It is always advised to study the portions regularly so that you just need to revise it at the time of exams.

However, it is quite common for students to skip their regular study sessions and indulge in fun activities.


Exams turn out a nightmare for such students and the exam pressure takes away their confidence level.

And they would end up worrying about the lost time in the past when they could have prepared well.

For those who are struggling to finish off the exam syllabus in the last few weeks, these last-minute exam preparation strategies might help.

1. Focus on your Weak Areas

You may be good at some subject areas whereas weak in some other areas.

So focus better on your weak areas at first and you can keep aside the areas in which you are good at, last on the list so that you can cover it easily.

2. Give Attention To Core Areas

Have a detailed look into the exam syllabus and spend more time and attention on the core areas.

Make a list of the subject areas that have more weightage for marks and give an additional focus to these areas in your last minute preparation which can help you to score better.

3. Revise Within 24 Hours

Once you study a certain portion in the exam syllabus for the first time, it is better to revise it within the next 24 hours to retain it in memory.

This helps you to recap, review and reinforce the new information and you can recall it much faster.

4. Try Visual or Audio Aids

You can mix up the learning style to make the study phase more productive. Instead of just studying the textbooks and notebooks always, try to include some visual and audio aids that help to register the learning content better.

This can even be your own audio or video recording in which you pretend to teach someone else.

5. Shift Between Subject Categories

While having exam preparation, First, have a look at the entire syllabus to cover and categorize it into three groups.

Also Read: 13 Ways To Deal With The Exam Stress

This includes contents that need interpretation like literature papers, the syllabus that is memory dependant like history and geography and lastly problem-solving subjects such as mathematics.

For a long study time to be effective, you can switch between these subject categories.

6. Create a Mind Map

A well-organized mind map can help you to study more efficiently and quickly during the last minute preparation.

This study tool helps you to connect between ideas or concepts pretty better during the final revision.

A mental association through this means helps you to recall the information better during the exams.

7. Read and write

Speed reading is good for understanding a subject faster.

So first read out the important points loud and write it down on a paper so that you are going through the content thrice, first by reading, then listening and finally by writing which makes a better impact.

8. Practice Past Year Exam Papers

Invest some time to practice the exam papers of past few years. Also, mark out the questions that tend to repeat quite often and prepare well on those questions to get some guaranteed marks.

9. Create Flash Cards

This is a tested and proven study tool for a better exam preparation during your final study hours. This helps to enhance your visual learning abilities and improve your memory recall.

You can test yourself using flash cards to analyze the areas that need additional revision.

10. Last-Minute Study Groups

It would be a good idea to be part of last-minute study groups of your friends or classmates.

You can discuss the important topics to be covered in exams, expected questions and new study hacks to study smarter.

You can have a fun, interactive study session where you can quiz and test each other and teach each other. However, make sure that you don’t divert the topics away from learning.

11. Have a Clear Overview of Exam

It is important to have a proper overview of the exam you are preparing for.

This includes the exam format, duration of the exam, the question patterns as well as the guidelines to be followed.

This helps you to avoid any last minute confusions and approach the exam with good confidence.

12. Create a Personal Study Guide

Rather than depending on other study guides, a personalized study guide can help you to study better and faster in your last minute.

Prepare such a guide well in advance that covers the particular areas that you need to focus and require additional revision.

13. Block out Possible Distractions

Make sure that there are no disruptions in your study environment which may easily divert you from learning. See that you are away from gaming gadgets, TV and even mobiles and laptops unless you are using it for study purpose.

Also, block any friends or relatives that may come up with some fun plans in your last minute study time.

14. Schedule Recovery Time

If you have exams for continuous days, make sure that you have enough recovery time every day.

Proper sleep and rest are needed to recharge your brain and appear fresh for the exam.

Having a sleepless night busy with studies can interfere with the process. Also eat well and do minimal exercise to stay fit and fresh for the next day’s exam.

