smart brilliant bulb

smart brilliant bulb

Guest Post by Gunnar Fox – Author of University Success Plan.

This article a follow-up to Young + Free Time + Money = Trouble?

The greatest downfall of many students is that they build their study approach on a shaky and weak foundation of cramming for tests and writing papers over a compressed time period. This is not how the brain works best.

This is not being kind to yourself.

This is gambling with your future instead of taking control of your life. Above all, this is entirely unnecessary.

When you play tennis, a good instructor will tell you to draw your racquet back the moment you see the path of the ball coming toward you — well before the bounce. The player who waits for the ball to bounce before drawing her racquet back will rarely be able to hit an optimal, controlled shot. They will be rushed and out of position.

Similarly, the moment you know when your test dates will occur or when your paper or project will be due you must spring into action and develop a plan. Don’t wait for the “ball” to bounce, so to speak.

Don’t rely on your reflexes to kick in. Don’t rely on miracles to occur.

Anticipate and visualize how you will attack the challenge WELL IN ADVANCE!

Tips to Be a Samrt Student

There are many wonderful and easy tricks you can apply to stay on track.

Giant Calendar

I like to go old school and advise students to obtain or create a GIANT calendar (the bigger the better) with important dates highlighted clearly. If you have this timeline hanging on your wall where you see it several times a day key priorities tend to stay on the top of your mind.

Daily Discipline

Another key is daily discipline. Every day I advise that you do something to increase your command of your classes.

If you wait for days at a time before engaging with the material the class will become like a stranger to you. And when you finally do engage your mind will feel like starting a cold engine in the dead of winter — painful, slow and filled with apprehension.

By staying engaged with each of your classes constantly your mental gears will stay well lubricated and you will be less inclined to procrastinate and ultimately cram.

Start Early

Perhaps one of the most effective strategies is to schedule time to review your notes, starting from the beginning of the semester. This is a great activity on days when you would otherwise do nothing for a given course due to a long break between classes or obligations.


Best of all, this repetitive review of the key concepts in each class is an amazing and practically effortless memory activator.

If you want to take it to the next level develop your own simple test questions around your notes.

Active Recall

Using “active recall” by answering these test questions later will massively enhance your memory as well. The information becomes “sticky” and practically impossible to forget.

Those who pursue their university studies with that level of control have much more fun and a far better grade point average.

What Next?

Do you agree to these 5 Smart Tips? Then Like This Post in Facebook.

After you have Hit Like, you should read – 9 Traits of an Above Average Students


  1. Gifted Success on May 12, 2017 at 8:26 AM

    Any time i read i forget easily, what may be the cause? And i also need solution Please

  2. abhishek on January 23, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    I have an exam in 2 days and I have applied for passport and it would take 5 days so what can I do to this now?

    • Raghuram Sukumar on January 23, 2014 at 4:28 PM

      Reschedule the exam.

  3. Jayant k on December 27, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    This is really true…

  4. Gunnar Fox on December 16, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    nithin, emily, DEV and Ashish — thank you for your kind comments!

    Just a few simple practices like this can make such a huge difference. Human beings are complicated. I think semi-consciously there are students who make it harder on themselves than necessary, even when they are armed with this kind of solid-gold knowledge. My goal is as much to inspire action as it is to impart knowledge.

    A quote attributed to Confucius says it all: “To know and not to act is not to know.”

  5. Ashish Arora on December 16, 2012 at 8:46 AM

    Amazing post. Author clearly reflects his experiences from university education. I experienced exactly same during my university education and taught myself those fundamentals. Either you learn them now or you will learn them hard way. Thanks for refreshing them!!!

  6. James on December 14, 2012 at 8:26 AM

    So you are a decent enough student but not quite able to take that final leap into the next big league? How to be ‘brilliant’? Here’s a lucid roadmap that meticulously charts out the course for you, without sermonizing on the righteous high horse. Share it amongst the anonymous community to score some brownie points there!

    • Tayo. Temitope on December 17, 2012 at 2:21 PM

      This is a timely piece of instruction for students who desire excellence in their academics. Keep up the good works.

  7. DEV on December 12, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    known but mostly forgotten facts. Thanx for making our basics straight!!!

  8. emily on December 12, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    brilliant tips from a brilliant advicer :))


  9. nithin on December 12, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    Golder rules which every student must be made aware of during on the first day of college

  10. Gunnar Fox on December 12, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    Thanks for the opportunity to share these ideas with your audience, Raghu!

    Appreciate your support, SriHarsha. Hope these tips are helpful and motivational.

  11. SriHarsha on December 12, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    Awesome post!!

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