Sep 6, 2009
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Do people really stay up all night studying and not go to sleep??? how does the all nighter work.....is it for people who didnt study for the test the next day or is it for people who just want get an A.........can somebody explain a typical all nighter...........and the benefits and drawbacks......thanks.......
 
Oct 29, 2009
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is it for people who didnt study for the test the next day or is it for people who just want get an A?
Both, to some extent.

can somebody explain a typical all nighter?
Yes! My all-nighters usually involve ramen noodles, class notes, and the crew of the Federation Starship Voyager.

and the benefits and drawbacks
Usually staying up late the night before a test is a bad idea. Any advantage you gain by cramming in a little extra material is often outweighed by your increased likelihood to make silly errors on the exam. Planning ahead can almost always prevent them from being necessary, and they should really only be used as a last resort.
 
Jun 11, 2009
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I personally have never pulled an all nighter, but I know several people that have. Typically, they are working on a project or paper, not studying for a test. It's never a good idea, at least in my opinion, to stay up all night to study for a test because you don't remember what you are studying in the morning. It's always best to get a good night sleep. Just don't procrastinate and you probably won't have to deal with them ever.
 

imperfections

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I've done some all nighters. Not fun.. and I don't recommend them. Now, even if I have to stay up to finish studying or an assignment, I make sure to get at least an hour of sleep so I can function better the next day.
 

Bernoull

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Do people really stay up all night studying and not go to sleep??? how does the all nighter work.....is it for people who didnt study for the test the next day or is it for people who just want get an A.........can somebody explain a typical all nighter...........and the benefits and drawbacks......thanks.......
I just did one yesterday, PI wanted me to present but gave short notice..
So I was up for ~36hrs, finally sleep for 3hrs this afternoon and I'm good2go
 
Mar 16, 2010
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I personally have never pulled an all nighter, but I know several people that have. Typically, they are working on a project or paper, not studying for a test. It's never a good idea, at least in my opinion, to stay up all night to study for a test because you don't remember what you are studying in the morning. It's always best to get a good night sleep. Just don't procrastinate and you probably won't have to deal with them ever.
Agree 100%

Never pulled an all nighter in my 3.75 years of college. I never understood why they were necessary or how they would be more helpful than a decent night of sleep.
 
Nov 20, 2009
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Like everyone else has said, using them to study for an exam the next day usually isn't the best idea because you get into the test groggy and not thinking clearly. Even if you have massive amounts of caffeine I don't recommend it because it takes a while to get back onto a normal sleeping pattern.

I have done it, but only to write papers that I put off. Last semester a professor decided to give us the prompt for our final at the end of the week and it was due a week later. Unfortunately, I had other exams/papers to write so I literally had one night to work on it. I ended up getting a B on it though, which isn't too bad for me.
 

MedMan25

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Do people really stay up all night studying and not go to sleep??? how does the all nighter work.....is it for people who didnt study for the test the next day or is it for people who just want get an A.........can somebody explain a typical all nighter...........and the benefits and drawbacks......thanks.......
I've managed to make it through undergrad and almost 2 years of med school without ever having to pull an all-nighter. Ask me again during residency though and I might have a different response :scared:
 

bravofleet4

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i haven't really pulled an all nighter since high school...

i mean do you want to feel like ****? if you do, then by all means go ahead and pull all nighters. they make great success stories where you managed to pull an A out of the depths of hell but I'm 100% positive doing it repeatedly is responsible for the majority of health problems facing college students.
 

