We have all heard from our professors growing up that cramming and studying at the last minute is not good. You do not learn the material as well and struggle to analyze and apply the information, and you tend to forget matter as soon as the test is over. It is much good to try and learn it all logically, even if it is for a subject and topic you hate.
However, at one point or another, we all reach a point where we need to cram for an exam. Maybe you were out of town and did not have the materials to study, or perhaps you forgot about it until the day before. Either way, you do not have the luxury of taking your time and learning everything slowly. And since any professor or teacher would prefer you crammed last minute as opposed to cheat, let’s learn how to remember as much as possible right up until you take that exam.
Simplify, Simplify, Simplify
The first tip that you should follow is to simplify everything. Dump down extremely everything, into the smallest thing possible. If you have a lot of matter to remember, you won’t be able to keep it all in your head by memorizing paragraphs at a time. Doesn’t just be reciting stuff right out of the book and notes. Instead, take a group of lines about the same topic, and come up with your own new, sweet, short, and simple sentence. Memorize that.
This tip works particularly well for subjects like literature, history, science, etc. Any classes where you would need to explain a theory or concept through writing.
Read Aloud for Memorization
Sometimes simplifying just won’t work. Maybe you need to memorize an important dates, formula, math and physics etc. In these cases, you require to have something precise memorized, therefore you should try reading out loud. Believe it or not, reading aloud assists you retain information much better than just going along in your head. Then try this method out.
Pick out the equation or passage that you are struggling to memorize. Next, write it down five to seven times. Truly write it down, like on paper with a pen. Do not type it out, that won’t help as much. Now read it out loud, all times. After that, close your eyes and recite it again. You are reinforcing it again and again, and you will be much more likely to memorize it.
Take Periodic Breaks
“What!? The test is next morning and I only have 5 hours to study tonight!”
Believe it or not, studying for 5 hours straight is NOT going to help you cram. So do not try it. You can only give serious focus to something for about 45 minutes. After that, your brain will begin to glaze over. By the end of the study session, you will feel worn out, and you will be a shell of where you were when you started. You want to end your session on a high note, thus this absolutely isn’t the way.
Instead, try taking a break after 45 minutes of intense cramming. Make it a 25 minute break so it conveniently fits into an hour. Would you rather be studying efficiently for two thirds of an hour or half-studying the whole time?
Note that during your break you should NOT be playing video games and watching TV. Get out of your seat. Move around, go for a walk, and listen to some relaxing music.
Decide What’s Important
If you are reading this, chances are it’s the last minute already. If it is a big test you have coming up, you probably do not have time to learn all of the material. At this point, you are not shooting for an “A”; you just want a passable mark. After all, if this was that vital, you probably would have started studying earlier.
Ultimately, you are never going to be able to efficiently cram like you can if you would have started studying in advance. But hopefully these tips will help you, and get at least in a position to pass the exam. More significantly, perhaps it can serve as a reminder for next time.
Finally, memorize that no amount of cramming, regardless of how efficient it is, is a reason to ignore your health. Ensure that you are not sacrificing sleep for study time, and be sure that you are eating healthy before you start the test. Those extra 2 hours would be better spent getting the proper amount of sleep and eating a good meal beforehand rather than being tired and on a bunch of Red Bull. Get more tips on online education, online learning and online tutoring at Expertsmind.