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This question originally appeared on Quora. Answer by Max Lukominskyi.

Last month I submitted my master thesis and look forward to getting a grade. In other words, I am almost done with my master program.

Here are 5 study hacks that I’ve been using intensively over the last six years:

20–80 rule. In general, the academic books are cumbersome. They consist of too many unnecessary words that try to communicate some simple ideas. 20% of the book contains 80% of information it is about to convey. If you are pressed for time, never spend too much of it reading each and every line of a book. All the books and chapters are structured in such a way that some particular parts are about to reveal the essential details of the issue discussed, while the remainder is there just in order to elaborate on some trivial things. Therefore, learn to use the books properly.

Think like a teacher. Whenever you are about to take the exam, think like a teacher. Take some time to evaluate all the information presented during the lectures and try to guess what things are the perfect fit for the exam. Try to make a well-educated guess. Try to distinguish the relevant things from the less important ones. This simple trick will allow you to spend more time learning the material that matters most while avoiding the details that are not likely to appear on the exam sheet.

Planning is a key. It is not a secret that no matter how well the students study during the semester, everyone enters crunch mode one week before the exam. While studying for several hours straight you are not likely to learn anything if you do not have a strict schedule. Make sure you have a plan of when and what subjects you are supposed to revise. Make sure that you stick to the schedule. Otherwise, you risk being unfocused and distracted all the time by the things that do not matter.

Power naps. Every once in a while intensive studying makes you feel tired and overwhelmed already in the middle of the day. Do not force yourself to keep on working if you feel that your productivity falls. Block the outside noise and take a nap for about 30 minutes in the afternoon in some comfortable space. When you wake up you will feel that your energy is restored while concentration and cognitive abilities are significantly increased.

Prepare the questions for yourself. Before giving a presentation in front of the large audience, approach a few people in a room you know and ask them to ask you certain questions. As they raise those questions at the end of your presentation, you will be ready to provide the exhaustive answers and provoke a good further discussion of the issues presented. The teachers always appreciate the Q&A parts and will grade your work respectfully if you provide great answers and lead the discussion well.

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