You had the best intention of studying well in advance of your exam, but you have ended up distracting yourself with other obligations and now you have to study at the last minute. Instead of freaking out, you can make sure you get an acceptable grade on your exam. You can use tools to study quickly and easily, so you prepare for the exam and make sure you stay focused while you study. Similarly, you should make sure you have the proper preparation the night before the exam, so that you have organization and confidence for the next day.
Part 1 of 3: Create a Last Minute Study Plan
Step 1. Focus on your weak spots
Because you will be studying at the last minute, you will not have time to go through all of your class material or study notes. Instead, you should review the class material and identify the topics that you are having difficulty with or that are hard to remember. In this way, you can focus on reviewing your weak points so that you have a better preparation for the test.
- You could take a practice test and write down questions that you got wrong or scored low on. In this way, you can focus on studying these questions so that you do not have weak points before taking the exam.
- For example, you may have a hard time remembering certain historical dates for your social studies test. If so, you should focus your attention on remembering and memorizing those dates so that you can answer these types of questions well on your exam.
Step 2. Make a mind map
Similarly, you can study quickly and efficiently by making a mind map, which is a study tool for remembering the connections and links between certain concepts or terms. This type of map is useful if you have already taken notes on the course material and are looking for ways to organize it so that you will remember it better and recall it during the test. You can draw a mind map on a piece of paper or do it on your computer with software, to make it easier for you to study.
For example, you could try studying for your biochemistry test. If so, you could place a concept of biochemistry, such as "enzymes", in the center of a sheet of paper and use your notes from the course to place the information and terms that relate to "enzymes." You could circle these terms and draw lines to connect to the center circle, around "enzymes."
Step 3. Use flashcards
You can use this handy study tool to create an efficient study session at the last minute. You may use colorful flashcards to write different terms or phrases to prepare for the test. These cards have been shown to improve your memory recall and visual learning skills.
For example, on flashcards you could write certain terms that will be on the test. Then write the definitions of those terms on the back of the cards. This way you can test yourself on terms or ask a friend or sibling to ask you about terms to make sure you get the definitions right
Step 4. Try some visual or hearing aids
You may be able to use visual or auditory aids to study at the last minute, especially if you tend to learn better from visual or auditory cues. Using these aids could also help you remember information more quickly and effectively than reading it from a page.
- You could listen to a recording of yourself speaking the definitions and terms in your textbook, or listen to a recording of the course material and take audio notes to remind yourself of the information.
- Similarly, you could try watching videos that relate to a concept in your textbook to better understand the concept. You should search for educational videos online and use them to study at the last minute.
Step 5. Get a tutor
If you notice that you are having difficulty with certain topics or concepts in a class, you might consider having a tutor to help you study. You could try hiring a professional tutor to help you with what you don't know, or ask a friend who is doing well in class to be your tutor. You should ask people for help with what you are struggling with, especially if you are trying to study at the last minute and are not sure how to get started.
Part 2 of 3: Staying Focused While You Study
Step 1. Exercise on your breaks
Even though you study at the last minute and may try to study as much information as you can in a short time, you should take a few short breaks. During these breaks, you should do some exercise to keep your energy levels high and improve your concentration. Even 5-10 minute exercises during breaks can help you stay fit and mentally ready to study more.
For example, you could go for a brisk jog across the block during your break or take a brisk walk around your school campus. Similarly, you can do push-ups or sit-ups while resting to maintain your motivation and alertness
Step 2. Drink water
You should try to only drink water while studying, as this will ensure that you maintain a hydrated and healthy body. If you drink coffee, you should only drink a small amount during the day and make sure you drink enough water to make up for the caffeine.
Step 3. Eat healthy snacks
You should also try some healthy and energizing snacks while you study so that you can stay focused and not be too hyperactive or sleepy. Opt for healthy sources of sugar, like fruit, and healthy sources of protein, like nuts, to keep your focus.
Avoid eating or drinking any food high in sugar or processed fat, as these products will make you feel more tired and distract you. Go for the healthiest options so your body has the energy it needs to study and maintain proper focus
Step 4. Eliminate distractions
To study effectively at the last minute, you should set up a distraction-free zone in your bedroom or general area. This could mean closing the door so that the people in your house know that you are trying to focus on studying and can leave you alone. Similarly, you could close doors and windows to block out distracting noises around you.
- If you study in a public place, like the library, you could use noise-blocking headphones to help keep you focused. Similarly, you could turn off your cell phone or put it on silent so that it doesn't distract you.
- Similarly, you might find it useful to turn off your Wi-Fi connection to avoid logging on to social media and distracting yourself. Doing so can help you stay focused and not be distracted by using social media instead of reviewing your study notes.
Part 3 of 3: Prepare the Night Before the Exam
Step 1. Prepare some last minute review notes
You should prepare some last-minute review notes that focus on the fundamental concepts and terms that you are struggling with. You could write them on flashcards and review them once a night before going to sleep and once in the morning before taking the test. Reviewing these last minute notes can help you better remember the information for your exam.
Try to focus on the terms and concepts that you have difficulty remembering or that you have identified as your weak points, since you should not study intensively and in a short time all the information that will come in the exam during your last minute review
Step 2. Prepare your backpack
You should take care of the preparations the night before the exam, so that you have less stress in the morning and can go to your exam with a clear mind. Begin by preparing your backpack so that it contains all your books, pens, and papers. Make sure you have pens that work, as you don't want to end up with a faulty pen during your exam.
Similarly, you should make sure you have other items in your backpack that you may need for your test, such as a graphing calculator and a ruler
Step 3. Sleep well
Many studies have shown that getting a good night's sleep before an exam can help you perform better. While it may be tempting to wake up while studying, doing so could cause you to have a poor test score and an inability to remember important test information. You should review your notes before bed, but try to rest for at least eight hours the night before the test.