How to study for an exam in one night?
If you are a student, you might wish to make everything fast and easy. Unfortunately, nothing comes easy, especially in school.
However, when I was a student I found some techniques that made my study sessions easier.
These techniques can be applied when you don’t have enough time to study. Let us assume that you only have one day before the exam.
Here’s how to study for an exam in one night.
1. Prepare everything you need
I hope you jot down notes during class discussions. Notes are very important in studying. It summarizes the lessons by only including the key points of the concepts. In addition, your notes will serve as cues to your brain. Your brain uses association in storing memories. This means that when you see the things associated with a certain information, you will remember that information more easily.
Turn off your cell phone or set it in a silent mode. Put it in a place harder to reach. Studies found that the presence of smartphones alone could distract attention. So you better free yourself from gadgets while studying.
If you want, drink a cup of coffee before or during the study session. Coffee is a powerful stimulant. It stimulates your brain making it more active and efficient while studying.
2. Read intermittently
Most students find it hard to grasp what they study. One of the reasons or the struggle when studying is the wrong study practice. Most students tend to spend 3-4 hours reading without rest. It is tempting to believe that the longer you study the better the result.
However, studies found the opposite. In fact, studying for an hour is next to useless. This is because the brain can only focus for about 25-30 minutes. Beyond 30 minutes, your focus decreases.
So the better and more effective way of studying is to have an occasional break every 25 minutes. Doing something irrelevant during a break is recommended. You can watch your favorite TV shows for 5 minutes before going back to the chapter you previously left.
3. Ask for a help
If you encounter concepts that are difficult to understand, don’t forget to ask a friend or someone who might know better. Having someone who could help you may speed up and lightens your study effort.
4. Get enough sleep
Enough sleep is not only good for the body but also for consolidating newly learned information. It was found in numerous studies that getting enough sleep after studying actually helps the brain to retain more information.
The only problem is, given the limited time, you may have no enough time to sleep. Thus, dividing your time smartly is crucial.
When I was a student, in the situation like this, I focused more on the subjects that I thought I should have studied more deeply. I considered them as grey areas. Meaning, I need to tackle them more.
In summary, as a student, you can always maximize your study time. You can always find ways to pass the exam. But I have some caveat though. The techniques mentioned above may not guarantee you success. This is because, in most cases, studying in one night often less effective.
Scientific findings suggest that forcing your brain to retain a bulk of information in a short period of time results in information overload. Thus, studying your lessons a night before the exam may not always work.
So the best practice always starts studying early. When I was in college, I seldom study the night before the exam except in some few instances.
The reason is that the brain does a better job of retaining more information through constant neural stimulation. Repeated reading stimulates the brain that will result in a better neural connection. The stronger the connection between neurons that hold the information, the easier the information can be remembered later on when necessary.
If you want to succeed in school and become a straight-A student, start studying early. Read your notes at least two weeks before the exam.
I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.