HELP!! My exam is tomorrow and I didn’t study!!
The survival guide for last-minute-starters
So you left everything for the last minute
Let’s get to business with the skills that are going to save your behind:
1. Don’t read the book. You have no time to lose. If you have PowerPoint presentations or notes (if you don’t have notes, take them from now on during lectures), memorize those for maximum effect. If you don’t have anything but the textbook, read just the summaries, look at the diagrams, and memorize key words (how to memorize anything fast), but don’t read everything – for god’s sake…
2. Map it! Don’t just read your notes – you are not going to remember them. Even if it is a messy, dirty-looking, ugly mind map – make one! Write out the most important things which you really have to know – if you have time later, you can add more information to it, but don’t waste your time on subtopics if you don’t even know all the main topics yet! One mind map on one page per chapter/topic is enough.
This is going to make the difference between remembering something on the test or leaving a blank paper, so don’t skip it! Sometimes you might think “This is easy, I’m going to remember it” – these contents are actually most likely to be forgotten, because you didn’t pay enough attention to them.
3. Revise, revise, revise. Why do so many people omit this one?? It’s better to know something about some topics than nothing about all topics!! Don’t worry about getting through the whole material in one night. You won’t know anything in the end. What you need to do is to revise what you have learned as many times as possible, even if it means that you have to skip a few things. If you left it all to the last minute, you missed out on a lot of revising and time that it takes for the contents to sink in. But, if you revise enough from now on, you can get almost the same effect for your test as if you would have studied for a week using “traditional” techniques. The best is to revise every 20 – 30 min – because you made a mind-map it’s going to be very fast to revise (about 2 min).
4. Break time. Contradictory to all your beliefs, this actually is a time to take a lot of breaks. Because your brain needs time off to absorb as much information as it can – if you revise and take breaks as I said, you won’t forget what you have learned today (which is a big problem for most crammers). Your breaks don’t have to be long – 3-5 min every 20-30 min is enough. Break time isn’t a waste, it’s an investment –just like this article :) and just as sleep tonight is going to be, so don’t skip that one either. Get at least a couple of hours of quality sleep.
5. Don’t leave it to the last minute in the future.
To avoid this kind of situation in the future, learn more about kicking study procrastination with Nerdini – but after the exam!
I can’t guarantee you a good grade, but I can guarantee you that you are making the best out of your situation. Good luck!