Last Minute Studying Hacks
How to Study at the Last Minute
You had the best of intentions to study well in advance of your exam, but you ended up getting distracted by other commitments and now you have to study at the last minute. Rather than freak out, you can take steps to ensure you still manage to get a decent grade on your exam. You can use quick and easy study tools to get ready for the exam and make sure you stay focused while you study. You should also ensure you are prepared the night before so you are organized and confident for the day of the exam.
Creating a Last-Minute Study Plan
Focus on your weak spots.Because you are studying at the last minute, you will not have time to go through all of your class material or your study notes. Instead, you should read over the class material and identify any topics you struggle with or have trouble recalling. You should then focus your studying on brushing up on your weak spots so you are better prepared heading into the test.
- You may take a practice exam and note questions that you did poorly on or scored low on. You may then focus your studying on these questions so you do not have any weak spots going into the exam.
- For example, you may struggle to remember certain historical dates for your social studies exam. You may then focus your attention on remembering the dates and memorizing them so you can do well on these types of questions in your exam.
Make a mind map.You can also study quickly and efficiently by making a mind map, which is a study tool to help you remember the connections and links between certain concepts or terms. Mind maps are useful if you have already taken notes on the course material and are looking for ways to organize this material to remember it better and recall it during the test. You can draw out a mind map on a piece of paper or use mind map software on your computer to help you study.
- For example, you may be trying to study for your biochemistry exam. You may then place a concept in biochemistry, such as “enzymes”, in the center of a piece of paper and use your course notes to draw information and terms that relate back to “enzymes”. You may circle these terms and draw lines so they connect back to the center circle around “enzymes.”
Use flashcards.You can also use a tried and true study tool, flashcards, to create an efficient, last minute study session. You may use colored flashcards to write down different terms or phrases to help you prepare for the exam. Flashcards have been shown to improve your memory recall and help improve your visual learning abilities.
- For example, you may write down certain terms that will be on your test on the flashcards. Then, write the definitions for the terms on the back of the cards. You can then test yourself on the terms or ask a friend or sibling to test you on the terms to ensure you get the definitions right.
Try audio or visual aids.You may also lean on audio or visual aids to help you study at the last minute, especially if you tend to learn better from visual or audio cues. Using audio or visual aids may also help you recall information more quickly and more effectively than reading information on the page.
- You may listen to a recording of yourself reciting definitions and terms from your textbook or listen to an audio recording of the course materials and take notes on the audio to help you remember the information.
- You may also try watching videos that relate to a concept in your textbook to better understand the concept. You should search online for educational videos and use them to help you study at the last minute.
Get a tutor.If you find you are struggling with specific topics or concepts in a class, you may consider getting a tutor to help you study. You may try to hire a professional tutor to help you with the gaps in your knowledge or ask a friend who is doing well in the class to help tutor you. You should try to reach out to others for help on topics you are struggling with, especially if you are trying to study at the last minute and are not sure how to begin.
Part 1 Quiz
How does a mind map help you study?
Staying Focused While Studying
Exercise on your study breaks.Though you are studying last minute and may be trying to cram as much information in your brain as you can, you should still try to take short study breaks. During your study breaks, you should do some exercise to keep your energy levels up and to improve your concentration. Even doing 5-10 minutes of exercise during your study break can help you stay fit and mentally prepared for more studying in the future.
- For example, you may do a quick jog around the block during your study break or go for a quick walk around campus. You may also do push ups or sit ups during your study break to stay motivated and alert.
Drink water.You should try to only drink water while you are studying, as this will ensure you stay hydrated and healthy. If you do drink coffee, you should only drink a small amount during the day and make sure you are drinking enough water to compensate for the caffeine.
Have healthy snacks.You should also try to have healthy, energizing snacks while you study so you can stay focused and not become too wired or too lethargic. Go for healthy sources of sugar, like fruit, as well as healthy sources of protein, like nuts, to help you stay focused.
- Avoid eating and drinking items high in processed sugar and fat, as these products will only make you more tired and distracted. Go for healthier options so your body has the energy it needs to stay focused and study.
