Studying for any examination can be stressful. The best way to study is to give yourself a lot of time with your books and notes, understanding and solving multiple problems so that it will be stuck in your memory. While it is the best way to study especially in engineering school, there will be one point in your life where you will be faced with time management problems.
It’s not really good idea to wait until the last five minutes before a test to study, but IF it does happen, here are some ways you can use those five minutes to your advantage! These tips are not just for students who really weren’t able to study beforehand, it can also be used as a refresher for those who have already studied prior the exam day.
Relax and Stay Focused
This cannot be emphasized enough. Take some deep breaths and relax your thoughts. You only have a few minutes to stuff a lot of things in your head, so don’t add unnecessary things to worry about. Check how much time you have left to review, whether it’s 15 minutes or 5, stay focused accordingly.
Make a Simple Recall
Recall the past lectures you had that you think are important for the exam. Eliminate the parts that are not included in the exam you are going to take. Once you’ve remembered the main points, make a quick list of the topics you are supposed to study.
If you have paid attention to your engineering lectures and solved the problems with the class, you can have a better chance of getting better marks than you expect if you try to recall your lectures well.
Use any Extra Time As Study Time
There will be times when you have more than 5 minutes to spare for review. Use up all that time, and dedicate it to reviewing. Avoid approaching all your classmates and complaining how you weren’t able to study last night. Get your notes out and read read read.
Choose What You Are Going To Memorize
Once you’ve listed the important parts you are supposed to study, quickly memorize dates, terms and FORMULAS you are going to use for the exam. Rewrite the formulas 2 to 3 times on a scrap paper for you to memorize them well.
Tip: If the formulas you are memorizing are hella long, then try to find the formula where that formula was derived from. All engineering formulas have been derived somewhere, so it can help you during a “blackout” in an exam.
Create mnemonic devices for formulas and terms you need to memorize. It’s always better to prepare these way before the exam though, so if the time arises for you to review 5 minutes before an exam, you’ll have something to memorize easily.
Source: Teaching center
Ask A Friend
Ask a trusted friend to lend you their notes, flashcards, and summaries.
When all else fails…
Ok, you didn’t study AT ALL! 5 minutes have passed and nothing came into your head. You’ve accepted the fact that you’re not gonna get good marks in this exam, but still hope you can get some marks other than 0. So here we go.
The best way to get through the exam without any study, is to turn your paper over and take deep breaths. Go over the exam problems and recall all the lectures you’ve had regarding this topic. Visualize the lecture period, the formulas that were used, and the notes that were written on the board. Then pick the exam problem that you are most familiar with and start solving, then go to the more difficult ones. Make use of reverse engineering, do the trial and error method, and derive formulas!
If you have been actively listening to all your lectures, you may be able to get good marks even if you didn’t study. If not, then you’ll have to manage your time more efficiently next time.