The Night Before Exams


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SATs, ACTs, APs, finals – name the test and it’s probably being administered over the next couple of weeks. Smart Girls all over the world are studying hard and are going to ace these tests. You all have been studying for weeks, or maybe it’s been one weekend of solid cramming, but either way, it’s the night before exams. Now what?

Eat well.

The night before and the day of the exam should include healthy and balanced meals. Make sure you eat lots of protein and carbohydrates so you have energy for the test. Avoid caffeinated foods that will upset your sleep schedule and possibly increase your anxiety levels. Not only should you avoid caffeine, you should absolutely not drink alcohol. It affects your brain’s capacity to function and the last thing a Smart Girl wants during her exam is a hangover.

Get some sleep.

The consensus among the scientific community is that upwards of eight hours of sleep is ideal for the night before exams. However, if you’re still studying and can’t get all eight hours, make sure you get an absolute minimum of six hours of uninterrupted sleep. This minimum of six hours will allow you to get REM sleep, which occurs later in your sleep cycle and increases your ability to recall everything you’ve memorized.

Pack the night before.

Have your clothes picked out for the exam the night before. When you do this, check the weather and take into account the conditions of your testing room. Either way, wear layers so you can handle intense air conditioning or intense heat. Pack your bag with everything you’ll need for your exam. Pencils, pens, calculators – make and pack a list of everything you need and double-check that your bag is prepped properly. Finally, set your alarm. The last thing you want is to study for ages and then not be allowed to take your exam.


Take some deep breaths Smart Girl! You’re more than ready for your test.

But what if I haven’t started studying yet and my exam is tomorrow?

GO STUDY! Listen to white noise or classical music and get to work. However, make sure to get the sleep, food, water and prep you need so you can maximize your potential on your studies.

If you’re done with your studying and want some interesting articles to read, check out these articles about saying “sorry”, TV shows to watch when your exams end, how to make the most of your mornings and how to make time for workouts.

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Meghna Mehta

Meghna Mehta is a high school student hailing from the great state of New Jersey. She is an aspiring engineer and is (of course) a feminist. In her downtime, she enjoys watching The Mindy Project and Game of Thrones.