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Ace Your Exams with These Last-Minute Study Tips

Last minute study tips

Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going. – Sam Levenson, Writer, TV Host, Journalist

Revising for an exam can be both stressful and challenging! It is easy to lose focus and give in to mindless activities to relieve stress. However, with patience and persistence, you can keep going. Key concepts and complex topics may make you run and hide! Hey, but it is time to realize that continuing to work hard despite the circumstances will make you efficient and perform your best.

This article will highlight proven tips on last-minute revision for your exams.

After days of hard work, you are about to face the mountain you dread! What do you do now? Is your mind screaming, “I have forgotten everything,” or “I am simply not ready”?

It is natural to succumb to such dreadful thoughts. But what if I told you that last-minute revision is scientifically proven to boost memory skills and improve recall of vital subject concepts?

But remember that these tips will only work if you have completed the essential preparation needed to face your exams.

Studying at the last minute would help you revise the entire subject quickly, provided you have sufficient knowledge of it. However, last-minute revision will not work if you fail to study the entire portion before the final day!

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How do I Revise in 1 hour?

Revision in one hour may seem daunting. However, it is possible to revise within an hour and make the most of the limited time at hand. Remember not to get perturbed by the situation, but try your best!

Focus on Key Information

Identify the essential parts to study and keep in memory. Please read over the unsure study material and take mental notes of vital information (it helps to keep it fresh in your mind in the exam and, therefore, likely to appear in your answers).

For instance, remember that the graph of a quadratic function is a parabola. For English Literature, ensure you know key authors and their characters to avoid embarrassing mistakes, like mixing up “Charlotte Brontë” and “Jane Eyre.” In History, review significant dates and monarchs.

Anticipate Questions

Anticipate the kinds of questions you might face. Reflect on topics you’re comfortable with, those you can manage with some effort, and those you need help with. Avoid spending time on areas where you’re unfamiliar—it’s too late to learn them effectively in an hour.

Most importantly, concentrate on vital topics you understand well and strengthen those areas. It will help you answer them comfortably during your exam.

Finally, don’t panic. Study with a clear mind, and you can grasp the essential information with clever revision techniques.

5 Efficient Revision Methods to Study for Exams Last Minute

Studying for your exams at the last minute may be nerve-wracking. However, by following simple but effective methods can make it less stressful:

1. Use the Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique, first developed in the 1980s by Francesco Cirillo, is not only simple but is renowned for its productive outcome. According to recent research, this method can transform people’s lives and encourage them to develop a greater attention span.

You can use this technique to revise one lesson per subject at a time.

  1. Choose a lesson you wish to complete.
  2. Set your clock timers for 25 minutes. This session is called one Pomodoro
  3. Begin revising and complete as much as possible within the 25 minutes.
  4. After 25 minutes, take a short break of 5-6 minutes.
  5. After completing 4 Pomodoros, you can take a prolonged break.

If you can revise one lesson in one Pomodoro, you can complete eight lessons in four hours.

It may be a challenging technique initially, but you will find it working after some time. If you are easily distracted, you must try Pomodoro, as it will make you feel successful and help you work smarter, not harder.

2. Use Last Year’s Papers

Another effective last-minute strategy is to obtain past exam question papers and complete them within the required time frame. Testing your knowledge by completing earlier question papers will help you develop a good exam technique. Further, it will help improve your confidence in managing your time effectively and reduce your pre-exam anxiety.

3. Read Chapter Summaries

Last-minute revision calls for effective, time-saving strategies; therefore, reading the entire chapter would be futile. Reading chapter summaries will give you an overall review of the whole chapter and help you cover it without reading it all over again. Further, it will help streamline your review process and cover the essential points while saving precious time.

We suggest you take down the summaries in a point format as it enhances retention and comprehension. It will prove beneficial to write answers to short and essay questions. Moreover, summarizing in your own words is excellent for your understanding and helps to recall key points.

4. Watch Summary Videos on YouTube

Watching condensed summary videos is an excellent winning strategy for last-minute revision. It helps represent complex topics in short videos and is ideal for refreshing key concepts before exams. Moreover, visual and auditory learning increases focus and keeps vital information in your memory longer. This technique is beneficial for visual learners who find traditional learning a chore. They retain and learn better when presented with exciting video content.

Some key points to note while watching summary videos:

  1. Look for credible videos such as reputable educational content channels or teachers
  2. Use it only as a supplement and not as the only source of learning.
  3. Do more than just watch. Please take notes and speak the points out loud to recollect them later.
  4. Follow a test schedule after every video to ensure you grasp the material well.

5. Focus on Difficult Points

Last-minute revision can be tricky. You may want to concentrate on those topics that you have already understood. But if you focus on the difficult points and do your best to learn them better, you will find that you are maximizing the use of the last-minute study session. It will boost your confidence and make you feel more prepared to answer questions accurately. Make sure you identify the points that seem difficult to you and ensure you run by them a day before your exams. Overcoming challenging topics will strengthen your overall understanding of the problematic points and reduce your lack of preparedness for them.

2/3, 5/7 study method

Now that you know the strategies to adopt to revise for exams at the last minute, you must explore yet another effective study hack based on the principle of regular repetition. Known as the 2/3, 5/7 study method, it helps combat forgetfulness as students of all ages face such a predicament during exams. It calls for a simple technique of scheduling revision at required intervals leading up to an exam.

Here is how you go about it:

  • Mark your Calendar – Begin by entering the exam date on your calendar.
  • Plan your Revision Schedule—Schedule your revision date by working backward from the exam date. For example, schedule it at specific intervals, such as seven days, five days, and two days before the exam.

So your schedule will look like this if your exam happens to fall on a Friday:

Wednesday (7 days before)

Monday (5 days before)

Saturday (3 days before)

Thursday (2 days before)

When you follow a structured approach as above, you will ensure that the subject stays fresh in your mind. It will help you better recall and retain what you have studied.


Acing your exams at the last minute is achievable as long you utilize strategies and tips that are easy to follow. For example, if you focus on answering past question papers, you will know what questions to expect. Similarly, chapter-wise summaries will help you understand the entire chapter and better retain vital topics within the shortest time frame.

Albert Einstein famously once said, “It’s not that I’m so smart; it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

Being persistent and utilizing smart revision techniques will help you overcome fear and lack of confidence. Adequate preparation isn’t about cramming; it’s about using targeted, efficient study methods.

Stay calm, stay focused, and apply these tips to boost your confidence and performance. With determination and the right approach, you can turn last-minute studying into a successful exam outcome. Good luck!

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