How to Pull an All-Nighter

Next time you have a test on leitmotifs in Gravity's Rainbow, you'll thank us.

You will need

  • Index cards
  • Gum
  • Lavender or peppermint aromatherapy
  • Coffee
  • And a can of energy drink

Step 1 Create flash cards Create flash cards by writing a question on one side and the answer on the other.

Step 2 Chew gum Chew gum. Studies show it activates chemicals in the brain that improve short and long term memory.

Step 3 Divide items to be memorized Divide items to be memorized into chunks no larger than seven. That’s the maximum amount of information the human memory can absorb at one time.

Step 4 Sniff lavender or peppermint Sniff some lavender or peppermint, whether they’re in candle, oils, or candy form. Studies have found that these fragrances help people stay awake and alert.

Step 5 Don't drink too much coffee Pace yourself with the coffeepot. Too much joe will make you jittery.

Step 6 Take breaks Take frequent breaks. Our brains are more likely to retain the first and last points of a study session, so lots of short study spurts are better than one long one.

Step 7 Chug an energy drink Chug an energy drink before the big test (or your first class). A study of graduate students found that those who drank one were more mentally sharp an hour later than those who didn’t.

Step 8 If you're drifting in class If you find yourself drifting in a class, get up and go drink some water, or chew some more gum. You’ve done the hard part, so don’t give up now.