Doing things last minute has become an accepted way of living in the current times. This habit has also crept into the students. Hurrying to complete things at the last minute is a simple consequence of procrastination. While doing this is fine in some parts of your routine, it may not work in your favour if you apply it for your exams as well. The mere thought of beginning to study just five days prior to an examination freaks me out but, turns out it has become the new ‘normal’! Studying at the last minute has become so common among students that now it’s been recognized as a new “pattern” or “method” of studying. This new ‘pattern’ is fancily called Cramming.
So what exactly is Cramming?
It is a way of studying, rather, trying to store a huge volume of information in the brain in a very short period of time. Doesn’t it sound something very similar to what you or your peers do?
There are multiple reasons why students take to cramming, some being genuine, but many others simply being a product of laziness.
Projects, Practicals, Submissions, Repeat
Education, especially in India has become a stressful and disorganized affair. Students today are bombarded with piles of assignments and projects with short deadlines, soon after which the colleges organize examinations. This brings a lot of stress and pressure on the students. In addition to this, the time left between the assignment submission deadline and the beginning of the examination is way too less for students to prepare for the written examination. At such times, students are left with no other option but to cram.
“What if I forget everything I have studied till the time exams start?”
A mind can never really forget what it learns. All you need is a thorough revision. Unfortunately, many students, in the fear that they might forget everything they study just before exams, keep their ‘study plans’ for the last minute.
Procrastination game is always strong
The false belief, “there is still a lot of time for exams” is a fatal one. Out of laziness, students keep studying for the last minute, the effect of which is then seen on their report cards.
Cramming allows time for other ‘recreational activities’
Our minds love distractions. Movie plans with friends, short trips, bowling, web series, sports are all luring to the mind. The time you engage in all such activities must be used for studying. However, since students have developed a liking for cramming, they prioritize recreation over strategic studying.
If in case you lose out on the time to study, cramming in the only option you are left with. At such a time, you must keep in mind a few basic things:
- Know your syllabus well
- List down the most important chapters that you feel will surely come in the exam paper
- Don’t attempt to finish off the whole syllabus (it will just make way for more stress)
- Find a quiet place where no one will disturb you
- Don’t use your phone
- Make small notes and list down main pointers to revise and hour before you appear for your exam
- Take proper rest. Your brain also needs time to save the information you have tried to feed in.
Though cramming might help you pass your examination, it certainly won’t help you score well. Moreover, cramming helps you study but impairs learning. The fear and pressure that cramming brings with itself, does more harm than help. This hampers students’ concentration and grasping ability. Further, the information that students try to memorize gets stored in short term memory and is retained for only a short period of time. Cramming also comes down heavily on the health of students when they begin to compromise on their sleep. There are many who sleep for only two-three hours before their exam. This leads to a lack of concentration, drowsiness, and dizziness during the examination.
Enough said, it’s best for you to start planning your studies way before the starting date of your examination. This way you will have enough time to study with a stress-free mind which will help you score better.