Your Student Guide to Pulling an All Night Study Session

studying, student study

No matter how organised you are, how many times you’ve told yourself you’ll never leave a deadline to the last minute, or just how brilliant you are when it comes to assignment writing: there will be a time when you need to pull an all-nighter.

The all-night-study session is a badge of honour you’ll earn during your time at university. It probably won’t be in your first year – it doesn’t count, after all – so don’t waste it then. You don’t have many in you.

But when the time does come, the panic sets in and the cupboard is stocked with the finest Colombian coffee money can buy: this guide could save you.

Here’s a student guide to pulling an all-night study session.


No study session can go ahead without quality supplies. Try to stay away from the unhealthy stuff. Fizzy drinks, crisps and chocolate will only sap your energy in the long-run. Of course, keep a few treats on-hand as a reward, but don’t overdo it. You’ll crash and burn.

Keep a refillable water bottle by your side and opt for food that will break down into energy over a longer time. Think nuts, proteins like beef jerky and chicken, wholemeal crackers, yoghurt, rice cakes, nut butters, boiled eggs and grain-rich salads. Stick to these study snacks and your engine will be running like a V12 all night long.


Location, location, location. Kirsty and Phil won’t help you with this one, though. Choosing the right place to study is essential. The library is always a good shout. Most universities leave them open 24/7 during the crunch months of the academic year.

Fortunately, you can be flexible with where you work. Start in a café in the day, move to your halls and then you can always hit the library in those championship hours. Having energy around you when you’re slacking can be a boost. It’s also comforting to know the people around you are suffering the same kind of coffee-induced breakdown.


By the same token, studying in a group can give you an energy injection. Also, if you’re all on the same course, you can offer guidance to each other and get through it together. It can also make those study breaks a bit more fulfilling.

It can be a distraction for some people, though. But just like changing location, having some social study time allocated could be a big help. If you can’t focus, just pack-up your stuff and knuckle-down on your own. See what works for you.

Staying Focussed 

It’s not about how much time you take to study, it’s what you do with that time. We can all sit in the library for 12-hours refreshing our Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Tik Tok and repeat. Limit distractions and put your phone down.

Try to set solid 45-minute blocks of work, with a 15-minute break. If you can work with music on, then by all means go for it. Try to keep it more mellow with fewer words, though. Finally, one of the most important points to take away is to PROOFREAD. Make sure you leave time before submission to check-over everything – after you’ve had a good sleep, preferably. Print out your work. You’ll see more errors. After spending the whole night looking at the same screen, you’ll start to question if “furthermore” is actually a word after using it for the 800th time.