JimmyChitwood

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I am a senior and have probably pulled at least 20 all-nighters. In fact, for most science classes, that was my preferred method of study. I actually feel pretty good going into a test in the morning at 10 or 11 after studying all night. Now as for 2 or 3 in the afternoon, that is a different story. I usually take my test and then eat lunch and sleep for about 12 hours. I am somewhat of a night-owl though, I guess you could say. Anyway, I think everyone studies differently and you have to find what works for you. Now I do not advise studying like this. Obviously, there are benefits to cramming. Everything you need to know you just looked at for 12+ hours. However, there is the risk of feeling sluggish and you you probably won't retain as much. Also it is easy to fall into a habit of doing this (I am a prime example) and you won't change your ways until you just completely bomb a test. You end up studying all night for a test and then sleeping for the remainder of that day and then you get behind on more work and have to stay up for that test and so on and so forth. It's a vicious cycle. But most importantly you want to have better study habits for graduate school. Anyhow here is how I used to study for a test (for a test at 11 AM the next day): 1) Scan classmates notes for any classes I missed at 5 PM 2) Print off/organize all notes and practice problems 3) Eat dinner and make a run to CVS to pick up an energy drink or coffee 4) Watch TV for about an hour and contemplate why I ever did this to myself while also repeatedly telling myself I'm never doing this again 5) Begin reading and making notes of chapters in the book at about 8 PM (I have sometimes already did this and simply review the key points) 6) Review lecture notes chapter by chapter 7) Practice problems, practice problems, practice problems 8) Review any questions I have until about 9 AM 9) Shower, breakfast, coffee, and some Mariokart until 10 AM 10) Review questions with teacher until test time 11) Ace that bad boy and enjoy the time off I have until my next all-nighter and then repeat hating myself, etc.

Again, I do not advise this, but I go to a pretty respectable liberal arts(ish) school in the midwest and I have a 3.96 as a chemistry major. I am pretty intelligent but have never considered myself a genius or anything. Most people think I don't study but the reality is I actually study more than most people after adding everything up.
 

Dianyla

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I used to pull a ton of all-nighters, both for work and for school. At least 1-2 per month, sometimes as often as weekly. I also spent years with undiagnosed and untreated ADHD, so the all-nighters were serious cramming and workbinges to make up for continual bad procrastination and time management failures. I found that the only way I could reliably achieve focused productivity was to work myself into a state of exhaustion + panic. I finished many programming projects at work and earned many As (and, um, other letter grades) by doing this crap for years. I could learn and retain new information fairly well during an all-nighter, and produced massive quantities of work. The only immediate drawback was that sleep deprivation and adrenaline/caffeine tends to trigger IBS type problems for me, which is very not nice once the morning hits and you're in the middle of an exam or a business presentation. :eek:

Longer term, not having an appropriate circadian rhythm wreaked considerable havoc on my health for decades. I finally got diagnosed and now that I'm getting treatment I can be reliably productive during normal daytime hours. Now that my sleep hygiene has improved and I've almost established a normal circadian rhythm, I find that all-nighters are a lot harder for me now. Which, I suppose, is the better problem to have. :D
 

Ilovewater

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I cannot pull all-nighters regularly like some of my friends do. I need my sleep or I start going crazy! I have only pulled an all-nighter once to study for an exam the next day because I didn't study for it at all, since I had 3 more important exams the day before. It consisted of lots of espresso shots, Jack in the Box, lots of soda, techno music to keep me awake, and an eight-hour sleep right after the exam!
 
Mar 16, 2010
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I can't do them. I value sleep way too much. Plus I would never let myself get to the point where I needed an all-nighter to prepare for a test...and if I did...I would probably just accept failure lol
 

NerdyAndrea

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I try not to do all nighters. It's really hard on my body. I used to do them in my teen years and early 20s but not anymore, I need sleep to function, 5 - 10 hours of it. 5 is the bare minimum, any less and I'm a zombie. I can't retain anything at a certain point of sleep dep.
 

rxlea

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I pulled many all nighters during my undergrad esp. when I had a paper due, presentations to prepare, group work to finish and a test all in the same week. My upper division was brutal. I tried my best not to procrastinate (by spreading the work out over the semester and studying along the way) but when you're working full-time, it is easier said than done. :-/ Time management is crucial! But, not studying AT ALL until a couple days before the test? I've only done that ONCE- never ever again! Pump and dump just doesn't work for me.
 