Block out any distractions.To study effectively at the last minute, you should create a distraction free zone in your room or general area. This may mean keeping your door closed so everyone in your home knows you are trying to focus on studying and can leave you alone. You may also keep the doors and windows closed to block out any distracting noises around you.
- If you are studying in a public place, like the library, you may use noise cancelling headphones to stay focused. You may also turn off your cellphone or put it on mute so it is not a distraction to you.
- You may also find it helpful to turn off your wi-fi connection to avoid going on social media and getting distracted. Doing this can help you focus and not get sucked into using your time on social media instead of on your study notes.
Part 2 Quiz
What distractions should you avoid while you're studying?
Preparing the Night Before the Exam
Prepare last minute review notes.You should prepare some last minute review notes that focus on key concepts and terms that you struggle with. You may write these notes on flashcards and review them once at night before bed and once in the morning before the exam. Doing a scan of these last minute notes could help you remember them better for your exam.
- Try to focus on terms and concepts that you struggle with remembering or have identified as your weak spots, as you do not want to try to cram all of the information on the exam into your last minute review.
Pack your bag.You should do some preparations the night before the exam so you are less stressed in the morning and can head into your exam with a clear head. Start by packing your backpack so it contains all of your books, pens, and paper. Make sure you have working pens as you do not want to end up in your exam with a faulty pen.
- You should also make sure you have any other supplies in your bag that you may need for your test, such as a graphing calculator and a ruler.
Get a good night’s sleep.Many studies have shown that getting a full night’s sleep before an exam can help you perform better. Though it may be tempting to pull an all night study session, doing this could lead to a poor grade on the exam and an inability to recall important information for the exam. You should do a review of your notes before bed but try to get at least eight hours of sleep in the night before the exam.
- You should also set an alarm so you wake up in the morning with enough time to review your notes one more time before heading to the exam. Setting an alarm will also ensure you are not in a panic in the morning and can walk into the exam calmly and with confidence.
Part 3 Quiz
True or False: You should review only the material you find difficult the night before an exam.
QuestionIf I read an answer five times will I remember it while taking a test? Can I prepare in this way?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThis depends on what type of learner you are -- some people tend to learn by hearing, some tend to learn visually, and some tend to learn by reading. However, it is very unlikely for someone to learn something by reading it just five times. Try writing it five times, in your own words.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I remember the answers when I am stuck?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerReread the question, and then think back to what you studied or heard your teacher say. Stay calm.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I relax in order to study at the last minute?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDrink water. Ask to go to the bathroom (even if you just need to walk there and get your mind off things to relax). Look around (not at desks - look at the walls, the window, and the ceiling, so you don't get in trouble for cheating).Thanks!
QuestionIs there is a way to cheat on a test?Kimi HoCommunity AnswerCheating is not a good idea. If caught, you could receive a zero on the test and face punishment. It would probably take less effort to just study. Bad actions cause bad consequences.Thanks!
QuestionIs it better to write down what I'm trying to learn or repeat it to myself out loud?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThat really depends on what type of learner you are. Most people learn better by copying the material down, but some people that learn better by hearing will learn best by reading aloud.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I remember what I read?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThere are several tricks, such as writing out the important information (just writing it down helps you remember it). You can also try chewing gum as you read, then chew gum of the same flavor during the exam. This can trigger memories of what you read.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I never forget what I have been taught or memorized?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can't. But practice makes perfect. Just study, study, study and focus on everything, and review as well.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I finish a test paper last minute?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerCalm yourself. Stressing out makes it worse.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I ask for help from teachers when I'm shy?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerGo up to them personally and ask them, or gather up the courage. After all, no question is stupid although the attitude of some people toward questions can be.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I study for a test that could have anything in it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerPresume you have studied at least half of what's in the test and that you can rely on lateral thinking to work out some of the other half. Go through your notes and work out the most important points and the trickiest things for you. Go over all of those. Have confidence that you know sufficient and do your best.Thanks!
How can I prepare my economics test when I have only one night?
How can I clear my exams without arrears?
What if you are studying the day before, then you won't have time to do all these things?
What if I forget something important and I waste my time in that?
What happens when I forget something that I studied and remember it later, but I can't pin point what it is?
Sources and Citations
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