Cramming For An Exam: Do It The Right Way


Written on Saturday, May 24, 2008 by Ennah, the comsci student

You have a long test, 100 items, in your Psychology class at 1 pm. It covers from Chapter 1-5. It's already 11:00 am and you have not even read a single page in one of the chapters. Just 2 hours away from the big exam. Is this a familiar scenario to you?

I'm a procrastinator. I always do things at the last minute. I do not study ahead. For me, it doesn't work if I study ahead because I am such a forgetful being. But even though I always cram, I can still manage to work it out to top my exams. I'm not here to boast out to you how I manage to work it out to top my exams but I want to tell you that if you ever have to cram, you have to do it the right way in order to be successful at it. These following tips helped me to cram the right way.

1. Focus.
When I know I have to study just 2 hours for an exam, I keep away from distractions. No T.V., No Music, No Yahoo Messenger. I locked myself in my room and just focus to the material i'm studying.

2. Don't Panic.
Usually when you are force to study many things for a certain amount of time, your brain starts to switch to panic mode. Just be calm and be positive. Tell yourself that you can manage it and you can do learn it in a limited amount of time.

3. Budget your time.
Don't waste your time in one chapter or a part of a material you're trying to study. Divide your time in each part. What I usually do is allot a time span. When I have to review for 3 chapters and I only have one hour, I usually allot 15 minutes for each chapter and when I do not finish the chapter in the alloted time of 15 minutes, I skip to another chapter and when I'm finish with the 3 chapters, I go back to topics which I have missed.

4. Scan for important key and concepts.
Well, you're cramming right? So don't study as if you have enough time. Learn how to pick out important bits of information and remember it the first time because you may not have the second time.

5. Look for quiz pattern in the first quiz
The first test of your professor says a lot about how he/she makes the exams. You'll learn a lot about where does he/she gets the questions. It maybe in lectures, textbooks or in things that he/she writes on the board.

6. Use mnemonics.
This really works for me even if I am not cramming. If there's a list I gather all the first letter of the list and make a word out of it. There's a lot of way and you can make your own style to remember things.

7. Remember it the first time
There's a big chance that you'll forget it if you just repeat it to yourself. I didn't remember the information by repeating the sentence "Nikolaus Wirth invented Pascal" over and over. I usually quiz myself. I'll ask my self who invented Pascal and i'll think and answer Nikolaus Wirth.

WARNING! Cramming is really not good. It gives you stress. And this tips, don't work all the time. So if you want to really excel, then I advice you to study frequently and budget your time effectively. And another tip, don't cheat.

Actually, I want to quit this habit of cramming and procrastinating. I don't know I can't help it. There's so many things to do but so little time. I hope by the start of a new school year, I can somehow minimize, if ever i cannot totally stop, cramming.

<--- It's me surprised by my school mate and I was cramming and studying at the library...

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  1. paseojen |

    Yeah cramming is not a good choice. We study for knowledge for our use in the future, cramming is like having answers but most of the times we don't understand about it.

  2. lionel |

    Better yet.... take great notes and look at them every day after class. That way, when tests arrive, you know what notes you've taken, and what you've covered. God bless! :D


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