Study Notes for Students | Your Key to Effective Studying

Still Want to Cram?

More needs to be said about cramming for an exam. Despite the fact that you have put your new priorities into practice and are well on your way to a new set of study habits, you may still feel the need to follow that old ritual of cramming as much as you can the night before an exam. Let's think about that a little more. First of all, what you should be doing the night before your first exam is a reasonable amount of reviewing; covering concepts and their associations that were a little tricky to grasp the first or second time around. Do your review and then get to bed in time to get a good night's sleep.

When you cram you are committing as many terms and concepts as possible to memory long enough to get to the exam and hopefully, get them down on paper. Cramming does not generally allow for time to evaluate and understand how different concepts relate to each other and/or associate with each other. It does not allow for gaining any depth of understanding about the material covered. Cramming often concentrates on new material not effectively studied earlier and does not allow time to get an understanding of how this new material and any new concepts relate to material covered earlier in the term. The result most often is that some material is forgotten, that some relevant connections go unobserved and that you don't understand the depth of questions that may be asked.

In general, the more cramming you do, the more anxiety you introduce to the situation and the less confidence you have in yourself when you enter the exam room. Make cramming a thing of the past. Keep up with your regular reviews during the course of the term, start your exam review at least a week or two before the exam and do a reasonable review the day before the test. This process allows you to get understanding of the material and be a better student. Forget the old style of Cramming.

Last Updated: 08/20/2013


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