15. Rest between Back-to-Back Exams

You will have to undergo back to back exams on a tight schedule at times.

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So know the exam timetable well in advance and plan the study time accordingly so that you get enough rest between the exam days. Or else you will be worn out and may not be able to produce even what you know during the exams.

16. Take Regular Study Breaks

Avoid studying continuously for hours as the attention span of a student is less.

That is why it is important to take regular study breaks in between and make the sessions short.

Just dragging the study session with less concentration is not going to be productive.

17. Exercise between study breaks: Instead of watching TV or chatting with your friends that may distract you from studies, better invest that time for exercise that boosts your energy level and concentration for the next study session. Even 5 to 10 minutes of physical exercise can keep you fit for the learning.

18. Rest Your Hands

If the exam needs a lot of writing, make sure that you give proper rest to your hands the days before the exam.

A tired hand can affect the speed and performance in the exam.

You can even try using stress relief ball or toy during the time and take it with you in the exam hall if permitted.

19. Have Proper Food Habits

You should be physically healthy to prepare well for the exam and to perform well.

So maintain good food habits like not skipping breakfast, avoiding junk food and including more vegetables and fruits that enhances your brain function.

Also, drink lots of water throughout the day that keeps you hydrated and fresh and minimizes the possibilities of any illness at exam time.

20. Prepare last-Minute Review Notes

Just like the study guide, it is important to prepare last-minute review notes while you study it early.

This helps you to just glance through the notes just before the exam and revise your memory.

Include the concepts or terms you often struggle in these review notes and have a look at it before you go.

21. Plan Your Exam Day

Also, it is important for you to plan the exam day well in advance. Pack your bag with all required items such as hall ticket, pen, calculator and last minute study guides the night before the exam.

Also plan your schedule like when you will wake up, what time you get ready and reach the exam venue to avoid last minute hurry.

22. Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Just like studying well for the exam, having a good night’s sleep of at least 8 hours the previous day is very important to perform well. This keeps you physically and mentally fresh and relaxed and you can appear for the exam with a boosted memory.

Hope these study hacks can help the students to sort out their last-minute exam preparation struggles.

However, nothing can replace the continuous hard work and determination of a student to perform well.

Even when these tips and tricks can save you to an extent, a dedicated study plan and regular practice are important to edge out the competitors and score top marks.

Also Read: Why Do Students Fail? – Faculty’s Perspective

While it is a common phenomenon to experience an exam stress, you should also keep in mind that the stressful thoughts should not get out of control. It is a feeling of an uncertainty having an edge over the exam preparation that prompts you to feel “butterflies in your stomach”.

Don’t worry

Here are 15 ways to deal with your exam stress.

  1. Maintain a Positive Outlook

First and foremost, you need to inculcate a positive approach to life. Passing or failing an exam does not threaten your life. You should learn to focus on the idea that there is life after exams and your preparation time for exams is just a passing phase. When you begin to attach objectivity to your exams through such positive thoughts, you will be able to give the attention that exams need. This way, you will sail through the exam preparation time without any negative thoughts draining out your physical and emotional strength.

  1. Accept the Fact That You Are Stressed and Let Out the Steam

It pays to accept the fact that you are getting stressed because of the ensuing exams. Just take a short break from reading, it is good for you and  can engage in a casual chat with either a senior or  confidante who can help you put things in perspective. He/she who is familiar with your stressed feelings can become your top choice to hear you out. Talking out your concerns not only eases you but will also help you put things in the right perspective.

  1. Comparison – A Strict “No”

Most of the students experience bouts of stress when they begin to compare themselves with others with regard to the pattern of revising or the number of chapters completed. Since every student has his/her own style of brushing up study notes, you should check out and follow a pattern of study that suits you the best. While avoiding comparison is one trick, you can help yourself by framing an orderly study timetable with enough room for short breaks and then stick to it; come what may.

