8 studying hacks for the board exam

Having some difficulty studying or focusing for the board exams? Here are some studying 'hacks' that won't hurt to try. 


You may be tempted to stay up all night cramming for the test, but this is counterintuitive. Sleep is proven to improve memory and retention. Being well rested is essential for good performance in the exam.

Play games

When I was studying for the board exam, I would play simple mobile games during my free time. I find that it helps me focus more when I study. I like simple, low-stakes games like typing games, Tetris, or cafe/restaurant simulation games.

In this game, type words to defeat zombies. Also a good typing practice!

Serve customers in Penguin Cafe is a good source for free to play, ad-free browser-based games. No need to download ad-ridden apps and you can access from any device.


Exercise may be the last thing on your mind while studying for an important exam, but exercise has been proven to reduce stress and improve overall health. Physical activity can strengthen memory, improve concentration, elevate mood, and increase energy. When I was studying for the board exam, I used to take a lot of walks during my study breaks.

Shorter study sessions

In my experience in studying for the board exam and during college, shorter study sessions can help improve focus. I often use the Pomodoro method (Studying for 25 minutes, taking a break for 5 minutes, repeat). This makes me focus more as I know that the next break will be there fast. Unlike if you study for an hour straight, you won't be fully engaged on what you are studying for that time, that's why I recommend shorter study sessions for those who can't focus well.

Get your phone away or minimize distractions

The smartphone is one of the most amazing inventions today, with all services and information right at our fingertips. But they are also a cause of a lot of distraction. If your phone isn't helping you focus or if you keep on checking social media instead of studying, then put it away in another room or use apps like Stay Focused to block websites for a set time. 

Focus on practice exams and mock exams

While you must review the subjects, the board exam is ultimately a test of how well you can answer a multiple choice exam. Practice deduction and elimination when you find questions you're not familiar with. 

Use scents

Some claim that scents can be associated with memories. Use a specific cologne or scent during studying and smell it again just before the exam. Some people claim that it helps them jog their memories to remember what they studied. 

Make a 'cheat sheet' for essential information to remember

Try creating a 'reviewer' with all the important information on a subject. During college, I would create a cheat sheet on a piece of paper of all the essential information from my studies. Of course, I will not bring it to the exam but studying that one cheat sheet will save me time than reading all the pages again. The act of writing it down also makes me remember it more.

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