5 reasons science says you failed your exams

Let’s face it, we all know the main factors that cause your grades to nosedive. It's things like not enough time spent studying, too much partying and those three weeks you took off to play Pokemon.

However, if you’d like something else to blame, take your pick from the more unusual (yet real) reasons science says your grades are bad.

5) Your lecturer’s voice is too nasal

The University of Aberdeen conducted a study that showed women were more likely to remember information if the man speaking had a deeper voice. Facts read by men with higher-pitched or more nasal voices were forgotten much more easily.

This is why you can probably remember a whole lot of useless facts about penguins after watching March of the Penguins (thanks for that, Morgan Freeman) but not a single word of Joe Pasquale’s stand-up routines.

Lecturer Voice Affecting Results

So if you you’re completely torn between two modules for next year, choose the lecturer who speaks in a baritone and you might just remember more.

4) You aren’t using the correct font to make you good at physics (or other subjects)

Psychologists at the University of California gave students the same textbooks but in different fonts. One group was given a standard font (e.g. Calibri) whilst another group was given Monotype Corsiva and another given Comic Sans, which is what your handwriting would look like, if you were a 5 year old horse.

When tested on what they’d learned the students reading the stranger fonts did significantly better than everyone else, particularly in physics.

Impact of Font on Revision

Thanks to the unusual font you now have this terrible joke memorised. Apologies.

So if you want better grades it's worth downloading a free font pack before you consider forking out for a private tutor.

This study also makes us suspect bancomicsans.com want you to fail your degree.

3) You don’t have enough back hair

A study of male medical students found that 45% of them were ranked “very hairy”, compared to the general population, where only 10% of men are in this category. It also found that the hairier the man, the better the grades.

Learning Hairy Back

If you need an operation, get the guy on the left to do it. He probably got better grades.

These findings aren’t a one-off anomaly either. A study conducted on Mensa members found that the most intelligent men had magnificently hairy backs and chests.

2) You aren’t getting enough naps

Sleep's not the enemy during revision. Naps actually help you take in information. According to several studies napping after a bout of learning will help you recall the information later, with a recent study calling regular, lengthy naps integral to learning. If you have time during your cramming sessions

Sleeping Revision Technique

Believe it or not, this guy’s nailed his revision technique.

So whilst we’re not saying read a chapter of your book and then hibernate like a bear, rewarding yourself with naps during revision can help clear your brain’s short term storage and prepare it for more revision.


Reward yourself with hibernation. Bears are pretty smart, right? I'm sure I've heard that about bears. Here's a bear playing a harp:

1) Your reluctance to go into an exam hung-over is damaging your performance

Have you spent a lot of early morning lectures nursing a hangover, or trying to figure out if you’re still drunk?

Drunk Revision Exams

If so, science, (but not us) thinks you should probably go into your exams drunk, too.

It turns out you are more likely to remember facts you’ve learned if you return to the same state you were in when you learned them. People asked to drink whilst studying for and then taking tests have repeatedly been able to recall as much information as people who were sober whilst performing the same tests.

It’s called state dependent memory and it might not apply just to alcohol. Studies have shown similar effects with memory and caffeine.

So whilst the key to attaining good grades is to get yourself into a routine where you can make it through morning lectures without injecting caffeine directly into your blood stream, if this is already your routine you probably shouldn’t change it at exam time.

For now order a triple strength espresso, vow to be better next year, and start finding a vein.

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