Do you have an exam tomorrow and are feeling unprepared? Read a few tricks to help you learn and memorize as many things as you can.

The night before an exam

Make sure to have enough sleep at night before an exam. During sleep, the nerve endings, activated during the day, are refreshed and get stronger. When it happens, the information we learned during the day is transferring from the short term to the long term memory.

That is why sleepless nights before an exam are useless and even harmful. When planning a brainstorming exam preparation, you should know that in addition to time for studying information, you will need a night for getting proper rest.

Information is easier to memorize if:

  • It is interesting, controversial, or unexpected;
  • Emotionally colored;
  • Expands already existing knowledge;
  • It is learned in the context (for example, it’s easier and faster to study zoology in a museum of zoology, astronomy – in a planetarium, etc);
  • The process of memorizing occurs in the course of physical activity. Studies show that when doing fitness, walking, or just standing up, we memorize better.

Learning strategies

Our memory has a feature: created associations are destroyed in about 40 – 60 minutes if they are not fixed by repetition. Repeat information with sufficiently large intervals is effective too. Here is a strategy that will allow your memory to keep as much knowledge as possible.

If you need to memorize a text:

  1. for the first time, mentally repeat it immediately after reading;
  2. for the second time – 15-20 minutes after;
  3. the third – in 6-8 hours (on the same day);
  4. the fourth – on the next day.

If you need to memorize exact details (such as formulas):

  1. the second repetition – in 40-60 minutes;
  2. the third – in 3-4 hours (on the same day);
  3. the fourth – on the next day.


1. The night before an exam is a time for sleep, not for the last attempt to learn something.

2. In order not to waste time and energy on ineffective learning, you should learn to work with information and to use rational methods of memorization.

Good luck with your exam!

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