How to Study For Exams within a Limited Time

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How to study more for exams when there’s a limited time is one big problem many students with busy schedules face. Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland observed that working students spend less time studying than their non-working counterparts.

With too much information to process and analyze, work schedules to meet up with, and other personal stuff to consider, it’s understandable when students complain of insufficient time to study and prepare for examinations.

Many students are confused about how to cover the voluminous course materials, function optimally in their places of work, and still have ample time to study for exams.

 If you find yourself in such a situation and wonder how to study for exams within a limited time, this guide is for you.

 How To Study For Exams Within a Limited Time

  • Give Yourself Enough Time To Study

Do not wait until the very last minute. Although some students seem to enjoy cramming at the last minute, this may not be the best way to approach an exam. To help you determine the amount of time you need to prepare for an exam, note down the number of tests you are required to sit and the dates on which you will be taking these exams. Make sure you plan your studies accordingly. You can allocate more study time to some subjects than others, but always find a way to strike a balance. 

  • Study the Previous Year’s Question Papers

To succeed while preparing for an exam within a limited time, ensure you study the past questions of that particular exam. You can start by gathering the question papers from previous years for at least 5-10 years. Check the weightage of questions in different chapters to determine which chapters have more emphasis and the less vital parts. Doing this will help you understand the most valuable topics in each chapter you are studying for your exam.

  • Set a Study Schedule 

You should have a study schedule if you are looking for how to study for exams in less time. You must now schedule your study, prioritizing the essential chapters regarding the number of marks, questions, and difficulty level. Determine the chapter’s time in line with the priority list. Then, begin with the sections with more weightage as simple chapters so that you don’t have to put in the time and effort for difficult chapters. Having a schedule plan will make it easy for you to stick to a reading pattern. Set a study plan following the priority list and stick to it to achieve more effective outcomes.

  • Avoid Distractions.

 Students take their smartphones or laptops, tablets, and laptops during their studies which continuously distracts them. As a student with a time constraint, do not keep these devices while studying as they can affect your concentration and cause you to waste precious time. Take only things essential for your study, like notebooks, syllabi, question papers, etc. Ensure you keep the items you might need in one to avoid distraction while searching for them.

  • Use Mnemonics defines mnemonics as a tool that helps us remember c facts or large amounts of information. 

Put a few chart paper on your wall or in the cupboards. Write down dates, formulas, and mnemonics. You can also write down titbits of crucial information that are difficult to master. Keeping them on your desk every day will allow you to master them faster instead of trying to make them a mug. Make flashcards for the problematic parts and then carry them around. You can look them over on the way to work or stand in a long line.

  • Concentrate More On Core Material

Studying materials in the syllabus may be separated into complex and core materials. 

At the same time, the core material comprises fundamental concepts formulae, theorems, necessary diagrams, graphs, and diagrams, while elaborative materials include illustrations, examples, quotes, and more. 

Up to 80% of questions your examiner will ask you on the exam will likely come from the core materials. If you’re stuck with your incomplete syllabus, concentrate on the fundamentals of the various topics.

  • Don’t take frequent or long breaks while studying.

Experts generally recommend breaking between the preparations. However, they didn’t mention the length and duration of breaks. Ideally, you should have 15 minutes on break for each 45-minute round of studying. Don’t split the resting period of 15 minutes into 5+10, 10+5, or 5+5+5 since you’ll get distracted by this. 

Therefore, to keep your concentration while studying, take a brief break for over one hour.

  • Sleep Well And Eat Healthily

The most crucial aspect to remember is to be healthy and rest regularly to ensure your focus when studying. To do this, take a nap for 6-7 hours, eating healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, juice, or smoothies. Making time for yoga and meditation helps you improve your physical and mental fitness. Be sure to avoid foods high in sugar, junk food, and caffeine since these substances will make you sleepy, and it isn’t easy to focus when studying.

Read Also: Top 10 Digital Skills for Students


All the points I discussed above work perfectly for busy students with limited time to prepare for exams. 

However, they are not cast on a stone. You may have other things that work for you as far as preparing for exams is concerned. 

Use them if they will make a difference in your quest to achieve academic success. You can also ask friends who were once busy students like you. Learn how they’re able to combine their busy schedules with learning. 


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