It’s the night before your biggest test of the semester and you find yourself incredibly unprepared. Everyone else has been studying for weeks, but you just could not find the time. Panic mode sets in. Now it’s time to cram.
We have all been there. (photo credit)
Let me tell you why you would be better off never finding yourself in this situation. Cramming before a big test is far from uncommon, but it’s also been proven to be far from effective. Researchers say that cramming for a major test is the worst thing you can do for a number of reasons. First, from a study conducted in 2012 at UCLA, researchers reaffirmed that students retain the most information when they develop a consistent study schedule. If you can manage to study little bits of information over the course of a week or so, you’ll be better prepared for the test. In addition, a 2011 study referenced by Time.com revealed that students who cram before a test generally pass their examinations with average scores. If you stick to a steady studying regimen, you’ll find yourself a lot less stressed on the day of the exam and the results are likely to improve.
Researchers also find that the lack of sleep associated with cramming tends to have negative effects on students. The reality is that if you’re forced to cram over a short period of time, you probably are not running on much sleep. Pulling an “all-nighter” to study for a big test not only results in less retention of information, but also puts your body in bad shape for the day ahead. Walking into the test exhausted and depleted can only contribute to negative results. To avoid health detriments like moodiness, irritability, and fat loss, get adequate rest and gear up for the test in advance.
So the next time you hear about a big test on the horizon, remember to plan sufficiently and make a study schedule. While we have all experienced the need to cram the night before, or the day of a test, we can all benefit by avoiding it at all costs. Planning ahead can make studying seem significantly more manageable and the extra sleep you gain will be a huge added benefit.
If you found this article helpful, you will want to read The Do’s and Don’ts of Finals.