How to survive finals week all-nighters

Taylor Rozendaal, a sophomore interior design major, pulled four all-nighters last week.


Without returning home for days, she relied on businesses that stay open late for food and coffee, and made a temporary home in the Gifford Building.

“On Monday night I bought four Bing, two Starbucks Frappuccinos, two Gardettos and a couple (of) midnight D.P. Dough runs,” Rozendaal said. “All of this food lasted me four all nighters.”

As students gear up for finals week, many others may be facing a similar survival regimen. Here are some study tips to help you survive the last week of school.

Study Actively

Associate Vice Provost for Learning and Teaching at the The Institute for Learning and Teaching, (TILT) Mike Plamquist suggested active studying as a way to succeed.

“Most of the time if you do something as you’re studying or reading, you tend to remember it better,” Plamquist said.

Two ways to study actively are by writing notes in the margin of reading and hi-lighting, Plamquist said.

“You can only study and memorize for so long before these things start washing over you so one of the things we recommend is to do as much active studying as you can, write it down work out the problems do something,” Plamquist said.

Break material into chunks

Douglas Hoffman, a professor of marketing for the College of Business, supports the habit of breaking material into small manageable chunks.


“Break it up into thirds. I think what happens is that people look at 50 pages of powerpoint notes and try to cram it all into one and it just doesn’t work. Repetition and small chunks are a good thing,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman said that students are better off going to bed at night and waking up three hours before the final rather than staying up late. A student can accomplish the same work in two hours fully awake as they would in four hours studying at night.

Rozendaal said she prefers to stay up rather than trying to wake up.

“I work best under pressure and that is why I pull the all nighters,” Rozendaal said. “Being a night owl, I am unable to wake up early to get the projects done before class.”