Research shows that time spent studying is a very important factor in how much you learn. For example, it has been shown that simply reading material twice, rather than once, greatly improves memory retention. However, time is not the only factor in learning and in preparing for an exam. The quality of time spent studying is also critically important. For example, rather than trying to learn something all at once, try to pace your learning over a longer period of time and take breaks. So called “spaced” or “distributed” learning is much more effective than “cramming” at the last minute. Testing yourself has also been shown to substantially increase long-term recall which means that the more quizzes and practice questions you do, the better prepared you will be for your exam. Finally, studies show that mnemonics help, especially those that create a mental image.
One last word of wisdom: avoid overconfidence at all costs! Studies show it is among the top reasons people do poorly on exams.