SparkNotes Blog

How to Study for Exams, According to Fred & George Weasley

Exams are the final task in the Triwizard Tournament of life, and nobody knows this better than Fred and George. (Well, probably Harry, but we’re not talking about him right now. Let someone else shine for once, Harry, jeez.) Somehow, inexplicably, the twins of Weasley made it through 6.5 years of magical education without failing even as they were throwing Dungbombs at caretakers, sending toilet seats to the infirm, and presumably using the exams themselves to wipe their butts.

So does this mean old Gred and Forge are secretly world-class scholars and unsung paragons of academic excellence? All signs point to obviously. Here’s what we can learn from their ways.

Tip #1: Don’t underestimate the power of the study guide.

Before you begin, however, ask yourself: would this make a better paper airplane than a study guide? Could I throw it at somebody? Somebody named Ron? Could I set it on fire with magic and then throw it at somebody named Ron? If the answer to any of these questions was a resounding “Duh,” you know what you have to do.

Tip #2: Reward yourself.

Every time you master some portion of the material, reward yourself with a treat. Or just eat all the treats and be done with it. Willpower is for squares.

Tip #3: Join a study group.

You’ll work better if you surround yourself with some like-minded intellectuals. So locate your nearest illegal underground anti-government organization and commence with the secret spell-casting.

Tip #4: Just get someone else to take the exam for you.

Assuming you’re an identical twin, this should be fairly straightforward. If you’re not, there’s always Polyjuice Potion.

Tip #5: Don’t forget to take breaks.

Breaks between study sessions will give your overtaxed brain a chance to rest. A good way to go about this is just to not start. Seriously. Life is one big, long break, if you’re doing it right.

Tip #6: Study in a room that’s really loud and chaotic.

All the noise and overstimulation will simply ready your brain for the inevitable information overload unique to late-night cram sessions, making studying that much easier. Don’t go back and reread that for clarity. The logic checks out. So throw a party. Set off a few fireworks. Maybe turn someone into a canary. Doesn’t matter who. Maybe Neville.

Tip #7: Flash cards are useless.

I mean sure, they’re good if you enjoy doing things like memorizing facts and figures. But once you start making them, you have to make all of them, and then there goes your whole day. And that’s fine for the boring wet blankets of tomorrow, don’t get me wrong. But you know what you could be doing instead? Sneaking out the castle. Putting Bulbadox Powder in Kenneth Towler’s pajamas. Shoving Mantague into a cabinet from which he won’t reappear for weeks. You know. Just your typical tomfoolery.

Tip #9: Just wing it.

Remember, anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve. Especially cramming an entire semester’s worth of notes into your brain ten minutes before the exam starts. That’s especially possible.

Tip #10: Give up completely.

Nothing says “success” quite like “basically setting the school on fire and putting the whole experience behind you,” so hop on your broomstick and make with the flying off into the sunset already.

Forge and Gred have PhDs in the school of LIFE, and all of us are deeply indebted to them. Which of their brillz study tips will you be using this exam season?