In a perfect world every student would study every subject every day, revise what he/she has learned and be prepared enough when it’s time for exams – but in the real world we sometimes pull all-nighters just before the test. While this is not the most effective technique, let’s see how to get the most out of what you know (even if you don’t know much) when it’s time for your exam.
Let’s be clear here, I don’t support all-nighters, and you should avoid them as much as you can (you can find out more about effective time management and study techniques here), but I know that sometimes it’s unavoidable for whatever reason. So, how to get the most out of it?
1. Zzzzz – As you know you should have slept for 8 hours to be fresh and alert for the exam – which you didn’t do… going 24 hours without sleep reduces your IQ by 10 points… (or so the research data says) – can you afford it? Even if you are eager to learn everything, rather memorize the most important things and then go get some sleep – even if it’s just 3 or 4 hours, it’s better than nothing… maybe you will reduce your IQ for just 5 points ;)
2. Put the book down – For most people it’s not a good idea to study right before the test – makes you just nervous. My cousin told me that she has always learned the most and the most important things 1 hour before her test… but, well, she is also a genius. If you don’t believe that you are one, don’t try this… you will be nervous and you really don’t want to forget the little you know because of increased nervousness. Most people can’t remember anything they have tried to memorize right before the test, so save your time.
3. Joke around – logically you want to decrease your nervousness. There are many ways to do that. One of them is to laugh, laugh, laugh. So, tell a joke, make other people tell you one or watch a funny video – just make sure that you are in a good mood. You will recall what you know much easier and decrease the probability of blackouts.
4. Have a candy, dear – having a candy (or any other treat you like – mmmmm, ice-cream :) right before the exam will additionally increase your good mood. Research has shown that doctors who were given candy right before they were given a difficult medical problem to solve, were more creative, came up with better solutions and didn’t give up easily. So, get some candy and solve the problems on your test like an expert.
By the way, these techniques are also very effective when you did study enough – get the best out of your knowledge.
Want to know how to study for exams in a pleasant and efficient way?