Whether you only just decided to take an exam or time simply got away from you, everyone knows what it’s like to have to study at the last minute for an exam. Maybe you just decided that you wanted to get your MBA, and now you have to prepare for the MAT exam that’s coming up. In the last days (or hours) before your exam, you want to maximize your studying to retain the most information and greatest understanding of concepts possible. 

Cramming is always inadvisable and should not be your default study method. If you have a bit more time to plan your studying, and this is not an emergency cram session, check out our on article on the benefits of studying online. But if it’s already too late, here are some study tips to support you through this hectic time. 

Tips On Studying Before The Exam 

#1: Take Old Exams Or Practice Tests

One of the best ways to identify where you need to review is taking a past test and seeing which questions you got wrong. Ignore concepts for questions you answered correctly. Review the concept behind questions you got wrong and move on. Make sure to time yourself so you have a realistic idea of how long you have for each section. 
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

#2: Study Online

Get access to old and practice tests instantly, as well as access to tutors or peer forums to discuss concepts you’re struggling with. Online exam preparation can be a life saver for last-minute exam prep since it gives you access to not only study materials, but many online prep courses also offer personalised benchmarking to help tailor your study plan. Be mindful to not get waylaid by entertainment sites, the internet is your study tool today, not something fun. 

#3: Eliminate Distractions

Studying is more effective when done in the right environment. Do not study in bed with Netflix on in the background. Go to the library or your favourite bookstore. Be firm with yourself and don’t allow any distractions. Since time is so short, you can’t afford to get lost on WhatsApp for half an hour after every module. If having a study group is helpful to you, go for it, but be wary of getting side-tracked and make sure your focus is on your work.
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

#4: Focus On Your Weaknesses, Not Your Strengths

While it would be nice to reinforce concepts you already understand as well, you don’t have the luxury of time and need to focus your energy where your studying will have the most impact for improvement. If you’re a math wizard but have a hard time with languages, don’t bother spending too much time on math concepts and instead use that time to hone your language skills. 

#5: Create Study Aids

Flash cards, mnemonics and mind mapsAll three are proven to aid in recall and they are much better than traditional read and review methods. Try to avoid reading straight from your textbook, you’ll never get through it all. If you need to read, try speed reading so that you understand the main concepts, but don’t get bogged down by each and every sentence. 

#6: Pack Your Bag The Night Before

Make sure you include:

  • ID
  • 2 (or more) pencils
  • Eraser
  • Snacks
  • Water
  • Calculator (if applicable)
  • Watch (if permitted)
  • Study notes (if permitted)
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

BONUS: Tips For The Exam

#7: Skip Questions And Come Back To Them If Possible

Don’t waste too much time on any one question, you might lose the opportunity to easily answer later questions that you know well. Feel free to pass on a question if it’s taking too long and come back to it later, if you have time. 

#8: Always Guess Instead Of Leaving A Question Blank

If you have the time to come back to the questions you had to skip, and you still don’t know the answer, try to guess. Most exams don’t penalise you for wrong answers, so you’re at least giving yourself a chance to get partial marks (or maybe you guessed correctly!). 

#9: Review Your Answers Again If You Have Time

If you’re doing well for time and you’ve answered all the exam questions, take the time to check all your answers again instead of just handing in your exam. You might have overlooked something in a question or thought of something new to add. Try not to second-guess yourself too much, but do take the time to read through your entire exam again if you have the time. 

Writing exams can be a very stressful experience, doubly so when your review feels rushed. Take advantage of these last-minute study tips to make the most of your remaining review time, and good luck on your exam! 

P.S.: Make sure to analyse your exam preparation and results while it’s still fresh in your mind so you can identify what works and what doesn’t for you. This will help you build better study habits so you can create a better study plan for next time.