ESL Students’ Study Strategies for Examinations

Main Article Content

Judy Ann C. Lelis
Jelwin L. Mamac
Alfresah M. Resola
Ariel E. San Jose
Maria Gregoria R. Conception


Aims: To determine the different study strategies used by students in preparing for examinations, as well as to find out the various difficulties they encounter, and the significance of the utilization of such study strategies.

Study Design: This study used the qualitative method particularly the phenomenological-realistic approach.

Place and Duration of Study: The study was conducted at the Southern Philippines Agribusiness and Marine and Aquatic School of Technology (SPAMAST), Digos Campus during the first semester of school year 2019-2020.

Methodology: The participants were purposively chosen. Selection criteria were also considered such as: student was an English major, no failing marks in English subjects, and a full-time student. Researcher-made interview-guide questions based on the formulated research questions were used. The same was given to experts for evaluation and validation.

Results: Four themes with corresponding core idea were formulated from the data analysis. It revealed that despite the technology, note taking was the most common technique employed by students among other study strategies. Identified barriers while using note-taking were environmental distractions and physiological barriers. Interestingly, the participants had diverse techniques in addressing the barriers. The participants realized that having strategies were essential and potentially useful for them to become self-aware and confident. The strategies also lessened the pressure during the examination. Mentors need to encourage learners to adopt and develop their study strategies to gain success in their examinations.

Conclusion: The students’ choice of study strategies is dependent on their needs and individual differences. Likewise, study strategies are dependent on convenience and effectivity. Among the different study strategies, note-taking stand-out and resulted as mostly preferred by students despite the advancement of technology. It implies that students choose to remain traditional. However, these study strategies are not fully convenient according to the students who have encountered certain difficulties that hinder them in using it smoothly. The students in turn have set coping measures to overcome the barriers they have encountered. Furthermore, the researchers have come to realize that the students utilize these study strategies not just mainly to prepare and pass examinations but also to attain academic excellence.

Implication. One of the great ancient philosophers once said that “no one is wiser than himself.” Considering this thought, we can say that academic success does not depend on others but on someone who does the studies. It is therefore wise that for students to have better marks in examinations, they need to adopt or develop study strategies. On the part of the teachers, they can present to the learners the different examination strategies and make the students choose which strategies fit them best. Also, teachers can encourage the learners to sustain those strategies which are beneficial to them.

ESL, strategies, examinations, SPAMAST.

Article Details

How to Cite
Lelis, J. A. C., Mamac, J. L., Resola, A. M., Jose, A. E. S., & Conception, M. G. R. (2021). ESL Students’ Study Strategies for Examinations. Asian Journal of Education and Social Studies, 15(2), 1-9.
Original Research Article


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