There are different ways to efficiently prepare and take exams. Even though the test can be finished in a certain amount of time, the preparation usually takes much longer. Also, there are differences in these strategies depending on the focus of the test.
For example, if the exam questions will be based more on open ended questions like those in literature and philosophy, then it will be better if the individual focused his review on the main contents of the lesson. A thorough understanding of the story or the theory will be very helpful in answering any question whether open-ended, sequencing of events, or any form of tests.
This is in contrast to biology or geography exams in which the use of keywords will be helpful. In these types of tests, it is very helpful to be familiar if not strictly memorize the terms which are learned or explained in a particular topic. The knowledge of their definitions and their nature will be helpful in identifying them whenever they appear in any part of the test.
Of course there are also disciplines which require thorough knowledge of procedures and logical analysis like those of algebra and geometry. Reviewing for these subjects need more time for practice in order to have positive test results. This is in order to understand and digest the step-by-step procedure so that it can be readily applied during the test proper.
During the test, the individual should read the directions carefully and be concise and thorough in answering questions, especially the open-ended ones. It is also important that the person allots a particular chunk of time and try to do the easier items or the more difficult ones, depending on whichever works best for him. This can also save more time to review the answers. A less stressful examination will most probably yield more positive results.