17 secret study tips for exam preparation


Exams are a nightmare for so many students and scholars. That is why the announcements of exam dates create tension and stress. But, the right preparation can always helps not only to overcome the exam stress but a sure success result.

Cracking competitive exams is the only way to get into school, colleges, and lucrative jobs. But when you start to prepare for competitive exams only reading will not help. You have to be smart enough to mix your reading with time management, group discussions, solving previous year’s questions, use of both right and left brains for better memory and sharper comprehension. 

You should have a clear and focused study routine. A smart study plan for a competitive exam will give you an edge to prepare for examinations easily. Here are some tips for exam preparation that will help you to excel. 

1. Positivity is a key to success

Exams are essential this needs to be accepted first. If you accept this, your mind will be cool. Think of it as an opportunity to prove and judge yourself. 

A positive attitude towards exams is the most important key to success. “When we play to win we play out of inspiration but when we play not to lose we play out of desperation”. -Shiv Khera

Here are some tips to enhance a positive attitude for positive mental health during the exam.


• Talk to those people who have cracked the exam 

• Ask yourself if they can why not you?

• Print 3-4 most appealing positive quotes and paste that into your home.

2. Burning Desire

What do you want to achieve you can achieve in this world. 

A burning desire to crack an exam or top an exam is the starting point of your success. Motivation for success and hard work always comes from desire. Here is a quote related to burning desire by Napoleon Hill

“There is one quality which one must possess to win that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.”

Therefore, create a burning desire for achieving a goal.


• Write down your desires in a paper

• Paste that in front of the study area

• Read that twice a day loudly and believe that you can do that

• Take a little step every day to achieve that


3.Start early: don`t procrastinate do not cram

Starting early for preparation is one of the easy ways to prepare well. But many students procrastinate and start one or two days before the exam. This results in cramming and stressful nights.  Starting early will provide you proper time to read, revise, and re-revise. This will ultimately boost up your confidence during answering the questions.

It is like you have to run a race of 100 meters (syllabus) in 30 seconds (time). It is so easy that if you start walking fast you can achieve that. But you not even started walking but sitting and wasting your 20 second time. As a result, you have to run like  Usain Bolt.



  •  See the syllabus on the first day 
  •  Arrange the study materials
  •  Make a study plan and strict to that


4. Select a place for study

Select a place in your house that receives plenty of natural sunlight. Set a table, chair, or desk and cushion whatever you are comfortable with. You have to make sure that you do not suffer from any back, wrist, and neck pain long sitting in that posture. The best direction to study according to Vastu is the North and east direction of your home. As you have to sit a long time for study it should be in line with the magnetic field direction of the earth. 

Here are some tips to select and to make the best place to study at home according to Vastu.

  • A study room should be well lit, a light-colored painting in the room is better. 
  • Light green, white, cream and sky blue colors have a calming effect on the mind
  • Place a live green table plant for positive energy
  • Do not keep a bookshelf over the study table
  • You can purchase and keep idols/posters of Lord Ganesha, Saraswati, Gayatri yantra, Pyramids for positive effects on memory and concentration from AMAZON.
  • Avoid mirrors in the study room. It distracts the concentration and mind.

5. Organize your study materials

Organize all of the study materials, books, note pads, pens, and other stationery items well at your study table. Always take notes, draw pictures, use colorful pens to mark on books and notes. It will engage your right brain to help you in remembering things. Keep all books and notes at the table at the beginning.


  • Use colorful A4 Sheets for taking notes, making figures, process and mind maps 
  • Use clour pencil/sketch pens for coloring your notebook
  • Put all necessary pieces of information from different reference books in your notebook and read that several times


6. Create a study plan

A good plan is half the way done. Create a study plan for you. It should be based on your nature of study and timing. 

Somebody is an early riser and prefers to start study very early. Somebody studies till late at night. Somebody takes 20 minutes to read and understand a concept while somebody takes 30-40 minutes. 

It varies from person to person. Nothing bad. The only thing is that you know better yourself and therefore your plan of study should be based on that.

It is easy to start reading complex ideas at the starting of your day. In the morning just after sleep brain remains calm and quiet.  From 10 am to 4 pm brains are very active to grab information. During the night brain slow down its speed of absorption of information.

It is better to revise the chapters at night you have studied during the whole day. Because it is always important to retain information and concepts properly. Every night before sleep revision is required. Your daily routine should be made properly.

7. Daily routine

Your daily routine should be based on the study plan that you have made earlier. The routine should be flexible enough. There should be a break of 5 minutes after 30 minutes of reading. During the break you can do light exercise, stretch, drink water, eat fruits, etc. never start watching mobile, or TV during the break. 

Try to follow a normal daily routine in which you can save your time and invest in reading. Planning to get up very early or study up to deep late at night will hamper your sleeping time. Proper sleep is required to be charged up for the next day. Normally 10-14 productive hours are enough in a day but it should be consistent. 


8. Make a specific goal for each reading session


Make your goal SMART enough i.e. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Divide your routine into several productive reading sessions. 

In each reading session, you can make a specific goal like in the next 25 minutes I will understand the concept of XYZ very clearly and honestly

After the study speaks about the concept like a professor as you are giving a lecture to someone. 

