, Research Paper
How to Cram for an Exam
Have you ever waited until the last minute to study? Or something happened and you really didn?t have the time? With all of our commitments, classes, work obligations, extra curricular activities, and social life it?s not hard to get caught up in our daily lives, lose track of time, or even forget you had some kind of exam to study for. When this happens don?t freak out because cramming is the answer, don?t think it?s the end of the world you can still pass the exam, if you get busy wanting to learn. If you sit down with a book and try to read the whole thing you?re not going to gain much except maybe a few hours of sleep because you got bored. In order to have a marginally successful night of cramming there are a few rules that will help; such as make choices, be selective, and relax.
First, be realistic about what you can do. You must except the fact that you can?t learn everything when cramming, especially if your class attendance hasn?t been very high and you?ve only skimmed two books out of a syllabus of two dozen. Instead, pick a few important items to learn really well. The more information you try to cram in, the less effective you will be. Be bold and learn a few things backwards and forwards. Ideally, spend twenty-five percent of your time learning new stuff and seventy-five percent of your time reviewing. That way if you are realistic about what you can do the exam will come much easier.
Second, choose your material carefully and study in depth. The more you?ve managed to miss, the more selective you need to be in organizing your cram session. You can?t study it all. Study the topics one by one only moving to the second when you have an excellent grasp of the first. You may get lucky and pick the three topics the exam covers. Cramming works by pounding the material into your head. Repetition is the best way. You may try tape-recording yourself as you recite. Then replay the tape over and over until you can remember it without any help. Try to remember the material your teacher placed strong emphasis on during discussion and focus your cramming mainly on that material.
Equally important to studying would be remembering to relax. Don?t punish yourself. If you are overly tense and stressed, you won?t retain the material so easily. While you are studying remember to do some breathing exercises. Maybe play some music. Find a relaxing place that is comfortable to you and away from any distractions. Study as much as you can but don?t over do it. When you can?t remember your name, give up and get some sleep. Go back over the material right before the exam, but don?t get stressed out about something you can?t remember. Relaxation is the key to retaining any sort of information.
Even though you didn?t put forth your best effort during class time you made your choices were selective, and relaxed, so you passed the exam. Next time, you forget to study don?t slam yourself just cram.
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