One day you wake up in the morning, look at the calendar and realize that the exam is growing nearer. You lay your notes out on the table and start studying. Strong coffee, stacks of notes, and photocopies become your closest friends. But whatever you do, the time of examination seems to be approaching at an uncomfortable speed. 

Many students are used to thinking that taking exams is difficult when in reality it is not the case. There are some basic tips one can follow to pass an exam without much preparation and stress, even if they know very little about the subject. We prepared 10 life hacks that students have been using for years to pass exams. 

Common Mistakes When Preparing for Exams

It is surprising how much success is dependent not on knowledge or preparation, but on basic mistakes that most people end up making. Many mishaps can be avoided if students resolve certain factors that are holding them back; for example wrong attitude, poor time management, laziness, anxiety.

If you work through these points, your chances of successfully passing the exam will increase significantly even without studying much. Preparing for the exam will be less stressful and tiresome.

How to Pass Exams with Little to No Prep

Here are some tips from former students that work. Some of them are well-known, while others will surprise you! 

1. Remain calm.

When it comes to completing an examination, panic is not your friend. All available time should be spent usefully – learning but not stressing oneself out. During both preparation and the exam itself a student should be collected, rational, and must not succumb to emotions.

2. Gather information about upcoming exams.

Omitting this step will prevent you from passing the exam perfectly. You need to speak with your classmates or contact senior students beforehand. Ask them about possible questions, tips, and notes. This will allow you to come to the exam more prepared.

3. Write cheat sheets by hand.

Now, we don’t advise that you cheat, but preparing your cheat sheets can go a long way. Searching for information, picking out the main points, and writing those down by hand increases your chances of remembering the material. You can prepare or order ready-made flashcards to help you memorize information. Here is a helpful site that will hook you up with the best flashcards. 

4. Improvise and use intuition.

If a person comes to an exam completely unprepared, they must be ready to use their brain at full capacity, allowing creative thinking and logic to take over when responding to questions they know little about. 

5. If you have little time for studying – start with lecture notes.

Many students that pay attention during lectures end up passing their exams successfully without extensive prep. If time before the exam is limited, start with your lecture notes first – they usually contain all the main points you must know. Learn more about effective note-taking in advance. 

6. Be confident.

Self-confidence and motivation can go a long way. To successfully pass the exam, you must make the examiner feel like you know their subject. It doesn’t have to be real – an illusion will do, as long as you play your cards right and remain composed and confident. 

7. Utilize long sentences. 

When answering a question, always start with more general information on a topic. End it with specific information, which directly answers the question. This will give you some time for formulating your answer and will make your answer appear more structured and organized. 

8.  Eliminate self-sabotage.

Many students start sabotaging themselves before an exam. We get distracted easier, become nervous, procrastinate. This is a dangerous path that will result in failure if left unattended. Always set yourself up for success mentally, while utilizing time for studying. 

 9. Prioritize.

When you have little prep time before the exam, prioritization proves important. Identify and learn main terms on the subject. Make a list of common questions. Prepare answers.

10. Don’t overwork yourself.

Squeezing in a bit of last-minute knowledge and burning midnight oil is very tempting, but practice shows that it does more harm than good. Your brain needs time for rest, recharging, and, most importantly, compartmentalizing received information to store it properly. It is proven that effective learning is only possible when you don’t overexert yourself. 

Summing it up

Try following all these tips, and you will be far more likely to ace any exam even without much preparation. Passing exams is not all about knowledge – it requires a specific technique that, once mastered, will faithfully serve you for life. As long as you keep calm and prepare, you can expect a satisfactory result. You can succeed if you set your mind to it!

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