General Question

eidur's avatar

Does studying the day before an exam have much affect?

Asked by eidur (19points) January 8th, 2012

I’ve read about that not studying right before an exam (24 hours) and “sleeping on it” helps with retaining the information.

I’m just wondering, would using that day before an exam to study for something else instead violate that method and have a bad effect?

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9 Answers

GrayTax's avatar

I think it probably depends on the person.

I’ve never tried “sleeping on it”, and always just go through my notes a few more times before the day of the exam but…

Personally, if it’s something I’ve not started revising for yet I often find myself losing what I revised for in the other subject because my brain says “Oh, new stuff! Must be more important than that stuff from before. Better make room for it I guess…”. Otherwise (if it’s something I’ve gone over already/at the same time as the other subject) it’s usually okay and I’ll remember most of it :s

Moegitto's avatar

It doesn’t help retain the information, it brings the information back out. The problem is, most humans only maintain a part of a memory, not the whole event. There are memories where you can remember everything, but most of your memories are from events that you took an exceptional note to. Example: You have a birthday party, of course friends are invited. They all bring gifts. Some bring great gifts and some bring cheap ones. Depending on the type of person you are, when you remember your birthday party, you might only remember the good gifts (or vise versa). Its the same with studying, when you actually take the test, you look at a question. Then all of a sudden, you get excited because for some strange reason you instantly remember the answer to it. Your mind catches something in the question that links it to something you studied a day ago and makes an instant connection, bringing up a memory from when you were studying. Sorry for getting technical. Here’s an easy way to see it, A computer has tons of information, but you can’t see it. But when you go to the search bar and type “r”, the computer brings up every piece of information with “r” in it. Then it’s up to you to choose what your looking for from those results. That’s how our memory works.

marinelife's avatar

If you don’t overdo it, it can be fine.

janbb's avatar

It really all depends on your own mind and learning style. If it just makes you panicky, not a good idea. If you have good short term memory and it is rote facts, it may be ideal for you.

kb12345's avatar

No. In my anatomy and physiology class I am taking we had a practical on every bone in the body. I studied for a few weeks but the night before I really studied very hard. It paid off with a 94.

Bellatrix's avatar

Too many unknowns here to suggest to how much benefit studying in the last 24 hours before an exam will have. If you haven’t done any study, it will possibly help more than doing nothing but beyond that, it depends on what you are studying, how much work you have done over the length of the study period and things such as the type of exam.

Charles's avatar

That’s about the only way I studied.

flo's avatar

I think studying the day before the exam would help the info stay close/fresh and easy enough to retrieve but apparently not always. Different systems work for different people I guess. And there are other variables too, if it worked the first time it may not work the next time.

Jeruba's avatar

The best thing is to know what works for you. I’ve seen people pull all-nighters and cram, but I always fell asleep trying that. If I didn’t know it the day before the exam, I wasn’t going to know it in a night. But reviewing—notes, highlighted text, key themes brought out in the syllabus (never overlook the syllabus as a good clue to exam topics)—those helped me a lot. I also did better with sleep than without it.

The subject matter could also be a factor. Is it content knowledge (history or botany, for example) or process knowledge (math, logical analysis)? You can cram a few more dates and names, but can you cram how to do something if you haven’t had any practice? I don’t know, but I doubt it.

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