Home > Resources > Study Skills > Study Smart > Mastering The All Nighter

Mastering the "All-Nighter"

If you happen to have forgotten about an important, upcoming exam and plan on staying up all night to study, you are not alone. Many college students tend to procrastinate or be bombarded with other courses, so that they are left studying, writing a paper, or completing a project last minute.

Here are a few last-minute study tips to help ace your exam:

Let your syllabus outline a study guide for you

Before you begin reviewing your course materials, pull out your syllabus. Typically, strong course syllabi are naturally formatted so you can have a strong study outline. Consider how much time is spent on topics you are less confident in, and make a list of those topics as well as books or information you’d like to revisit in the next few hours.

Organize your materials

Even if you are not certain you’ll revisit certain books, handouts, or old papers for class, writing down and gathering these materials will avoid future hassle. Physically seeing the materials will help spark some recollection and perhaps refresh your memory. Arrange the materials so you have the easiest access to the ones you will utilize most during the study session.

Read over Critical Text

If you were proactive and read all the assigned chapters, books, and packets for the course, you will most likely need a quick skim to refresh your memory. If you did not, it’s best you read the introduction to each section. However, avoid reading everything, as it’s impossible to retain so much knowledge in such little time. Gather essay material or practice any problems that you cannot easily or consistently solve. Particularly, read through any essays or quizzes you completed throughout the semester. This will help you identify course objectives and give you insight to possible exam questions.

Take notes

Take notes on the topics that you are reviewing. Writing down information will help you remember it. It is always easier to recall an answer or information that you have written down. Before taking new notes, write down all the information pertinent to the exam that is already secured in your memory. This will help integrate new information as you go about studying and make it easier to recall on the exam.

Sleep three hours

If you feel that you have made enough headway to pry yourself away from your books for a couple of hours to nap, take that opportunity. Make sure to leave yourself a few hours before the exam to recollect your thoughts and review the notes you were taking before your break. Avoid sleeping a couple hours before the exam- this will only leave you feeling rushed and unprepared when you wake up, and it won’t allow you enough time to take another look at your notes.

Last Edited: July 2015

Latest College & Financial Aid News

More Political Awareness and Activism on College Campuses Than in Last 50 Years

February 11, 2016

by Susan Dutca

A new study reports that 2015/2016 college freshman embody an all-time high predisposition for civil engagement in the study's 50-year history. According to Mikhail Zinshteyn, political and social crime-fighting students hope to be the new brigade of community leaders and activists this year. According to the Higher Education Research Institute, who surveyed 114,189 first-year [...]

Student Federal Aid to Blame for Increasing Tuition Costs?

February 9, 2016

by Susan Dutca

Some 200 years ago, attending Harvard may have cost roughly $600.50 a year ($8,371 if you adjust for inflation) in comparison to today's cost of attendance of up to $69,600, according to Greg Daugherty. College Board reports the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2015-2016 school year was $32,405 at private colleges, $9,410 for state residents at public colleges, and $23,893 for [...]

February is Financial Aid Awareness Month

February 4, 2016

by Susan Dutca

What makes February so lovely? It is Financial Aid Awareness Month, and since filling out the FAFSA is stressful - much like taxes - several higher education institutions and financial aid organizations have jumped on board to provide informational sessions for families and students as they navigate through, and apply for financial aid through the 2016-2017 FAFSA. According to the National Center [...]

Follow Us:

facebook twitter rss feed