You will understand the lacuna in your concept. Revise that portion again. 

9. Time management

Time management is very much crucial. Everybody has 24 hours in a day like 24 precious diamonds in a bag every day. 

Better time management saves time for investment in productive reading sessions. One way to manage your time is to track your daily routine. 

Write down your daily routine during the last 3-4 days. See the pattern where you have wasted your precious diamonds you could invest better. This exercise will help you to realize better about time management. 

10. Avoid distractions

Times are limited. It is better to avoid distraction as it takes most of our time energy and concentration. Watching entertainment channels on TV, Youtube, Gaming, surfing Facebook emails are some activities that take much of your time. Keep your SMART Phone silent mode or even switch off mode to concentrate better.

Transmute your desire for sex expression and love for someone towards your hard work. These desires are most powerful which can not be stopped but transferred to achieve the most important goal achievement. 


11. Use smart technological tools for the study

There are several apps available on smartphones. You can use those for ease of your reading and smart study.

Evernote is a good app to take notes on your mobile. You can use these notes for remembering the key points for smart revision from anywhere you are. Such point-wise notes are good for revision during travel time.

Oxford Dictionary is another useful app for searching the meaning during the study. When we do the study we face several new words. Our minds guess the positional meaning out of that but it is better to search once in a dictionary for better understanding.

Daily Schedule is an app for planning the day. It is always better to use this app in the morning to plan the whole day. This will help you to remind yourself about the task.

Simple mind is a very useful mind mapping app. You can use this app for making mind maps for remembering several facts in sequences.


12. Group study

Group study makes learning enjoyable. It challenges your teaching skills which need better understanding. In a group study, you will discuss different concepts with your friends. It will help you to understand the different perspectives of a concept. Group study helps in solving doubts, revise concepts faster, learning new references and facts, etc. When you can explain a concept to other very nicely means it is very clear to you. 

Group studies help to be better in communication and acquire good soft skill, which will be helpful for you throughout your career. 

Group studies help break the monotony of study long hours. It is better to fix a time in the evening to have a group discussion with 2-3 equally motivated classmates/friends. 


13. Use Memory tips to remember better

For remembering better during study it is always advised to take your own handwritten notes create your own mind maps, use lots of colours to mark and draw in your notebook, use mnemonics like VIBGYOR (VioletIndigoBlueGreenYellowOrangeRed), peg words, connecting information that is already known to you, say the information loudly and repeatedly. 

Using both the brain is better to remember things better. For students it is important to remember that our brain processes image 60000 times faster than text. So it is important to create your notes like visuals with lots of images, figures, tables, and processes. 

14. Eat healthy foods for the brain

The human brain is only 2 % of the total weight of the body but a working brain consumes 20% of energy and Oxygen of the whole energy and oxygen intake. 

Foods that you take play an important role in brain health, memory, and concentration. You must add some foods to your diet that can help your brain to grow and nourish. 

Fruits rich in vitamin C help in preventing brain cell damage. Vegetables (collards, spinach, and kale) rich in Vitamin K can help in the formation of essential fats for the formation of brain cells.

15. Adopt healthy habits

             Start Your day with positive affirmations. Do yoga and meditation for a relaxing and more focused mind. You can do light exercise for enhancing positivity and energy level.

You cannot cut a tree with a single ax without sharpening. Similarly, you cannot remember well from continuous sitting without breaks. Take power breaks of 5 minutes after every 30 minutes study. 

Drink plenty of water while study. Brain consist of 80 percent of water. Lack of water intake can hamper your concentration, sleeping cycles. A well-hydrated brain helps in balancing chemical processes that help to regulate stress and anxiety. Take 1-2 glasses full of water every 2 hours to hydrate your body.


16. Practice mock test

Practicing mock tests is like flying planes in simulation software. You will know the level of knowledge you have, difficulty answering particular types of questions, sections from which what types of questions were there, and most importantly, the experience of writing the exam. 

It is advised to start practicing mock tests before a month of your exam dates. Sometimes you shall feel that the mock test is waste of time let me revise XYZ chapters, but practicing the mock test and analyzing your writing is much more important. You will not get any marks for the number of times you have revise the whole chapter but how you have answered the questions. 

And last but most important

17. Rewards yourself with a treat

Set a target and reward yourself after completing that goal. Like 3 chapters complete = 30 minutes break to watch my favorite TV show, half syllabus complete = 1 movie in a weekend.

Why is it important? Your mind loves accomplishment rewards. You are a target achiever this message will go to your subconscious mind. When your subconscious mind starts following this instruction then you can achieve a bigger target very easily.  


Using these tips shall surely help you to excel in any exams. Start Action Now. All The Best  


Author: Dr. Anirban Mukherjee

Dr. Mukherjee is working as a scientist in ICAR-Research Complex for Eastern Region, Patna.


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  1. 20 Aug,2021

    Informative compilation

  2. 20 Aug,2021
    Dr. Manoj Kumar

    Good suggestions for success. Thanks to you.

  3. 20 Aug,2021
    Alok Kumar Singh

    I am satisfied to certificate food & scientific reports