Students: how to study 5 minutes before an exam

Estimated read time 4 min read

When the end of the semester rages, there are courses that we simply do not have time to revise in advance.

Preparing for an engineering exam can be a very nerve-wracking experience, especially at the end of the semester where work, intra exams and courses are intertwined. Unfortunately, this surplus of things to do often makes study time very limited, and many students show up for their exam without even having taken the time to study !

Here are some tips to apply to study as well as possible… five minutes before an exam!

Relax and stay focused

This advice may seem elementary, but it is nevertheless essential. Panicking before an exam has never helped anyone do better.

So take deep breaths and clear your thoughts. You only have a few minutes to squeeze a lot of knowledge into your heads, so there’s no need to add to your worries. See the exact amount of time you have to revise and adapt.

Remind yourself

Remember your last lessons, and try to target the aspects that are important for the exam. Eliminate the parts that you are sure will not be on the exam.

Once you have remembered the important points, make a quick list of topics you should have reviewed. If you paid attention during your lessons and understood the material your teacher was teaching, you have a better chance of getting a good grade than if you remember your lessons without really understanding them.

Use your time well

There are some exams where you will arrive a little early and you will have a little more than five minutes to revise. Use this time properly, and avoid chatting with your friends around you just to tell them that you didn’t have time to revise!

Choose wisely what you review

Engineering exams consist mainly of problems to be solved. Once you have listed the important parts to revise, focus on the types of problems, approaches, terms and key formulas you need to remember. Sometimes you will manage to find the solution to a problem simply without even understanding it; you just have to apply the formulas of the course!

If you don’t have a score sheet for your exam, create mnemonics for the formulas and terms you need to memorize to make it easier to remember them and not forget them during the assessment. You can even write them somewhere on your paper at the start of the exam so that you no longer have to memorize them by heart.

If you need to, you can ask a classmate or friend to lend you their notes to make sure you haven’t missed anything important in your review.

If you really haven’t been able to apply any of the above tips, all is not lost. Take deep breaths, and try to remember as much as possible. Start with the problem you are most familiar with, and do your best. After all, averages in engineering exams are often abysmal; so you can’t finish too low below average!

It can be quite stressful to study for an exam. The best technique for studying is to take enough time with the material and reread new information over and over until you’ve learned it really well. Most sources advise not to wait until the last five minutes before an exam to study, but if you’ve waited until the last moment, there are techniques for you to make the most of those five minutes. You can also use these tips if you’ve studied before, but want to take advantage of those five minutes to revise quickly. Always check that you have time to memorize.

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