How to study effectively for an exam (when you’re starting the night before)

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You have heard it all before right? Sleep 8 hours per night, start 6 weeks in advance and eat your vegetables the night before the exam. We at understand that this just isn’t in the cards for most students. It is hard enough to maintain a social life, stay fit, call your mom, and pass all of your exams. This might lead to some instances where you will have to just study everything you learned for the past 3 years in one night, and even then there are still ways to study more effectively.

Okay, so here we are, 12 hours before the exam, studying effectively has basically been thrown out of the window at this point. We’re aiming for a beautiful “pass” for your exams. Nothing more, nothing less. Still, there are some measurements to be taken before we can start.

Make sure you have all the snacks ready

When studying the night before the exam we can’t be bothered by things such as “calories,” the fact that sugar is more addictive than cocaine, or eating two pieces of fruit a day. For now, it’s most important to just buy all the food you love and have it sitting on your desk when you need it. There’s no shame here, whether you are just putting spoons of Nutella in your mouth, or stuffing your face with cheesy pizza; everything is allowed the night before an exam.

Get all the caffeine

We don’t know if we’re legally allowed to tell you this, but caffeine will help you a sh*t ton when studying the night before an exam. One might say this is the one thing that will keep you from failing, hard. Just a tiny little warning; drinking more than 4 energy drinks in 4 hours is not safe, nor will it help you study if you’re tripping on caffeine. We just won’t disclose whether we’re speaking from experience.

Make yourself a killer playlist

Some people prefer Beethoven when studying, but when you have to stay awake it’s Calvin Harris all the way. “One page is all it takes, failing this class with me…” Making a whole playlist is an investment. It might take away three hours from your study time, but it will be worth it. A dance party break every 20 minutes is a requirement for keeping your mind fresh.

All the measurements have been taken, at this point, we’re about 4 hours in and we still haven’t studied one bit. Time to start. How are we going to do this effectively, and not go crazy? Let us break it down for you.

Write down everything you have to do

This will not only bring you peace in your head, but it will also give you great satisfaction when you get to mark off one of the items on your list. When you still feel like you’ve got too much time on your hands you could even rank your tasks on level of importance, but in general, I would say that ain’t nobody got time for that.

Get your hand on your smart friend’s summary

Trust me, there’s always this one person who’s got their sh*t together, actually studied effectively and has therefore made a summary. Especially when the exam consists of open questions, it can be much more useful to study this summary, so you actually have a general sense of what the course is about.

Go through the slides made by your teacher

Your teacher is obviously going to write down which points are most important to him or her, and therefore also have the biggest chance of being in the exam. Reading through your teacher’s powerpoint slides might also help you remember what was said in class when you were dozing off because it got late the night before. This is effective studying at its finest.

Write down the most important things

Writing stuff down helps you remember things, because… science. Therefore it’s really good to just scramble the things down that you think will be asked during the exam. This way you make your own little summary that you can read right before the exam to refresh your memory.

Just go to sleep

We know… crazy right? Why would you go to sleep when you still don’t know what the 5 P’s of Marketing 101 stand for? Sometimes, it’s best to just let the knowledge sink in, and take some rest. After 10 non-stop hours of studying, your brain is not going to retain much information anyways.

The exam is here. You did everything you could. Go show what you’re made off, and if everything fails, just make things up. And remember, people who start the night before are the real champs, don’t let anyone tell you different.

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