  1. Reward Yourself

Working towards a pre-set goal can be beneficial in more ways than one. While you are striving to achieve your own goal of revising a chapter within a particular timeframe, you should also have something to look forward to as your reward. A celebration with friends and family after your exams can push your limits to give it your best during exam time.

  1. Focus on Your Palpitating Breath by Meditating

It is during stressful times that your breathe rate goes up drastically. Palpitations occur as an after-effect of the panic you are experiencing because of the forthcoming exams or during an exam. It is during such times that you need to actively focus on your quick and shallow breaths. A simple trick that can help you alleviate your panic in the examination hall is to just sit back for a moment and focus on your breath. This  can help you to fight  with the exam stress in a jiffy.

  1. Limit the Time For Social Media Interactions

Your lifestyle which revolves around social media interactions bombards you with unnecessary information and chatter that saps your mind power. Be it Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat. All these social media networking apps drain your valuable time and energy. No doubt, shunning away to stay in touch with your near and dear ones especially during exam time can be taxing. But there is a way out. You can choose to exercise some self-control and allocate a time during the day when you will respond to the messages of your family and acquaintances. These apps should help you connect with your loved ones and not become prime distractions that will pull you away from your goal of acing the exam.

  1. Eat Right

Diet takes a backseat for most of the students preparing for exams. An erratic diet does a lot of harm to your well-being, especially when you need to concentrate on your studies. It is during exam time that you need to eat right by treating yourself as a well-built machine that needs fuel at regular intervals. A hearty breakfast is mandatory. Feeding your body thus provides the much needed energy and nutrition to the brain as well which will help you ace your exams. Fresh fruits and veggies are the most recommended foods to consume during exam time.

  1. Get Enough Sleep

While food is fuel to body, sleep replenishes the lost brain power. While preparing a study timetable, you should make sure that you can enjoy a 8 hour sleep before you wake up for your exam. It is best to avoid revising any topic after you hit the bed.

  1. Enjoy Dark Chocolate

It is a well-known fact that dark chocolate which contains more than 70% cocoa can work wonders as a stress-buster. Consuming dark chocolate not only satisfies your taste buds but also helps you relax your body. During stress, your body releases a steroid hormone called Cortisol. Dark chocolate works against this hormone and helps you soothe your nerves. Another benefit of relishing dark chocolate during exams is that it also releases feel-good hormones that work as natural stress busters.

  1. Stay Hydrated

Herbal teas, fluids and water are highly recommended to beat exam stress. However, care should be taken to avoid sugary and caffeinated drinks. Consciously hydrating your body can help you maintain optimum energy levels that are required to prepare for an exam with confidence.

  1. Don’t Rewind and Replay

Past is past, so goes a common maxim. You have absolutely no control over your answer script once it leaves your hand and reaches the desk of the invigilator. So why fret over it? Reviewing an exam that you already appeared for should be avoided as a clever means to focus on the next exam that you will have to appear. Brooding over the exam that is over will cut down your valuable preparation time for the next exam and thus cause anxiety with the next paper too.

  1. Allow Technology To Become Your Tutor

The educational space is thriving with a host of mobile apps that can become your “on the go” tutors. You ask for help pertaining to any subject and you are sure to find a befitting app on your mobile that will teach you. Downloading these student-friendly and free mobile educational apps will help you assimilate online information from anywhere and at any time. Students who tread the path of technological learning can beat the symptoms of exam stress; the digital way.

  1. Engage in Creative Activities

Music is indeed a great healer. Playlists can become your soulful friends, especially when you are preparing yourself for an exam. Listening to music can not only elevate your mood but will also help you concentrate better on your studies. Encouraging you to study for long hours, music works as a soothing instrument to beat exam stress.


With so much of attention being given to grades, marks and percentages, students bear the brunt of a lot of expectations coming from their parents and at times, themselves too. All in an attempt to help students give the due importance to exams, the above study and preparation hacks will help them put things in perspective and soothe their nerves during exam time. After all, exams and results do not end your world!