Studying the Night Before a Test

You forgot to study for a test - or you chose to wait to the night before a test - it happens. If you find yourself in finals, midterms or the night before a test, how do you bounce back if you let studying go to the last minute? Click here to hear some strategies (and tough love) for last minute test prep.   Marni Pasch -Academic Coach Team- Pasch Academic Coach  Podcast School Counselor Gone Rogue

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Studying The night before a test - Episode 035

You Googled how to study the night before a test and ace it didn’t you? I’ve been there. Of course, that was before Google existed. I probably searched an AOL chat room for the answer. If you or if your child is procrastinating when it comes to preparing for tests this episode of School Counselor Gone Rogue is going to give you some tips AND some tough love. First, I suggest downloading my free resource The Test Prep Roadmap - you can grab it by clicking here. It takes you through the simple steps to create a studying plan in less time AND less stress so you don’t end up in this pickle again. This shouldn’t be used as a go-to system for cramming. That would be foolish – but if we have to narrow the scope of our studying it will do just this once.

Let’s chat about what to do for finals or your average test when you didn’t study. Click above to listen to the full episode or read below for some quick outtakes.

Let’s dish out the Tough Love

If you are leaving your studying to the last minute, do not fool yourself. Do not think that, "I'm going to study for 3 hours before the test, and I'm going to get an A." You've got to get real. You do not get the right, to take the test and then be like, "Man, they didn't ask me the questions that I was prepared for" or "That teacher gave me a lame old test." No, no, no, no, no.

The first responsibility comes down to you and that responsibility was to prepare a little bit further in advance, right? Say it loud, say it proud, "I screwed up and I left my studying go to the very last minute."

However, we also have to try our best. What will that look like? What will you have to study?  We cover how to do that in The Test Prep Roadmap.

First, we had to lay down some consequences. Being that my husband is a teacher, we hold a very big priority on being respectful to teachers.

The conversation went something like this:

“But I was being respectful. I wasn’t being disrespectful. I didn’t mouth off.”

First, as parents, we had to get very clear about what our expectations are as parents. It is also important to clarify the terms that are being used. What is respect to her might not be respect to us.

I had to ask - “If the class is carrying on like a bunch of hyenas, my love, are you being respectful to the teacher if you’re contributing to the chaos? Do you feel like you are helping your teacher be successful if you are in some way, even for a moment, adding to the chaos?” Her response was,   “No.”

So we established that point. We defined the terms of respect and disrespect.

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    Clear your Calendar

    The next thing is to clear the calendar. We let things slip so we have to buckle down and wipe away the Netflix binges and social outings. I can’t sugar coat this – but it’s just for a little while. It’s going to be you, text books and notes for a few days.

    The embarrassment only lasts a few moments - then I remember my kids are human and so am I.  Just because I work with students, doesn’t mean my children are perfect.  OK, they are almost perfect in all the ways that matter - but they are going to have rough days. One rough day doesn’t shape their character for eternity - it gives them something to acknowledge, improve on and grow from.    Listen to the podcast on what to do when you get a phone call home from the teacher!  Check out School Counselor Gone Rogue on Itunes,Stitcher or Google Play or check out the website and show notes!


    If you are cramming, and it is finals time you are going to have to look at which classes are the ones in danger of tanking your grade. They might be the classes you like the least. We can’t change that – but we can take a deep breath, admit this is the pickle we are in, and get to work.

    You need to make some choices. This might mean determining which material you are going to focus on. You can’t study EVERYTHING the night before the test. A good study plan should be started days in advance. We won’t play the shame and blame game. We both know that being in this place isn’t fun. Let’s make the best of it.


    Grab your free Test Prep Roadmap yet? —> Click here!


    Once we pick the class or the concept, we are going to work on we need to strategize. Now that you figured out where you're going to start, this is where you pull out The Test Prep Roadmap. We're going to look all of your assignments that you're going to be tested on. We're going to look at the concepts. And we're going to create a list of the things that you need to study.

    In Closing

    Listen to the full episode for all the details, but don’t get it twisted. I am not suggesting you leave work till the last minute - but if your child is leaving studying to the last minute there could be a reason. If we are going to stop procrastination and late night cramming we need to get to the heart of the reason.

    Take a listen to the episode, download The Test Prep Roadmap and let’s get out of this cycle of cramming the night before the test!

    Follow me on Instagram: @team_pasch, follow me on Facebook, subscribe to the show, leave a review. If you’re not motivated to do so, send me an email and tell me why not.


    • How to handle late night study sessions

    • Preparing for a test with short notice

    • The hard truth about studying procrastination



    Marni Pasch| Host of School Counselor Gone Rogue| Academic Coach | Team Pasch Academic Coaching

    I work with students in grades 6th and higher, who struggle with academic confidence and motivation. I help them survive school with less stress by helping them create concrete goals, tackle procrastination and learn creative study techniques. I empower students to take charge of their education and reach their goals. I do this through individual or group coaching so students achieve success in life, school, career readiness and their social endeavors.