A Guide: How to Cram


Whoops, it’s days before your final. How did you let all this time pass!? Well, it’s too late to change anything now, EXCEPT IT’S NOT! Cramming is always looked down on because concepts just don’t seem to stick with you when you cram; but in this situation, cramming is going to save your life. Just make sure to follow these few tips to get the best out of your cramming session.

If your professor did not specifically tell you what chapters or ideas are going to be on your exam, then you should try to find out. Check your syllabus or any recent notes. He or she probably put a special emphasis on a few things, and those things will most likely be the bulk of the exam. You can’t study everything at this point in the semester, so study what most of the exam will be about to earn the most points.

When you study, it should be in a well-lit area where you will not get easily distracted. Places outside or close to windows can be quite distracting, at least for me. But on the other hand, a room with no windows can seem more like a prison cell rather than some place that you visit voluntarily. But let’s face it: school is very much like a prison cell. Also, avoid studying in bed. Being too comfortable can make it easier for you to convince yourself that a nap is just as necessary as studying!

Try to avoid pulling an all-nighter. Your body needs a night’s rest for a very important reason: for rest! Your brain needs a break from processing things. When you pull an all-nighter to study, your body and brain are both running on low energy which makes it harder for you to focus. What’s the point in staying up to study if you can’t even focus?

On the other hand, some all-nighters are necessary to get things done. You can deal with the consequences of lack of sleep later on. In the sad, sad case that you must pull an all-nighter, consider these facts:

Need some caffeine? You can always drink a few cups of coffee to keep yourself awake, but there are alternatives to this. Apples can give you tons of energy in a healthy way. Eat a healthy snack rather than loading up on sugary foods and drinks. These can give you sugar highs which are temporary, and even while you’re on the high, it is pretty difficult to focus on studying.

Make sure to make some time to move around every few minutes. Moving around gets your blood flowing faster and will help keep you awake. Also, instead of yawning, hold your breath for a little while. It will also help your blood move faster to keep you awake, and yawning only helps convince you that you should just give up and go to sleep.

Lastly, whether you’re pulling an all-nighter or just cramming, turn off your electronics and make sure to not have Facebook pulled up in a tab on your laptop. Procrastinating got you here in the first place, and you definitely don’t have to time to waste at this point. Good luck, you little procrastinators!