time-blocking templates to help you get started!

Schedule Your “Me” Time

Usually, a student’s idea of productivity involves long hours of non-stop studying with little to no breaks in between — but this makes you more prone to burnout and isn’t sustainable in the long run. Your brain can’t digest your lessons and absorb information effectively without enough rest time.

Instead of thinking on the spot about what to do during breaks, plan ahead. Here are some things to do during Pomodoro breaks that you can incorporate into your schedule!

Eisenhower Matrix

Looking for an easy but tested way to prioritize your workload? Use the Eisenhower Matrix to organize your tasks based on their urgency and importance.

This approach categorizes tasks into four essential quadrants: urgent and important tasks that need immediate action, important but not urgent tasks to schedule for later, urgent but not important tasks to delegate, and tasks that are neither urgent nor important, which can often be eliminated or postponed.

Check out some of the best Notion Eisenhower Matrix templates to help you organize your tasks and overcome procrastination.

Note-Taking Methods

Simply reading or listening to a class is not the most effective way to retain information. Note-taking lets you actively process the information you’re getting in class by writing or typing it in your own words. Here are some tips to take your note-taking game to the next level.

Participate and Ask Questions

When listening to a lecture, don’t just sit in your chair and wait for time to pass. Be an active listener and write down important things mentioned in class. If there is a part of the lesson you don’t quite understand, don’t hesitate to ask your teacher or even your classmate for clarification on the topic discussed.

Rewrite Notes After Class

Most students make the mistake of creating their notes in class and leaving them untouched until the night before an exam. Within an hour or two after class, organize your notes and fill in any missing details. Your future self will thank you for processing the information in your notes while it was still fresh in your mind – making studying for a test much more effortless.

Bring your study notes anywhere by using digital tools for note-taking. Take a look at some of the best and most aesthetic note-taking apps that you can use in your next class.

Personalize Your Notes

Gone are the days of taking boring, unorganized notes. Feel free to make your notes more aesthetic and fit to your liking. Whether you prefer a minimalist, anime-inspired, or light academia theme, writing and organizing your notes can be a fun activity that will keep you engaged while studying.

Check out our comprehensive guide on how to take aesthetic notes on your iPad!

Reading Methods

Ever found yourself reading your textbook forever, only to realize that you haven’t understood a single word? With reading being an unavoidable part of every student’s life, here are some strategies to make reading more effective and efficient.

SQ3R Method

SQ3R is a popular method of reading for students that includes five steps: survey, question, read, recite, and review. Doing active rather than passive reading might take a little more time and effort, but is way more worthwhile.

Reverse Outlining

Even after hours of reading a long article or essay, it’s common to finish reading something without understanding what exactly you’ve read. To solve this, choose to filter out (aka cross out) unnecessary words and focus on the main ideas — a process called reverse outlining. By learning the big picture first, knowing the more minor details related to it becomes much easier.

Use Digital Tools

If simply reading the material doesn’t work, why not try incorporating your note-taking skills? First, upload your required readings into Goodnotes or Notability. Then, use your selected app’s built-in tools for highlighting passages, annotating margins, adding stickers, and bookmarking important pages.

Check out our detailed comparison of Goodnotes vs. Notability if you still can’t decide which app to use for your study sessions.

Test Preparation

Getting high marks can be easy if you use science-backed methods that will make learning more effective. If you want to enter your room feeling fully confident to take the exam, here are some techniques to use during your study sessions.


Known as the king of active recall, flashcards are an effective way to learn and memorize information. Even the act of creating the flashcards itself is part of the learning process. Whether you need to remember important dates in history, formulas in math, or terms in biology, you can depend on flashcards to help ace your studies.

Spaced Repetition

Sure, cramming tons of information in your brain at the last minute might help you survive an exam. But sure enough, you’ll forget most of what you’ve learned by the end of the week. That’s why it’s important to space out your learning over the span of a few days or weeks instead of resorting to unhealthy all-nighters. Luckily, you can use apps like Notion or Anki to integrate spaced repetition into your studies.

Practice Exams

Practice is key. Answer tons of practice exams to simulate your actual exam and expose weaknesses that you can work on to improve later. This will also improve your test-taking skills, expose you to how teachers ask their questions, and gauge your current understanding of the material. Answer exam papers from previous years or look for online question banks relevant to the lesson you’re studying!

And there you have it — our top secret methods for studying that you can use to get those high grades. Gone are the days of wasting time spent on unproductive study sessions. Say hello to effective study habits that’ll serve you well throughout your academic journey!

What is your favorite method for studying? Do you have other secret studying methods you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below!

Gridfiti is supported by its audience – when you buy something using the retail links in our posts, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Read more about our affiliate disclaimer.