Study Skills

Make sure you buy a Scipad study guide as after using all of the available workbooks they are easily the best. Check out their workbooks

Where to start

Your exams are approaching and you have no idea how to start. First you need to make sure you know exactly what you need to cover. Look at your achievement standards for that. Now write a list of all the broad areas you find difficult and cover one at a time. Look at the sections for the topic. If you would like a section added to or have a question you cannot answer write a note on Facebook and it will be answered as soon as possible. Use mark schedules as much as possible. Become familiar with the language the marker is looking for. It is better to use the correct terminology than memory dumping pages of writing.

At the bottom of the page are some videos to help you that are based on a American university student but it has some great messages. - A great site covering a lot of useful areas of how to study effectively. - Awesome site for all of your sciences.

NCEA Biology - Old exams and mark schedules

Bioblog - Great for Schol students.

StudyIt Your one-stop site for achieving in NCEA maths, science, and English. Find what you need to know, contact subject teachers, and get encouragement from other students.

Coping With Exams: A practical guide to handling exam stress from Cambridge University.

How To Study: Basic techniques for listening and learning in a classroom environment.

Study Guide Zone: A study resource directory including hints on essay writing, learning types, study skills and classroom learning help.

Study tips: A great site with all sorts of tips on how to concentrate, learn and write better!

Motivation Quotes

(thanks to the person who emailed these and I think they were originally from Cambridge High School.)

Motivation involves believing in your own ability and taking action to maximise your success.

"Don't let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use."

"When you get right down to the root of the meaning of the word "succeed," you find that it simply means to follow through."

"Four short words sum up what has lifted most successful individuals above the crowd: a little bit more. They did all that was expected of them and a little bit more.“

"People can become anything that they want to become. Everyone has the ability - all that is needed is the will, a plan, and the power to put that plan into action.“

"Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It's not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; its when you had everything to do, and you've done it."

"It's the little things you do that can make a big difference. What are you attempting to accomplish? What little thing can you do today that will make you more effective? You are probably only one step away from greatness."

"You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight."


Make your goals SMART:

Specific – make sure your goals match where you need to be in relation to your short term plans and as part of your longer career plan

Measurable – how will you know once you have reached your goals

Achievable – base your goals around your personal capabilities and strengths

Realistic – make your goals those you are willing and motivated enough to obtain

Time frame – leave yourself enough time to obtain them and plan for what needs to be done when

Write your goals down and return to them often to check your progress.

Realise that gains are made step by step and celebrate whenever your goals are achieved.


  1. Get started – that is always the most difficult
  2. Organise my material before I study
  3. Study in good light – prevent your eyes from getting stressed
  4. Find an area to study that is comfortable and quiet
  5. Put all important information up high – visual memory is the most powerful just above eye level
  6. Study the information that I don’t know
  7. Study my most important information first … and last – I am more likely to remember this information
  8. Review my notes one day after learning them – this is the most important tip to help remember things
  9. Make my information stand out – use colours, make pictures, highlight, make up mnemonics etc
  10. Say affirmations daily – positive statements to improve attitude and self belief

Ways to study

Repeat – read, copy and write again with notes hidden. Repeat this again within a short time than the next day and the next week

Reviewing – read over study notes the next day and add to them if necessary

Concentrate – intense focus on small areas with no distractions

Break down topics – study single concepts at a time

Teaching – explain your notes and answers to another student

Group work – practice questions with other students

Mnemonics – make easy to remember words to summarise concepts

Visuals – make diagrams and pictures to help understand topics

Practice papers – use past exam papers to become familiar with the types of questions asked

Lists of common questions – look over a number of past papers and write down the most common questions asked


Part 1