Tips and Hacks to Excel in Your Exams

Exam jitters often cause students a lot of stress. The trick is to be prepared in advance and organize subject-wise revisions at regular intervals. Correct note making, revision and learning the right attempt to deal with the question papers instill dollops of confidence in the students.

We hope the following tips and hacks help in strengthening your study base and acing your exams.


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  1. The brain functions at 100% during the 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. slot. Do try to fit in your study regime in it. Brain function dwindles at 50% during the 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. bracket and is at its lowest at night at 20%.
  2. Eat mint and chocolates! Peppermint and chocolate stimulate the brain and help increase concentration.
  3. Drink plenty of water before and while studying. Staying well hydrated helps in remembering more and staying focused.
  4. Take a walk for 20 minutes before the exam to improve performance.
  5. Keep your table and room clean as cleanliness is conducive to a learning environment.
  6. Study alone to avoid distractions or with a small group of like-minded friends.
  7. Writing something down is equivalent to reading it 7 times. So, jot down what you want to remember.
  8. Use mnemonics wherever possible. Associating an answer with a song, rhyme, acronym, image or phrase will help you remember.
  9. Read and study aloud as it helps in retaining more information.
  10. Record yourself while learning a concept, pretend you are teaching it and play it back while on the move.
  11. Note the various formulae on a sheet of paper and stick it around your room and bathroom for quick revision.
  12. Make a time table to revise and study all subjects. Don’t put the most difficult subjects back to back – intersperse a tough subject with an easy one.
  13. Be strict with your scheduled breaks and avoid social media interruptions while studying. Avoid using electronics half an hour before bedtime.

Revision Guide:

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  1. Study the lessons before the teacher teaches them so that you can ask your doubts and understand the chapter better in class.
  2. Highlight key terms with coloured pens while making notes. Put sticky notes on the important pages if needed.
  3. Make flash cards with the questions on the front and the answers on the back. Read them for a quick revision.
  4. Try the effective Pomodoro technique ­– study for 25 minutes, and then take a break of 5 minutes.
  5. For boards or similar exams, practice model test papers and question papers of previous years to know the pattern of questions asked as they are often repeated.
  6. Test yourself by answering a model test paper and sitting through the whole 3 hours as if writing the actual exam. Check for mistakes or areas where improvement is needed.

Exam Guide:

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  1. Have a good night’s sleep before the exam so that the brain is rested.
  2. Go through the question paper thoroughly before attempting it. Decide to attempt the easiest known questions first. This will give you confidence and save time.
  3. Write legibly. Stick to the word limit and do not exceed it.
  4. Leave a margin at the right side for rough work.
  5. Leave 2–3 lines blank at the end of an answer so that if you miss a point, you can go back and write it later.
  6. When attempting a maths question, do not straight away arrive at the answer. Write all the steps to the answer as they carry marks.
  7. Add examples to your answers.
  8. Don’t leave a question unanswered. If there is a paucity of time, jot down the main points in the answer. They will score you some decent points.
  9. Don’t leave the exam centre early. Sit and revise the answers, you might be able to spot some questions which you have missed out or add more points to the answers.

We hope these tips on excelling in your exams help you reach the pinnacle of success. Wish you all the best!


Sangeeta Datta is AGM – Marketing at Viva Books. Books are the brain fodder which keep her constantly ticking!




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