The majority of students love to cram right before exams for a number of reasons. Maybe you have been unwell and missed school, maybe you have been concentrating on extracurricular activities, may you are unorganized, or maybe you have mastered the art of procrastination. Cramming before exams is a personal choice and the wrong way to study because it stresses your body and hinders brain-cell communication.
Although cramming works in the short-term, you forget the information in a few days or even hours. Cramming is like loading a cheap suitcase; it may serve you for some time but will eventually fall out. Numerous studying techniques can help you study smarter, avoid cramming, and make your academic journey breezy and fun. Here are four important ways to get things done and shun cramming.
1. Start Early
Start studying for exams early enough to give time to grasp huge amounts of content. Starting early is a crucial technique, but relatively hard for procrastinators because starting early seems like a burden. Studying should be a continuous process and not a one-off thing when the midterms and finals are about to start.
When you resort to cramming at the last minute, you risk distorting information in your brain. In addition, information gathered during a cramming session is easily lost in a short time span. It is beneficial to spend some time going through your notes one hour before exams. However, sacrificing your sleep to cram tons of information the night before an exam is detrimental and gives you a groggy feeling.
2. Study when you feel most Alert
Many students sacrifice their sleep days to their finals for extra study time. Whether the student wants to cram for a test or plow through a pile of assignment, such a move is unproductive. Students who sacrifice their sleep time to study are more likely to have academic problems. You should study when it is study time and sleep when it’s sleep time, do not mix the two. You will get nowhere when you struggle to keep wake and fatigue is pulling you down.
A high percentage of your energy is consumed by constant yawning and staggering to get another cup of coffee. Sleep helps your memory and brain power and when you sleep, the brain categorizes and memorizes information. Take advantage of times when you are most alert to study such as early mornings and after a workout.
During these times, your mind is fresh, your concentration rate is high, and hence the absorption of content in the brain is faster and easier. Know when studying is enough and avoid too much of it. You can study well a few weeks before exams and give yourself a break on the exam day. When you cram everything a few minutes to the exam, you risk blanking on everything you have learned. Ensure you break your study sessions into 20-30 minute intervals to enhance retention.
3. Divide and Conquer
A planner is a good investment that will help you organize your schoolwork. You can buy a planner when shopping for school supplies. A planner helps you get studying done on time without sacrificing your social life and most importantly sleep. Write down what you need to do each day in the planner to keep you on track. The physical act of writing the things you intend to do helps with memory and you are less liable to forget. Remember to designate time for each class and identify the classes that require more study time. Reading 14 chapters of your course book may seem impossible and overwhelming.
However, when you have a planner, it becomes much easier because you spread the chapters on the available time. For example, you can decide to review one chapter each day and in 14 days, you will have the whole book done. If you have more time, you can do one chapter in two days and if you do not have much time, you can do two chapters in one day. Whichever way you choose, a planner will help enormously and you will divide your study work and conquer it. The secret is to start early and stick to the planner, do not write it for fun. You will be surprised that you will have study time and still have plenty of time for your friends. You can get assignments done for you at a fee to avoid spending many hours at night doing them and get ample time to rest.
4. Eliminate Distractions
Get rid of all distractions when studying whether for an exam or otherwise. Avoid studying in your dorm room because of distractions such as the TV, laptop, cell phone, and the fridge. You will be tempted to keep looking at your cell phone to see if there is someone who has called or texted. Disconnect from social media when studying to avoid the urge to check who has posted a new photo, status, or poked you. It is advisable to leave your cell phone in the dorm and head to the library to get a favorable environment to study. Studying with friends is beneficial because you quiz each other and help each other to understand difficult topics.
Nevertheless, at times studying with friends can be a distraction and keep you from studying. When studying with friends, it is easy to procrastinate and you can turn the session into a socializing session. If you must study with friends, ensure that you set no-distraction rules and save social talk for later.
It’s that time of the year again, the semester is at its end, and you have to sit for exams.
Students are trying to cram all the mathematical formulas, psychological theories, and historical dates they can. Unfortunately, a majority of it will be unsuccessful and not all the information will be recalled. This is a common scenario in schools during the exam week. Why overburden yourself with all the cramming and sacrificing sleep when you can get things done before the exams start? Use these important ways to study in advance and say goodbye to cramming.