Aromatic Amine

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All nighters are unnecessary. Personally, i think the only people who do pull all nighters are those who cannot manage their time well or like to work under severe pressure.

I used to pull them because I sucked at managing my time. As soon as I stopped, my grades went up and so did my productivity. :thumbup:
 

bravofleet4

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that's just a lie people tell themselves "I work better under pressure..." yeah right
 

Narmerguy

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All nighters are unnecessary. Personally, i think the only people who do pull all nighters are those who cannot manage their time well or like to work under severe pressure.

I used to pull them because I sucked at managing my time. As soon as I stopped, my grades went up and so did my productivity. :thumbup:
Same here. I did them freshman year and it was only because of poor time management and laziness. They should never be necessary if you work in a balanced fashion throughout the year. I'm very glad that I sleep more in general (even when I'm not pulling all-nighters, I just get more sleep now that I work better).
 
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Agree 100%

Never pulled an all nighter in my 3.75 years of college. I never understood why they were necessary or how they would be more helpful than a decent night of sleep.
Same here. The one semi all-nighter wasn't even for school. I was just up for no good reason.

I would consider an all-nighter being awake for at least 24 consecutive hours.
 

TooMuchResearch

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My typical experience: Oh s***, this [blank] page paper is due in 14 hours, and I haven't started!

*works frantically all night; prints and runs out the door with stapler still in hand; drives too fast and arrives at school 15 minutes early*

Oh, I'm 15 minutes early? Well, that's just enough time to take a quick nap in the car.

*sleeps for 95 minutes; misses class; hopefully only takes a 10-15% point reduction for turning paper in late; realizes that the same 10-15% hit would have been taken for turning in paper 23 hours late...*

Sigh.
 
Dec 18, 2009
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I've pulled a few all nighters in college..maybe over five but definitely under ten. All of these happened in 1st and 2nd year in college. I can tell you part of the reason is that I used to study with friends...then we'd get to talking about random crap, looking things up, and procrastinating. By the end, it took us 10 hours to finish what should have only taken 5 hours. And the caffeine makes me super jumpy so I can't sleep anyways.

However, lately I've been adopting studying in a more regular fashion and no coffee after 4 pm. Tea is ok but coffee keeps me up too late.

And as far as the "work under pressure" comment, I'm actually sort of one of those. I need that pressure to work effectively and efficiently. Otherwise, I end up on SDN cause I figure I have all the time in the world. I can study while not under pressure, but I study better under pressure.
 

Richzz89

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All nighters have worked for me in the past. Some of my highest final scores have been after all nighters. I pulled one right before my Gen Chem final my first quarter ended up scoring 90% when the average was 60%. And most recently pulled one for my Physics: Electricity and Magnetism class, I ended up getting 2 standard deviations above the average. Pulling one more for my O chem final at 11:00am today, so hopefully I will get similar results.
 

alexlex143

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I think some people have a good reason to be up all night, but I personally have never had to pull an all-nighter. Even last quarter when I took four critical writing classes, which is pretty rough to say the least. I was writing a couple of 8 page papers at a time. I NEVER had to pull an all-nighter.

some people are just lazy, I think. I can't imagine there being anything good coming out of doing that. seriously, all it takes is a little planning ahead and all-nighters are not necessary whatsoever.
 

thesauce

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In engineering, I pulled quite a few all-nighters to finish assignments, as did my entire class. Often they'll give you a project with an unreasonably short deadline and it's all you can do.
 
May 19, 2009
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i did all nighters for majority of my midterms and finals in college, i actaully found that its easier for me to function if i don't sleep at all compared to sleeping for an hour

for me it became a habit to never go to class, never get notes and not study till right before the test, so I had to pull all nighters, everything still worked out ok though
 

boaz

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I've never pulled an all-nighter. I've always gone to sleep and woken up at about the same time every day. I'm graduating in May and already took the MCAT. All-nighters are unnecessary.
 
