You can make it in life without high grades in school. But academic achievement opens doors. If you want to open doors with a diploma, certification, a degree, or academic accomplishment, this article is for you.

There are five basic types of academic exercises that will give you a grade:

Exams: Exams, tests, quizzes, etc…

Papers: Essays, reports, research papers, dissertations, theses, books.

Projects: Science experiments, business start-ups, etc…

Presentations: A speech, demonstration, etc…

Practical Work: Field work, supervised practicums, etc…

This article is about exams. Exams are the easiest of the academic exercises to master. Success is exams essentially boils down to two ingredients:

  1. Study the right information.
  2. Recall that information while writing the exam.

This article will help you to learn the right information, and recall it for an exam.

Before we get to that, let’s look at the big picture.


This step is optional, but highly recommended. It begins with these questions:

  • What is the big picture for your life?
  • And how is this course filling in a piece of the big picture?
  • Not every exam has to be a part of your life mission, but sooner or later, you will ask:

“Where is all this going?”

You may have already figured this out. If so, go to step 2.

If you want some life-mission discussion starters, here are five:

  • What are some things that you love to do?
  • What would you love to learn about for the rest of your life?
  • What skills come naturally and easily to you?
  • What would be the most interesting way to earn a living?
  • What path in academics, or life experience, will lead you to a world where you are immersed in learning and living what is most important to you?

The answers to these questions do not all need to be connected to a career, but may shed light on what courses to sign up for.


Find a reason to get pumped about the benefits of high grades in this course. For example:

  • Scholarship money.
  • University acceptance.
  • Research Grants.
  • Career advancement.
  • Personal satisfaction.
  • Joy of learning.

Make your own list of what this course will do for you.


This is something that is taught in elementary grades, but lost as you progress toward post-secondary education. It’s simple, but key to mastering a subject.

Every subject has unique vocabulary. Understanding the subject is largely about understanding that unique vocabulary inside-out. For example, in physics, the “Law of Conservation of Energy” is a term that is unique to that discipline. In drama, “soliloquy” is a key word. In anatomy, you need to know where the “pancreas” is.

These are the words and terms that you do not hear elsewhere.

  • Make a list of the key vocabulary you know will be on the exam.
  • Define each one.
  • Create examples of that term.
  • Use it in a sentence.

Sounds obvious, but most questions on most exams have something to do with the vocabulary and concepts that are unique to that subject … like these sample exam questions:

  • Explain the Law of Conservation of Energy.
  • Define “soliloquy,” and give two examples.
  • Circle the pancreas on this diagram, and explain it’s function.


On the exam, you do not need to remember the entire chapter, word-for-word. You only need the main points. The summary is the way to capture those main points. A chapter of 10 pages can often be understood in one sentence: the thesis statement. The thesis statement is the bottom-line point of the chapter, or that chunk of the subject.

The thesis statement is often in the first line, or the last line of a section. The thesis may even be the title. Look at the ten underlined titles in this article that you are reading. The title is often the most brief summary of the thesis. The rest is supporting evidence.

If you were to summarize this article, for example, you might start with …

  1. Life Mission: What’s the big picture, and how is this course adding to it?
  2. Motivation: Find a reason to get pumped about high grades.
  3. Vocabulary: Make a list of key terms. Define. Examples.

Two key ingredients of the summary:

  • What’s the main point of this paragraph … this section … this chapter?
  • Use bullet points and numbered lists to make it easy to remember.


Chunking is a way to remember a whole body of information simply by remembering one word. Each bit of information is a chunk. And each chunk triggers the memory of another chunk. For example, you can recall this entire article of 1400 words just by recalling the title, and by chunking.

  • The title: “Hypnosis for Academic Excellence” triggers the numbers 1—10.
  • The number 1 triggers: “Life Mission.”
  • The term “life mission” triggers the summarized chunk that defines “life mission.”
  • The number “2” triggers: “Motivation,” etc…

Break the exam material down into bite-sized chunks.   It’s much easier to digest.

Another way to chunk is the “weird memory key.” You have probably used this before. It’s a sentence, or a poem, or a song that contains the key words in a way that is visual and memorable. The weird memory key for this article could be:

“Life motivates vocabulary to summarize chunks of teachers designing exams for hypnosis.”

The best way to remember something is to make it memorable.


Every teacher in the world wants you to learn, and will help you, if you ask.

This step is very simple:

  • Compose a list of all of the chapters and subjects that you plan to study.
  • Meet with the teacher.
  • Confirm that you are studying the right things.

This step is optional. You may still ace the exam without it. But you may find in this meeting that you get a few more pieces of the puzzle that help you design the exam … which leads us to the next step.


If you do only one step in these ten steps, this is the one that is most important.

  • Imagine that you are the teacher, and you are creating the exam.
  • Go through your summaries, and design questions that would test knowledge of each chunk, or combinations of chunks.
  • Include questions that go beyond simply recalling information … to thinking critically.

Examples of questions to test critical thinking:

  • Do you agree with …? State your reasons why, or why not.
  • Where do you think the future of … will go?   Provide evidence for your answer.
  • What do you think are the top three solutions for …? Explain.

By designing the exam, you are essentially giving yourself an advantage by giving yourself the exam.


Your exam preparation is now condensed into your exam questions.

  • You now do not need to read and re-read chapters.

Instead, fill in the answers to the questions, and master each chunk of material.

  • If you have missed a subject, add a question.
  • Train yourself by answering the questions with your eyes closed.


This is where hypnosis comes in.

Hypnosis is simply a natural state of relaxation. It happens every night, as you drift off to sleep. In a light state of hypnosis, you are able to visualize, recall memories, and concentrate. Something else happens when your eyes are closed: the most memorable information from the day transfers from your short-term memory to your long-term memory. What better way to study for an exam!

Here are five simple steps to commit the right information to memory:

From the exam that you have designed …

  • Read the question.
  • Read the answer.
  • Take a few deep breaths. Close your eyes.
  • Repeat the answer with your eyes closed.
  • In time, you will be able to recite the questions, and the answers with your eyes closed.


These nine steps you can do yourself. If you need an exam coach, or want to master other academic tests, like presentations or projects, a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist can help you with:

  • Improving memory
  • Confidence with exams.
  • Confidence in public speaking.
  • Career Coaching

Want a power boost of motivation?

Super Performer You will help you tap into your inner genius.

Want to come in for a consultation?

Book an appointment with a certified clinical hypnotherapist.

Want to be in control of your mind?

Check Brainwave Hypnosis Self Programming Tools

Read the next Article:

Therapeutic Hypnosis to Improve Quality Life when dealing with Parkinson’s Disease. 




© 2015 Empowering Hypnotherapy Clinic, Perth, West Australia.

All rights reserved.

Have a question? Submit one here.