IT’S A wonder why toward the end of every school year, a student gets a menacing mental block, seemingly forgetting all the lessons the punishing 10 months have offered. The harrowing months of studying, note-taking and answering all those quizzes do take their toll even on the most diligent of students, so the question is, “How does one survive it?”

By hacking your way through an exam! Note, though, that it’s hacking and not cheating, and there’s a very fine line between the two. With cheating, it’s about putting all the work on others and stealing your classmate’s answers. Hacking, on the other hand, is doing all the work on your own, yet keeping the energy spent for prepping at a minimum.

These are hacks that might just help you focus and be more efficient when preparing for a major examination.

Draw the bullets. Seeing how a lot of kids in elementary, high school and even college still love to doodle on their notebooks, how about drawing things that represent the bullet points? With a drawing, you could associate an image with a particular item in your study guide.

Walk it off. Researching on effective ways to concentrate, many studies suggest that walking before studying is good. A research says that 20 minutes of walking or a simple exercise before an exam could help you achieve optimum results. Light walking, after all, does clear the mind.

Plan a break. Give yourself a break. Studying is hard work, so take time to rest in between study time. Take 20 minutes by eating something sweet to regain your energy.

Teach. You can always talk to someone about what you’ve learned. Get a friend or a younger sibling to listen to you while you talk about the things you’ve learned. Many find it reassuring and helpful in boosting one’s confidence to know that you have mastered the lessons you read. It’s basically the same as reading aloud.

Watch. Lessons in history subjects are likely to be found in documentary videos. If you are a millennial, this is right up your alley—learning while watching. The information is easily retained when someone or a video narrates or explains it effectively.

There are a lot of ways to keep you a little enthusiastic about the exams and help you pass it, but there’s no better way to survive it than by studying. It sounds like a cliché, but its a cliche for a reason! Good luck with the exams, guys! (Tessa Frances T. Aguilar / USJ-R Intern)