Jan 20, 2010
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All-nighters......:thumbdown:.

At the end of a long study sesh my brain just feels jumbled and fried, but I know if I get a good night's sleep things will organize themselves. It's like defragmenting your computer. I actually remember always quitting studying at around 9pm during college and saying "wow I'm f*cked, I studied all day and I still don't know this." Then in the morning I'd know the stuff much much better.
 

brooklynblunder

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loved all nighters. its actually the only way i studied. i told myself not to, but it would never work so i was just like **** it, im just gonna wait til 1 AM of the test day and go until the exam.

i think its doable in some science and math classes. it diddnt work for me in like... french or something like that though
 

noshowl

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I hated pulling all nighters in college. I would usually feel all dizzy and nauseous and queasy and usually dry heaved several times before getting to my exam. I managed to only have to pull 2 during my 4 years in undergrad. Definitely will be avoiding at all costs to NOT pull all-nighters in med school. Call me weak, but I don't think our bodies were meant to be put through that kind of strain.
 

Trexate

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All of my all-nighters were unintentional. And the next day I was a miserable prick, more so than usual.

I would not recommend.
 

deaninja

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Put me in the pro-all-nighter column. I think that I only studied for 2-3 tests throughout college more than one day in advance. For everything else (tests, papers, projects), I would start them sometime between 6pm-1am on the night before they were due. It only got worse when I would skip my classes and not even get notes until the night before the test. :laugh:

I'd love to say that I liked to work under pressure but it was definitely because I was too lazy and unmotivated to study beforehand. The problem that I found was that if I did try to study anything more than a day in advance, I would get easily distracted by anything. And I do mean anything. I was able to still do pretty well but obviously not as well as I could have if I actually was able to really go at it.

I'm definitely going to change my study habits when I start med school but I think that I pulled so many all nighters just because I knew that I could get away with it. Obviously, that will not be the case in med school.
 

TFK

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Also it is easy to fall into a habit of doing this (I am a prime example) and you won't change your ways until you just completely bomb a test. You end up studying all night for a test and then sleeping for the remainder of that day and then you get behind on more work and have to stay up for that test and so on and so forth. It's a vicious cycle.
I can't agree more. I fell into a cycle of pulling all-nighters. I knew it was bad, but I did not manage my time well, and I procrastinated. I kept telling myself I would change, but it was not until I bombed multiple exams that I am now forcing myself to stop. Don't get me wrong, all-nighters really do work for some people. But if it isn't necessary, I'd say avoid them.
 

RevivedPreMed

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I've only pulled one all-nighter and it was for a morning exam (10am). There's no way I could have done it for a later exam.
I did it because I wanted to make sure I did everything possible to get the best grade I could in the class.
I'm so glad I did it because if I would have gotten one more question wrong I would have lost the A by one point.

Usually all-nighters aren't grade savers but are better for people that want to do everything possible to get the next grade up (usually super close in points). If you miss the next highest grade by 1 point you'll be kicking yourself if you didn't study as much as possible. If you still miss it after the all-nighter at least you know you did all you could.
 

RevivedPreMed

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Also, I'd like to add that all-nighters should only be done if you can sleep the rest of the day after your test. If it's finals week and you have a test days later, your other test will suffer so either way you lose.

I actually heard somewhere that you're better off staying up all night and then recovering by sleeping the next day than losing sleep every night by sleeping 5 hours instead of the recommended 7-8.

It's still too intense for me and I probably won't do it unless necessary.
 

NickNaylor

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One of two situations will cause me to pull an all-nighter:

1) I procrastinated and have a TON of work/studying to do, or
2) I can't sleep and might as well get some work done

Most of my all-nighters have been the result of the second case. I usually have 1-2 each semester (and usually towards the finals end of the semester).
 

osteohopeful09

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Bad for your memory consolidation, and bad for your immune system/circadian rhythms.

If you just study a bit each day for each class, you can get to bed by 10pm on the night before a test!:D


too bad that never happens! :laugh: