You must have experienced studying overnight for a big test, but research shows that you may get a better grade if you give up overnight study and actually go to bed.

What is the most important thing you need to do good on an exam? Memory! Memorizing everything does not guarantee a good grade, but it definitely is the first big step towards achieving an improvement.

According to the National Institutes of Health, sleep helps storing memories and also has a restorative function.  NIH also said lack of sleep affects reasoning, problem-solving and attention to detail abilities. You may think you are giving up time to memorize more material if your sleeping, but in reality your really making your mind and body suffer.  For example, you read 80 percent of the materials not sleeping, compared to only 60 percent if you sleep, but you can only recall 30 percent of the overnight-reading things, while you could have recalled 50 percent of the material if you rest. In other words, give you brain some time to process the information rather than just putting things into it.

Via flickr/Pedro Ribeiro Simões
Via flickr/Pedro Ribeiro Simões

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke supported the claim as well. It explained what process your brain goes through while you are sleeping. You probably do not want to go into the scientific terms, but to put it simple, overnighting does not do you any good. The NINDS wrote, “Too little sleep leaves us drowsy and unable to concentrate the next day. It also leads to impaired memory and physical performance and reduced ability to carry out math calculations.” It also said that each person needs different hours of sleep depending on factors, like age, but seven to eight hours per night is the best average for most adults.

Many evidence support that good sleep quality at the night before a test can help your brain function better. Here is another tips for you on the day of the test: drink a cup of water before taking it.

Via flickr/Masako T
Via flickr/Masako T

BBC News reported a study of the University of East London found that students who drink water before taking tests score an average of 5 percent higher than those who do not.

Dr. Chris Pawson of the university said water consumption may have physiological effect on thinking functions and anxiety-relieving effect that result in better exam performance.

Dr. Caroline Edmonds, also from the university, said people who were thirsty and had a cup of water before thier test have even more obvious improvement in test scores. She said thirst, may have distracted students in the first place, so thirsty people get a bigger improvement compared to what they could have gotten if they didn’t drink water.

So, you know how to get a better grade next time — good sleep, keep yourself from being thirsty and drink water before the test!

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