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Cramming – Yay or Nay?

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Cramming is when you make the decision to put off studying until the last minute. For example, you know you have a test on Monday, but you decide to put off studying until late Sunday night. Now you have a brief period to learn a whole lot of information. Is it effective? Perhaps, in the moment when you regurgitate it on the test. But when it comes to truly learning, cramming is not going to make you a winner.

Basically involving memorization, cramming allows you to place information in your short-term memory files only. In other words, as soon as your test is over, wave goodbye to that knowledge.

Learning involves understanding. When you learn a new concept in school, you take it and discover how it connects to other parts. You learn it, understand it, and apply it. However, if you only take the time to memorize the brief overview enough to pass a test, what will you do when the next topic in class builds on the prior?

Cramming – it’s a nay. If you are serious about your education and want to succeed at whatever you choose to do in life, cramming will not get you there. You cannot become the best at something if your short-term memory is going to flush away the basics as you discover them.

Try this:

  • Make a study plan now – and stick to it.
  • Study when you are alert and eager.
  • Rest when you are tired.
  • Stay organized.

By preparing for the test as you maneuver your way through the class, you will realize that there is no need to even consider cramming at all!


Photo is Copyright by UBC Learning Commons on Flickr under attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license

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