Most people spend the night before a big exam cramming for the next day. However, recent research has shown that that time might be better spent sleeping- something that the majority of us would rather be doing. While many people claim that if you play an educational recording while sleeping you will absorb the information, this has been disproven a number of times and has nothing to do with sleeping instead of studying the night before a big test.
Rather, scientists have discovered that it is optimal to let the brain rest in the twenty four hours before an exam. People who study all the way up to the test will remember less than people who did the same amount of study but stopped twenty four hours before the exam.
People do far better in exams if they have been able to sleep between the study and the test. The reason for this is that sleep is the time when the brain is able to sort through and process all the information it has received during the day. If you sleep between study and the exam, the brain has had a chance to process the study you have done and to put it into a more meaningful and easily accessible format.
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