Competitive Exam Study Tips No One Told You About

There are exams and then there are exams; some are more important than others because they can make or break your dreams, and in the process, make or break your life. Competitive exams are nerve-wracking ordeals, especially because you are competing against hundreds of thousands of others who are also vying for the limited prizes available. So your chances of success depend on more than just your natural abilities – you need to step up your preparation and performance by more than just a notch if you want to succeed. Here are a few study tips that help you do just that:

  • Start early: The best time to start preparations for important exams is yesterday, which means that you need to start as soon as you can. A little preparation every day goes a long way in helping you remember what you’ve learned rather than a large amount of cramming towards the end. Don’t put off starting the studying process, because if you do, you lose out on more than just time.
  • Choose quality over quantity: Rather than studying for hours together and just memorizing all that you can, set up an intelligent system of study that allows you to learn more within a shorter period of time. This way, you don’t tax yourself too much and also end up doing more than you usually do.
  • Don’t look at what the rest of the crowd is doing: Don’t compare your progress to that of your friends or classmates who are also taking the same exam with you. Instead, stay true to your schedule and focus on your efforts alone. The same advice holds good when you’re writing your exam too – don’t look around at what the rest of the competition is doing; keep your eyes on your paper and concentrate on what needs to be done.
  • Stay focused: Don’t let anything derail your study plans, not family, not friends, not any crisis. If your goal is to crack the exam, you need to be focused and not succumb to any distraction that comes your way. Ensure that your family and friends give you the time and space you need to prepare for a competitive exam.
  • Don’t give up: If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. Don’t give up just because you tasted failure in your first attempt. Instead, use this as motivation to do better the next time, and use your experience to avoid making the same mistakes that cost you success the last time you took the exam.

Confidence is everything when you’re sitting for a competitive exam, so make sure you have plenty of it by preparing adequately.

This article is written by Kat Sanders, who regularly blogs on the topic of

14 thoughts on “Competitive Exam Study Tips No One Told You About

  1. aniruddha

    it was absolutely awesome tips on cracking competive exams…
    what i would like to say is choosing the right study materials is very important…
    all the best…..

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  2. anon

    I find writing with my off-hand or writing sloppily on notes makes my mind decipher them each time I read them – further cementing them in my memory.

    Also, when making mnemonics, a string of obscenities is always really easy too remember.

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  3. Paul

    Work 50 minutes a time with 10-15 minutes break in between.

    Mark down every completed hour in a diary or somewhere to monitor your progress. This will help to improve your confidence as you can the visualise the amount of work you have done.

    If you don’t feel motivated. Just say to yourself I will do one hour then see how I feel. The act of simply studying for a while will sometimes in itself motivate you to do more.

    If your feeling really stressed just read and do no more, later you may feel able to work more actively.

    Finally, get support from teachers, tutors and student counsellors if you feel you might benefit.

    Good luck and happy studying!


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    1. Daniel Post author


      Thanks for the really great tips in your comments. I’m sure people will find them more than useful – similar tips have helped me in the past!

      Would you like to write a gust post around the same subject? We’d include a by-line of your choice too, of course.

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  4. Stefan |

    Don’t look at what the others are doing is indeed important. When they don’t study (most likely) you shouldn’t be not studying also. Make you own plan and stick to it, and reach academic success!

    Good post,

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