So you’ve got a big exam coming up and you haven’t done the slightest bit of studying because, well, procrastination. We get you girl, we've all been there. However, just because everyone has done it at some point doesn't mean it's a good way to study. Waiting until the night before your test to try and memorise all your notes while swimming in caffeine is not always the way to go - here’s why.

You could go blank

Everyone’s experienced this - when you think you’ve got all the info saved in your brain, but this huge wave of blank hits you just as you’re reading the first question (cue crickets). ‘Elaborate for 5 marks’ seems like a tall order and you feel like your head’s about to explode. Well, cramming work the night before a test or exam can cause this since you haven’t given your brain enough time to process or store the information. You see, while you’re asleep, your brain sorts through and saves facts into its memory system. So if it’s hard enough to remember the names of all your new classmates after the first day of school, imagine trying to copy the entire Geography textbook overnight.

You’re going to be tired

In certain subjects, you’re required to memorise pages and pages of information, which will probably take you the whole night to do. This means you’ll be getting little or no sleep the night before your big test so you’re bound to be exhausted while you’re writing. Imagine being unable to concentrate through a drowsy yawn storm, causing you to give poor quality answers, which will ultimately affect your overall mark.

The panic

A lot of people binge on coffee and energy drinks to keep them awake after a night of cramming, which only makes matters worse if you panic after going blank or coming across a section you haven’t read. Since the caffeine found in these drinks is a stimulant, it exacerbates feelings of panic and anxiety - this isn’t going to help your marks much either.

Poor planning and a lack of prioritising means that you’ll find yourself cramming furiously the night before an important test or exam and no matter how much you convince yourself it’s a good idea - it really isn’t. You’re either going to skip through important bits of information in the rush to finish (and sleep), or you could forget everything you’ve tried to memorise the whole night. Either way, it’s a lose/lose situation. Being well-prepared and acing all your assessments, instead, is a much better plan.

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