Well, let me tell you the little tale of a girl who fell asleep during a chemistry test because she was going with the trend of everyone around her studying through the night, because that's the only way you can show you have prepared hard enough.
In first year, second semester my friends and I had a crazy week. We had 2 semester tests, 1 assignment and 2 class tests to write. I had even more on my plate because I was serving my first term as a house committee member at my residence and I had my first event during that week on top of everything else.
When I was in matric, people used to say "matric is nie matrass nie" meaning you sleep less and study more.
I personally never adopted that philosophy to my life. But during that monster of a week it felt like it's the only way I was going to survive. So I did exactly that, I slept about 3-4 hours a night and bare in mind that I'm an 6-8 hours a night kinda person. So I was proud of my self for not falling asleep in class. I would take power naps every chance I got- not that they helped 'cause I would basically just be closing my eyes but my brain was still very much active.
Anyway, come Wednesday I think I had slept half as many hours as I was used to. I had 2 class tests that day. So I wrote the first one first thing in the morning. I was wide awake for that one, fully pumped, exhaustion was not even in my vocabulary. By the time the second one comes around at 12:00 pm, I had already gone through 3 lectures and a test, I could feel that I was about to crash. So I'm like "nah, you will be fine, power through".
I walk into the venue. I sit. We are given our tests and I go through my test and answer the first few questions and then the next thing I hear is "15 minutes left" 😱🤯. I'm in disbelief because like what the hell happened to the other 45 minutes. Like it's not possible I actually fell asleep 😴 during my test. So I ask the invigilator how much time is left and he confirms 15 minutes.
Now I'm panicked like what the hell man!
I'm reprimanding myself for mastering the art of sleeping up right, 'cause had I slept on my desk someone would have woken me up. What's worse about it was that I had a pen in my hand the entire time. I left a pen indentation on the paper 😞. I scrambled in those last few minutes to answer 25 questions which mostly consisted of electron configurations. So I was beyond screwed. Needless to say I did not pass that test.
I prepped for my Friday test and assignment submission during the day and asked my friends for help. I literally buckled up and refused to get that little sleep again, especially with a semester test coming up. That was the last time I ever studied through the night and got such little sleep the day before a test. The reason I crashed was because was I running on a high and when I had spent enough hours sitting and thinking, my high faded and I crashed 🙃
My advice to you, honestly during exams get a proper study schedule, get enough rest and meals. Eat the right kind of food. I know you have probably heard this a lot and think it's wishy washy, but honestly, if your brain doesn't get the chance to rest, re-calibrate and recharge, you will eventually burnout.
Find the best study strategy for you that ensures the whole of you is taken care of. I study for weeks as I go along (most of the time), I make sure to get at least 6 hours of sleep for 3 nights in a row before my test or exams to ensure I'm wide awake and can think. I'm also prone to panic attacks before exams so when I exhausted my brain tends to talk itself into saying its not ready and I panic and that ultimately affects my performance. So rest is VERY VERY IMPORTANT.