How Not To Cram

by | Skill Development

It’s the night before the test and you are up all night frantically memorizing every little bit of course material that you can. The next day you feel tired, nervous, and have little chance at remembering much. Does this sound like you? If so, you’ve probably realized by now that cramming doesn’t work. The truth is, pre-test stress prevents your brain from creating new memories. Cramming is the least effective way to store information in your brain.

Here are some tips to help you be more prepared for your next test.

  • Get Organized.

This is the first step to succeeding in any class. Take a few minutes to prepare yourself and organize the information you will need to learn over the length of the course. Make a plan!

  • Get Ahead.

It’s easy to fall behind during the first few weeks of class, but it’s also easy to get ahead! Organize information as you learn, take notes, and join the conversation. Asking questions and actively participating in class discussions will help you learn the information quickly.

  • Avoid Cramming.

The best way to save information is to spend 20-30 minutes each day focusing on small sections of your course material.

  • Relax.

Relaxing can charge your brain for learning! Your brain needs time to rest as well, so put the books down and relax. Be careful, zoning out watching reality television will not have the same benefits as getting active and doing some exercise! Being active will not only be good for you physically, but it will send oxygen into your brain, giving you some additional mental energy!