Why do some students study hard but are not the best? And why are there other students who don’t even invest half the time and effort in their studies, but obtain good or even excellent results?Learn on how to efficiently study for exams in a short amount of time with intelligence, instead of wasting countless hours of your valuable time.
Since you have a short span of time to learn, make sure you boost your motivation as it plays a crucial role in studying smart. Motivation is related to competence, self-determination and autonomy, which are important in the learning process.
The way you study is crucial to your success. Therefore, our recommendation is to study intelligently, which will help you save a lot of time with unfocused attempts to “study hard”.
You will have to invest the appropriate amount of effort to study for exams in a short time, there is no other way. But this article will guide you on how to make the most of the time you invest in learning.
The purpose of this article is to allow you to cut out the unnecessary parts of your studies and focus on what is important in this short period of time.
Tips on how to efficiently study for exams in a short amount of time
This article is divided into three parts:
- The preparation;
- B) Mentality focused on organising information for you to remember;
- C) Concept of “smart study”.
1. Have a study plan
You want to study smart, right? To do this, you need focus, discipline and organization.
Fulfilling these requirements daily without having a good routine would cost you a lot of time. Instead, the first tip on how to study for competitive exams in a short time is to create a study plan in which you:
- specifies the day you start preparing for the test;
- create a daily schedule of tasks you want to accomplish during preparation;
- create a detailed to-do list (keep an eye on what’s really important);
- lists the books you need to read (only the important sections that you actually need to know for the contest);
- specifies the various tasks and exercises you want to do for preparation.
Depending on the difficulty of the test and how many weeks or months you have to study, you can also categorize the weeks/months for preparation into different phases, from:
I. basic updating of knowledge;
II. study, review and do exercises;
III. social life on hold.
How to do this the smart way? Having a clear objective of what you are looking for with your plan helps you avoid wasted hours, and also allows you to direct your focus to what is important.
Exams sometimes involve many books, most in the 500 to 1200 page range.
And even if you only have a few chapters to read for the contest, we recommend that you create summaries as you work on the book.
This way, you lay the foundation on which you can build, during the next phase of study, without having to read the book again.
Additionally, you also train yourself to quickly identify key statements in large texts that are likely to be tested on the exam.
As a result, it will be easier to ignore large amounts of irrelevant data while analyzing the book.
3. Separate the wheat from the chaff
While listening to a lecture or reading a textbook, try the following: Continuously separate important information (“Can this knowledge be tested on an exam?”) from unimportant (“Am I rambling or listing irrelevant data?”).
Write down relevant points to be studied and add observations to your script or class notes . Making these additions to your script will help you later capture fundamental coherences.
You can also highlight important phrases or passages from the text so that you can easily avoid reading large unnecessary sections.
1. When you study, give 110%
When you try to study for exams in a short period of time, you almost always study for long periods to memorize and understand the content given.
The big mistake here is studying a lot and for long periods, but without focusing on what you are doing. You are distracted by your cell phone, internet, TV, radio, telephone, friends or any other entertainment you can imagine.
The biggest tip on how to study for exams in a short time is to give 110%. Keep distractions to a minimum and do your best to avoid procrastination .
If you have a time limit of 1-2 hours, make the most of that time. Then have even more leisure time.
How to study smart: When you study, do it in a focused and appropriate way, avoid any kind of distractions and use the time you have to the fullest!
Doing late-night revisions a few days before the exam will not only exhaust you, it will also force you to scroll through data instead of studying properly.
Instead of opting for every night, consider spending half an hour after each day doing recaps, that is, reading a chapter of the book, making a summary or solving some exercises.
All this preliminary work will help you devote more time to studying (during the preparation period) rather than having to engage in all sorts of inefficient tasks like extracting data from your textbooks, trying to do arithmetic operations, and building an understanding etc.
Why is this smart? If you’ve already done the groundwork, you’ll be able to focus much more on smart ways to study for exams in no time.
C) Concept of “smart study”
1. Don’t try to memorize, understand!
This tip on how to study for exams in a short time is essential.
One of the biggest mistakes of studying a lot and not intelligently is trying to memorize everything, which is very time-consuming.
Rote memorization is fine and acceptable if an upcoming exam requires you to reproduce what you learned word for word.
However, the higher you go in the educational system, the less important it becomes to memorize and reproduce, as your understanding and ability to draw consequences will be tested.
In most cases, memorization corresponds to difficult, not intelligent, studying. Focus your attention on understanding the content that is taught.
2. Keep the bigger goal in mind
Making a car can serve as an example of the learning process. The teacher provides “know how” during classes, for example, detailed knowledge of how a mechanism works.
Textbooks and other materials provide you with the chassis, frame, tires, and bolts. But it is up to the student to make use of the know-how, to use it in combining the material delivered.
It is the student’s job to assemble the car and keep the larger goal of what is taught in mind.
If the student stubbornly tries to memorize the position of each part in the car, he will not be able to (re)build a car from thousands of individual parts. Memorizing the different names of each part won’t help either.
Only by keeping in mind that the know-how and material are available to create a car can the student effectively prepare for an upcoming test.
3. Perfect your type of study
There are fundamentally four basic types of study: Visual, Auditory, Emotional and Kinesthetic.
To study for competitive exams in a short time in the smartest way possible, you need to figure out what type of studying you prefer.
Once you know what works best for you, align your learning process to get the most out of it.
Students who are “mathematically gifted” should put their notes into spreadsheets and graphs; kinesthetic learners imagine learning material as vividly as possible; language learners discuss the material with others or record their voice while reading the material aloud, etc.
And to speed things up and be more productive, another tip on how to study for exams in a short time is to use an app to help you organize subjects into study cycles .