In going through the Internet for ideas on different articles I came upon a series of videos done by Graham Best, a teacher of over 30 years in the Vancouver, Canada school system and now a published author of the book, “Memory Made Easy.” Best gives his ideas on how to help students to improve their grades, based on his years of teaching and observing what works for the better students, and what doesn’t work for students who do not do so well.

Best feels that any student is capable of getting better grades if they simply take the advice of people who have been there and simply make a few changes to their usual routine. If it isn’t working for you now, then don’t you think it’s time to make some changes that may help to get better grades?

Here is a synopsis of Best’s ideas:

1. First things First. When it comes time to study eliminate all distractions. Clear your desk, turn off your television and radio, have good lighting and a quiet place to work. If you must have music in the background, use only classical Baroque music.

2. Be Prepared. When you go into class, or to take a test, make sure you are fully prepared. You have studied, gotten a good night’s sleep so you are well rested, and eaten a good breakfast or lunch. You can’t concentrate when you are tired or hungry. You will be much more confident when you know you are ready and your self-esteem will grow. Have all your tools ready and available.

3. Take a study break. You are more apt to remember things in smaller phases of time than one large piece (chunking). Memory tends to peak at the beginning of learning and at the end. By taking smaller chunks of time, with a break in between, you have more peak times instead of just two (so if you take three breaks you will have 6 peaks instead of 2).  It also clears your mind to be more receptive to learning when you get back.

4.  Take advantage of wasted time by having study aides (flash cards, photocopies of important papers you need to remember, vocabulary sheet, MP player with questions and answers) with you at all times so when you are waiting for the bus, or sitting in the park, you can take them out and refresh your memory.

5. Get organized and make good use of your time. If your surroundings are scattered your thoughts are. Make your study items easier to find, and an organized life is less stressful. Plan your time. Find out what works and make wise use of your time. Make lists, blueprints, map your day, make a list of the week. Without planning you will get frustrated. Simplicity is important.

6. Learn to Read Right. Stop the wandering mind by taking a speed reading course. Speed Reading is not just about reading faster, it’s about comprehending and understanding what you read. You don’t need to read every word on the page, but learn how to read to get out of it what you have to. Read the heading, subheadings, first paragraph, last paragraph, first sentence, look at sidebars, definitions, diagrams. Write a summary and reflect on what you have read.

7. Listen and take GOOD notes. Notes can help refresh your memory on key points brought out in class. If the teacher repeats something more than once, chances are it will be on a test. Listen for key words and phrases. If something is written on the board, it’s important to remember.

8. Hand in Neat Work. Some grades have been lower because the teacher can’t read the writing. Neat work also means you are organized and have taken the time to do the work right.

9.  Ask someone for help. If you don’t know something – ask someone to help, like friends, teachers and parents. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, in class or after. Don’t be afraid to talk to the teacher, that is what they are there for. Ask questions and anticipate answers.

10. Help others. Start a study group. If you can explain it, you get it. They will ask you questions may not know, and you may have questions they may not know. By working together you can help each other.

11. Do more than you’re asked. A survey conducted in Canada on their top students said they did a little more than they are expected. Read magazines and other books on the material; look up old tests your teacher has given on the subject; watch tv shows on the subject material; write your own tests, etc. The more you find out the better you understand and the easier it is to remember. Study smarter- not harder.

12, Apply what you learn to life – use what you learn. Follow the camera –


a – analyze’

m – memorize

e – explain

r – relate

a – apply to life

This is Ron White, and I am a memory training expert, memory keynote speaker and two-time USA Memory Champion. I found this information extremely apt for students in helping them get better grades.




Graham Best- Utube videos: