Cramming is far from a good studying technique, but sometimes you don’t have another choice. Perhaps you misread the test date or you had a family emergency come up that prevented you from studying effectively. Maybe a Justin Bieber concert came to town and you had to fight a stampede of 12 year old girls just to get home. Whatever the case may be, there will probably come a time when you will have to cram for an exam. When that time comes, I hope you can put some of the tips below to good use.
Here are a few ways you could go about cramming for a test you have to take in the near future.
Study and Snooze
The study and snooze method is best way to maintain the information you cram in before a test. Research suggests that taking a 90 minute nap after a study session can significantly improve a person’s chance of retaining information for a test or quiz. If you study a small chunk of information and then take a nap, you will wake up with that information still fresh in your mind. You may consider doing this all night to get in as much info as possible, but watch out for sleep deprivation. That could actually cause you to do worse on your test because you aren’t awake enough to think clearly. Try to balance the sleep and the studying enough to do well on your upcoming exam.
Prioritize the Information
You aren’t going to be able to cram a semester’s worth of information into one night. It just isn’t going to happen. Rather than focusing on the big picture, focus on the most important points in the class. Your professor probably harped on a few topics more than others, so try to start with those topics first. They are the ones that are most likely to be on the test. You can learn the little information if you have time, but you need to make sure you learn as much as you can in the little time that you have. That way you have the best chance of at least passing the test, and possibly even doing well on it. Try to figure out the most important things in the class and work on those first. Then you can worry about the other stuff if you have time.
Review in the Morning
Eventually you need to get some sleep so you can be well rested for your test in the morning. Before you go to the test though, review your study materials so the information is fresh in your mind. If you slept well right after you studied, you should still have a lot of the facts in your mind. Flip through your flashcards or glance over your textbook, just to get your mind as familiar with the information as possible. Then you will hopefully have a memory of it for your test.
Re-Study after the Test
When you get done with your exam, take the time to go back and review the information you missed. You can wait to do this when the grades are out, or you could do it right at the beginning. The fact is that your college courses are supposed to prepare you for your career. If you don’t pay attention now, you will never be able to succeed later on. Sacrifice a little time re-studying so that the information goes into your mind for good. Then you will be able to recall it when it comes up in the future.