How to Cram for Finals Effectively: 7 Tips for Students

last minute studying

Are your finals coming soon and do you have 2 weeks left to complete all your revisions? Though you should have started early but let’s cut to the chase and give you all the last minute studying tips you will need to be ready for your examination! 

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7 Last Minute Study Tips for finals that actually work


1. Stop passive studying but active study! 

Online Flashcards for Active Recall and Spaced Repetition - eLearning Industry

Passive studying refers to making notes, listening to lectures, highlighting your textbooks, etc. Whereas active studying refers to doing quizzes, testing yourself, and doing practice exercises without referring to your notes. 

Active studying helps you to apply the knowledge and concepts you have learned and become familiar with the topic. This is because active studying requires you to work through difficult problems and perform critical thinking.

However, it is important to note that only by active studying will you be able to grasp concepts better. 

Also Read: Active Recall and Spaced Repetition: How to Study Effectively


2. Avoid pulling all-nighters 

man covering face with both hands while sitting on bench


Many of us are guilty of pulling all-nighters just so we can fit in a few more chapters of studying before we call it a day. However, sleep is very important when it comes to studying and retaining information. Without proper rest, your brain could be functioning at a lower productivity rate. You will not be able to retain the all the information if you do not let your brain rest.

Moreover, this should not be done especially on the day before your examination. You are recommended to get proper and plenty of rest the night before your exams. 

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3. Set realistic goals 

three pens on white paper


Even if you are only left with 2 weeks of exam prep before your finals, you should still set realistic goals for what you are able to revise and achieve at the end of the day. 

Realistic goals meaning you factor in time for rest and break times during your study sessions. Though for a small percentage of us, you might be able to sit on your study desk for 10 hours straight and be productive, most of us cannot. 

Hence you should make goals that are achievable and take breaks when you feel like you are getting restless. 

Studying when you are restless will only result in unproductivity and ineffectiveness of your study. 


Read also: Study Planners: How to Study Effectively & Efficiently


4. Managing your time well during for last minute studying 

last minute studying


Tied to point 3, managing your time well may help you reduce stress. If you have 2 weeks to your first exam and 2 days later you have another, it is wise to delegate your study time wisely for both of the subjects. 

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Combining the study methods of Active Recall and Spaced Repetition, you can come up with a study plan that maximizes your study efficiency. 

Read also: 4 Useful and Effective Time Management Tips for Students


5. Forming or joining a group chat with your classmates 

last minute studying


Social networking is important even when it comes to studying, forming a study group helps with sharing resources and study materials. These materials can be beneficial especially when you are doing some last minute studying. 

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You should always join or form a group chat as early as the school semester starts. This is so that you will have a pile of useful study materials by the time you start preparing for your finals.

6. Teach the material 

last minute studying


Teaching the things helps you check how good and confident with the subject. 


Why is teaching so useful when it comes to studying? 

When we teach materials, our brains have the ability to break down the knowledge into bite-size and understandable language for the other party. 

This not only helps you to ensure that you are good with the subject, but it can also help you to better understand the subject. (and sometimes from a new perspective). 


7. Learn to shift your priorities around 

person writing on white paper


When your examinations are closing in, you may have to start shifting your priorities and studying patterns around.

If you are only left with a few days before your finals, you should focus on your strengths rather than your weaknesses. You should make sure that the subjects or topics that you are strong in have a good base knowledge.

If you have extra time, then you should also look through the topics that you are not so confident with. 

In a nutshell, it is still better late than never, most importantly, do not stress and you got it! 

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