It doesn't have to be that way
Watch the video version:
Routine - Do these activities on a regular or semi-regular basis so the skills will become automatic for what the students need them whether for an exam or real life.
Real Life English - Remember, the purpose of exams is to get the candidates to prepare to use English in real life. Train them for this in your lessons.
Easter Egg Lessons
Learning without Learning - For many of these, the students don't feel like they're "studying", but they are improving these skills.
What else can you find?