How to Best Prepare for Exams Last Minute


Although you’ve likely been told countless times by parents and teachers to plan ahead and avoid last-minute cramming, you might still feel under-prepared for your upcoming exams. Without passing judgment, this blog outlines effective strategies for last-minute cramming to help you manage the stress.

Whether you have one hour or one month, give yourself just 5 minutes to plan how to use your time. If you’ve got days to play with, why not spend each day on a different subject and segment two-hour slots for different themes?  If you’ve only got an hour before the test, spend 10 minutes skim-reading notes or key findings to absorb the most important information. Then spend 5 minutes going over the material in your head to see how much you have remembered, finding the answers in the text only when needed. Repeat these for each topic you want to cover. Have a look at our FREE study timetable here!

Take Breaks

Even if you feel that you don’t have enough time to revise and take breaks, you need to. By overworking you could cause yourself to burn out. When this happens, your brain can’t take in any more information and is more likely to make mistakes by getting facts wrong. Many people swear by the Pomodoro technique, segmenting your time to allow for maximum efficiency when revising. Make sure you time this carefully. Go make yourself a coffee or grab a banana, because we all know when that phone is turned on, you’ll still be sat watching cat videos an hour later. 

When splitting your time, consider where you are at your point in revision. We suggest that when first looking at the material, you spend time by yourself using whatever techniques help you best. This may be mind maps, re-writing notes or listening to a podcast. Once you have a good basis of knowledge, then you can meet up with friends and study together! Common collaborative revision methods include testing each other, having a debate about the topic or making a board game to satisfy your competitive streak whilst memorising those facts. Make sure to stay on topic! Then, when the exam is looming, have some focused independent study time going back over your notes or completing practice exam papers. 

We know that exams can be daunting. We hope that we have given you that little bit of confidence to take a breath and get the job done. Do your best, that’s all that counts! Good luck!

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