It is not an uncommon practice for students to “cram” last minute before tests and exams. Students may wait until the night before a test to start studying, leaving them with worry, stress and a lack of sleep the night before. Though it is a common practice, it is certainly not an effective one. Here at Success Tutorial School we have compiled a list of reasons why cramming for a test is not an effective use of your time.
Poor Information Retention
Cramming before a test involves trying to absorb and understand large amounts of information in a short period of time. This leads to an overload of information that your brain struggles to remember and retain. Cramming is not an effective way of studying as you will be unable to remember all of the pertinent information for your test or exam.
When trying to study at the last minute, students are often trying to cram in facts and memorize information as opposed to actually understanding the content and material. Memorizing is not as effective as understanding and justifying information for a test. Additionally, if the test or exam asks for deeper understanding such as the “why” or the “how”, students will be unable to respond as they themselves do not comprehend the material effectively enough.
Missed Opportunities for Additional Help
If a student waits until the last minute to study and review, they will miss opportunities to seek out additional help from their teachers. If they are struggling with understanding concepts a few days before the test, they can ask their teacher for support to review and explain the concepts in depth. Students who plan in advance also have the opportunity to seek help from a tutor if need be or even work ahead with a tutor to keep them on the right track and ahead of their learning. At Success Tutorial School, we ensure the best opportunities for academic success for our students. However, if a student waits to the last minute they lose the opportunity for support to deepen their understanding.
Creates Gaps in Learning
When cramming for a test, students often miss out on understanding key points in their learning. This leads to gaps in learning especially as they move on to different units that build off of each other. This further creates an issue as it sets the student even further behind in their learning and comprehension.
Lack of Sleep
A student who waits until the last minute to cram for a test or exam usually compromises good sleep by staying up later to study. If a student is not well rested for their exam, it is likely that their performance during the test will not be as good as it potentially could have been had they rested properly the night before.
Increased Stress and Anxiety
Students who cram before their test are more likely to feel stress and anxiety leading up to their exam as well as during their testing. Feeling stressed and anxious are not conducive to success on a test. Therefore, cramming before a test can increase stress which in turn can create even worse performance.
Ineffective use of Time
Cramming before a test is not an effective use of time. If a student spends hours cramming the night before the test, losing sleep in the process, they are not setting themselves up for success. It is much more effective to spend the same amount of hours over the course of a week to review notes and study in a calm and efficient manner.
Unhealthy Study Habits
If cramming before the test becomes a pattern, this creates very unhealthy study habits. A student who only knows how to “study” for a test by cramming before the test will not be as successful as a student who takes their time, studies throughout the week and has a relaxed mindset over their tests and exams as they are more prepared.
A student who crams before tests and does not do well can end up having issues with their confidence in academic success. This leads to a vicious cycle as they end up having increased stress and anxiety surrounding their learning, further inhibiting their success in learning and test taking.
Creates a Negative Cycle of Learning
Cramming for a test leads to poor performance, lack of sleep, anxiety and gaps in learning. This results in a student being further behind in their learning and understanding. Therefore this student is consistently playing “catch up” in their academics to try and get back on track which can lead to burn out and even more cramming. It is wise to create good study habits instead of falling victim to this cycle.
Cramming before a test or an exam is not a recipe for success. Creating good study habits and using time effectively is a great way to ensure academic success. Furthermore, seeking additional learning opportunities with a tutor is a great way to stay ahead of your learning. Here at Success Tutorial School we aim to bridge any gaps in knowledge and prepare our students for success. We pride ourselves in offering multiple professional programs to support you in achieving your goals as best as possible.