Studying Before the Big Day

By Maria Martinez
Blog Content Contributor

I went through midterms this week and I am currently dying. I have only gotten about 12 hours of sleep for the whole week which is made visibly evident by the black circles under my eyes. I just want to go to bed for a whole week and binge watch my favorite show.

I am the only one to blame of course; I plead guilty. I should have started studying way before the day before the test. I’m sure I’m not the only one who puts off their studying  until the last minute. We think we will be able to knock out a test, just by studying a day or night before, but it simply doesn’t work that way. We should start studying one week before the big day.

I came up with three main reasons for why studying with anticipation will help us do better on our tests.

1. If you have questions you will have time to ask your professor.

If you start going over the review and topics the day before the test, most likely your professor will not answer your emails as promptly as you need them. You had enough time so the day before the test is not the time to ask questions. However, if you start reviewing before, you can visit them during office hours so they can further explain whatever you are having trouble with. Professors are not monsters, don’t be afraid to talk to them. They are here to help us.

2. It is impossible to learn every single detail you should’ve learned in eight weeks, on a single night.

desk
Studying at a desk is way better than studying in a bed. Photo by Maria Martinez.

For example, I had midterms in Media Law and Fashion History this week. Both classes had very specific terms and details I needed to know, and it was hard to remember every single one of them. If I had started before I could have learned everything in parts and it would have been way easier. You can divide your days and studying however you want. You can set specific days for a subject or you can combine a little bit of each class in a day.

3. You can get more sleep the day before the test.

We hear about students pulling “all-nighters” more often around midterms and finals. We stay up all night studying and then take our test half asleep. The all-night studying may be doing your GPA more harm than good. The National Institutes of Health found that sleep deprived students have a lower memory and concentration capacity which resulted in a lower GPA. Dr. Philip Alapat, medical director at Harris Health Sleep Disorders Center recommends getting 8-9 hours of sleep every night, especially before exams. He also advises studying during the period of optimal brain function which is usually around 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

I am sure that if we did things, we would do better on our tests. Plus, we are going to  understand the material we are covering in the class at a deeper level. Otherwise, we are just memorizing the content for the day and we will forget it as soon as the semester ends. The point of coming to school is expand our knowledge, so we should take advantage of the opportunity we have to learn. We all have very busy schedules but in the long run, dedicating more of our time studying outside of class will be beneficial for all of us.

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