Set Yourself up for Success: What to Do the Night Before an Exam

The night before an exam is an emotional time. You might be feeling anxious, restless, worried, stressed, or all of the above. It might feel like there’s nothing more you can do that will affect tomorrow’s outcome.

When in fact, there is a lot you can do the night before an exam to make sure you perform your best. 

Here are some essential tips that will help you relax, study, and prepare so that you can confidently complete your exam to the best of your ability.

Prepare All the Tools You Need

The last thing you want to be doing the morning of an exam is rushing around. If you’re searching for your calculator with a slice of toast in your mouth and one shoe on, you’re just going to be more stressed!

If you want to know how to prepare the night before an exam, you need to actually prepare everything the night before an exam.

Pack all the tools you need into your bag, including extra pens. Even preparing your breakfast and lunch might help you feel less stressed.

If you are especially anxious, check the weather and plan your clothes. Sometimes examination halls are cold, so you’ll need to wear sensible clothing.

Limit Distractions and Focus

The best way to study for an exam the night before is to not try to reinvent the wheel. If you’ve not completed your exam preparation with cue cards or the Pomodoro Technique previously, then attempting to the night before won’t make a difference. 

Try switching off your phone (yes, switch it off) to stop your peers unintentionally adding to your worries. It may be accidental, but mentioning an author you didn’t study, or a difficult equation might make you feel more stressed.

Take a deep breath and simply read over your study materials. It’s unlikely you’re going to retain a lot of new information the night before an exam, so don’t pressure yourself. Accept that you’ve done as much as you can.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Whether your exam is via computer based testing or in an examination hall you still need a good night’s sleep. Ideally, you should aim to get around eight hours of sleep before an important exam.

But it can be difficult to know how to relax the night before an exam when you might be feeling anxious and can’t switch off. 

If you need help getting to sleep, try listening to some music or a podcast on a low volume to help drown out your thoughts. Some people benefit from relaxing scents like lavender or weighted blankets.

And remember, if you really can’t get to sleep, resting is still beneficial. It’s much better to be relaxing in a dark room than it is to be awake at 3am surrounded by papers feeling frazzled.

Prepare for Success the Night Before an Exam

It is essential that you prepare the night before an exam so you can achieve the best result possible.

Though studying as much as you can is a good idea, don’t forget to prepare your mind and body mentally too. 

Check out our other educational articles if you need more study advice. And good luck with your exam!