Why all-nighters aren’t a good idea before an exam


The exam season is hanging over your head, and it can feel as though you need to spend every waking moment cramming for the test. Perhaps you’ve thought about staying up all night? Here’s why all-nighters aren’t a good idea before an exam.

Lose concentration

It can be easy to think you need to spend all night cramming for your exam, but did you know that it could actually mean you lose concentration? That’s right; not getting enough sleep means that your mind has trouble staying focused on the task at hand. This could mean that you find yourself reading the same question over and over again without anything sinking in, or the person’s pen tapping across the room or the ticking clock become a much better thing to focus on than the task at hand. While you might think that you’re learning more, an all-nighter could affect your performance on the big day.

Photo: Pexels.com

Affected memory

Perhaps you feel that reading all those facts right up to the big exam is the best way to make sure they all stay in your mind? While it might sound like a good idea, it turns out that a lack of sleep can have a significant impact on our memory. Yes, all of those facts and figures could soon drain out of your mind like water through a sieve. Our brains are designed to work their best in the morning and throughout the day – not late at night. Many studies have shown that all-nighters rely on short-term memory, meaning everything you read probably won’t stick anyway.

Slip in grades

It can be tempting to want to cram all night before your exam to make sure that you get the best grades that you can manage. That is until we learn that staying up all night could be one of the worst things to do if you want to help improve your grades. One study performed by Stanford Medicine showed that high school students who got too little sleep ended up getting lower grades than those who get adequate sleep each night. Our bodies need time to rest while our brains need time to process everything they’ve learned. That means getting enough time under the duvet is some of the best studying any student can do.

Photo: Pexels.com

Feeling tired

Of course, staying up all night means that it won’t be long before you start to feel tired. Our bodies need to sleep for a whole host of reasons, such as boosting our immune system, remembering everything we’ve learned from the day, and reducing our levels of stress. That feeling of being tired can be pretty distracting to many. After all, yawning all through your exam and having to fight off your need to sleep could be enough to see your mind wander from the questions in front of you to everything else going through your mind.

Getting enough sleep can have plenty of effects on our mind and body. Perhaps that’s why pulling all-nighters aren’t a good idea before an exam? If you don’t remember all the facts you need to by now, then the chances are they will never sink in. Sometimes, we need to believe in ourselves and let our memories do all the hard work.