Need to study the night before? Exam the next day?
Cramming the night before or even the morning before an exam is not the best idea, but when push comes to shove you have to do what you have to do. Use this guide in the extreme circumstance that you need to cram a lot of information very quickly. Maybe the fact that your test or exam is to be written the next day and it has completely slipped your mind, you will now need an effective strategy to make up the lost time.
Instead of postponing the inevitable, you cannot escape your test date and your exam date, you have to start cramming right away. This is as the word implies to fit a lot of information into a very small amount of time. Cramming is not the go-to strategy for test prep, but for extreme circumstances cramming is the only way to go.
Follow these steps to achieve the best results from Cramming:
Go somewhere where you can be by yourself as you will most likely be very stressed out and may explode on the unsuspecting bystander. Go somewhere where you can be alone with your cram material.
In order to be alone you will have to find a place where you can totally focus on your task at hand. You will need to set up all of your require materials and essentials to keep you awake, snacks, sweet stuff and of course Coffeee! You will need a space that you can set up and not be disturbed in the remaining time before your test.
You will need to be at your most alert for this exercise so drinking regular cups of coffee or eating caffeine rich dark chocolate can keep you alert and awake. Black Tea is also highly caffeinated. It may not seem like it, but it often contains more caffeine than Coffee.
Work hard, then stop
You will need to be extremely focused for most of the cram session, but do not burn out and go overboard. Cram Hard for 5o minutes, then have a break for 10, get away from the cram environment and get some fresh air, but remember to not get carried away. This will put you in a good rhythm of productivity, working hard then rewarding yourself with a break will keep you motivated and effective.
Reduce your notes
Rewrite all of your notes over and over but each time reduce them until you are left with potent concentrated bite size notes that will unpack into the full notes in your mind. Once you have reduced your notes into tiny pieces make sure you can unpack them again to their full content in your mind. Think of it like turning all of your notes into seeds of information then when you plant them in your mind, they grow back into your full length notes.
If you can ask somebody about the things you cram and they can ask you back, this will ensure you know what you are talking about, and if you know what you are talking about then you will know what you are cramming. So if you can talk about what you just studied to somebody else than that means that you have retained that information and you can now write it all out on paper in your test.
Focus on the main points
Ditch the details and focus on the main points of the piece of information that you need to cram and cram them together. These main points will explain themselves remember them. When trying to remember every detail you will quickly feel overwhelmed and will want to stop cramming. Focusing on the big things reduces the cram material and keeps you motivated.
Group things together
When you group similar concepts together it makes them easier to remember. A long string of numbers is difficult to remember in sequence, but if you group them together like in a cell phone number it becomes easier to manage.
When you read aloud you are using both your sense of sight and hearing, this will increase the information retained by your brain instead of just reading in your head, read it out when you read things you really can get a grip to what the concepts are as you articulate them. Often times we think we are pronouncing something correctly only to find that when read out loud it’s completely wrong, this helps to make sense of difficult concepts and your own explanations. They may sound good on paper but when read aloud they are very confusing and don’t make sense.
Break the order
Cram concepts out of the order they are given to you. Then reorder them then repeat. This will help you to remember the way they are ordered and if they are presented to you in a test in a different order you will also be prepared. Cram in your own comfortable order then change it up just be sure there can be no surprises.
Get enough sleep!!
After all this intense cramming and caffeinating you will need to rest and reboot your brain with some pillow time. This is essential in organising all of the information you just forced in there to be filed away in your memory and consolidated. If you cannot sleep, then you will have to up the dose of caffeine to keep you in a highly focused state. Even if you can a 10 minute power nap can make you feel refreshed and rested, if only just to rest your eyes this is essential to writing well in your exam or test.
Under extreme circumstances use these methods to cram in a very short amount of time. Even if you have more time they are helpful, another final point is to trick yourself into cramming many days before the exam is actually being written, it will give you an idea of how much you can remember and how you can improve on your cram methods.