No matter where you study, you'll notice a big change as the semester comes to an end. Suddenly, the libraries will be full and you'll have trouble finding a desk on campus to study at. Because many courses in Germany rely on one exam at the end of the semester, there is a much greater temptation to procrastinate during the semester and leave everything till the end. If you want to be successful in your studies in Germany, avoid the all-nighters and start preparing early in the semester.
One of the worst traits of German universities is their tendency to schedule all exams for the end of the term with no regular assignments during the semester. This means that many students don't have any sense of urgency in their studies until the end of the semester when the time comes to prepare for their final exams.
This has given rise to the term Bulimielernen – pulling all-nighters for a week, regurgitating everything during the exam, and forgetting everything immediately afterwards.
But according to recent research, including a study from UCLA, studying this way actually defeats the purpose.
In the study, UCLA professor of psychiatry Andrew J. Fuligni, UCLA graduate student Cari Gillen-O'Neel and colleagues report that sacrificing sleep for extra study time, whether it's cramming for a test or plowing through a pile of homework, is actually counterproductive. Regardless of how much a student generally studies each day, if that student sacrifices sleep time in order to study more than usual, he or she is likely to have more academic problems, not less, on the following day.
The problem is that in the final weeks of cramming, students trade sleep for studying, and adequate sleep is essential for academic success.