Tests are an important part of the learning process. Be it self-learning or school learning; tests will always be there to determine your progress. Those who do self-study assess their progress with the help of practice tests. Meanwhile, we all go through regular tests and assignments in school as well. But, it can be challenging for many students to study for a long time for a test and retain all the knowledge.
Besides, some students also face issues with recalling the solution or the correct answer at the time of appearing for the test. It can happen to people even if they have correctly understood the topic or the subject. In order to avoid such issues during your test, you can put your mind into cramming for the test. Cram sessions can help you with all the subjects, and you can earn good marks on all your tests. But, how to cram for a test?
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Table of Contents
What Is Cramming?
Although most of you must already know what cramming means, let us explain it to those who are new to the term. Cramming refers to the process of studying intensively. It is about covering all the important topics for an exam or test near the commencement of the examination.
If we check the literal meaning of the word cramming, it refers to filling something completely till it overflows. But it is usually associated with learning. So, what is cramming for an exam? In terms of education, cramming is about learning for an exam intensively and absorbing a large volume of content or subject topics in a short time remaining. Students opt for the process of cramming when they cannot deeply understand the concepts and have less time to prepare for a test properly.
Studying for an exam basically involves learning the entire chapter or one subject and gathering the in-depth knowledge for the test. Cramming, on the other hand, is done a few days before the test. For cramming, students don’t study everything, but only the essential topics. In other words, they try to retain only enough knowledge which would be sufficient for the test point of view.
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Why Should Students Prepare Cram Session?
As we discussed in the previous section, cramming is an attempt to load or absorb most information for a test. It is known to be one of the easy and efficient ways to prepare for tests and exams. Some find it easy to retain the knowledge and excel in examinations. But, there are many issues that students face where cramming can help them to ace their tests. Some of the reasons may include-
1. Inability to Manage Time: Students has many subjects to study within a day. Other than that, they are also involved with many other activities such as extra-curricular, part-time jobs, internships, etc. Therefore, it becomes challenging for students to manage time as they cannot get even enough sleep.
The situation becomes worse during the exam or test season as they have to manage the time accordingly. With so many different activities to work on, it gets difficult for students to understand the topic for exams deeply. Here, cramming comes to save the students. But learning only the most important topics is comparatively less time-consuming.
2. Procrastination: While some students are actively involved in multiple activities with school, some can’t help but procrastinate. A person who procrastinates cannot concentrate and gets easily diverted and with something for which they postpone their studies. In such a situation, students cram the crucial topics before appearing for the test.
3. Inability to Understand the Topic: Many students want to retain all the knowledge for their tests properly. However, there are some topics or subjects which can be difficult for the students to understand and easy to forget. In such a situation, cramming helps even those who want to study for their exams sincerely.
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How To Cram For A Test?
Cramming may be sound complicated, but it can be done efficiently. If you are also searching for an answer to ‘how to cram for a test?’ follow the following steps-
1. Gather All the Necessary Material Beforehand
In cramming, you do not need to go through the entire chapter. It would be best if you covered only the key facts which hold greater significance in your test. Cramming is done when your examination is close and you have not prepared anything yet. Therefore, you have only limited time to cover the essential topics. Hence, it would be best if you did not waste even a minute and study what is required.
In such a situation, it is the best way to gather or prepare all your stuff and read the material beforehand. Before when you sit for cramming, make sure you have all the necessary notes, textbooks, stationery material, and a notepad. Keep your handy set with you, so you do not need to get up again and again to get your things.
2. Learn from Notes and Do Practice Tests
At this point, when you are late to study for your test properly or create new study notes, you should not require a textbook. It is better to learn from your notes, which already carry all the important points in brief. You can go through key topics from your notes quickly for revision as well, unlike a textbook where half of the time is wasted to get to the right page.
Besides that, once you have been through your notes and feel confident that you have prepared sufficiently for your test, take practice tests. A practice test can be done with the help of questions from the past papers or the previous year’s question paper.
3. Prepare Cramming Notes
If you do not have study notes prepared, you can make them simultaneously while studying. Read the important concepts from your textbook and find important definitions to note them. As a student, noting the information down while reading will also help you to retain the concepts in a short period, even better than cramming.
Making notes is a highly efficient way to learn and adequately study while cramming and studying regularly. The good notes cover the most critical topics, and the students’ focus remains on the essential points.
4. Shut Down your Social Media
Social media is both blessing and a curse. But the bigger curse that it has is on students and their education. Social media platforms are highly addictive, and students feel the need to keep constantly checking them. Therefore, when you have very little time left and are preparing for your tests at the very last minute, it is best to shut your social media down. Fight the urge to check that one notification because once you open any of the apps, you will need to spend at least an hour.
The better option is to shut down your device entirely, but that is not an option anymore since we are learning via digital platforms.
5. Put a Timer
When you have limited time to prepare for your test, you have to divide your time and subjects accordingly. You have to manage how much time should be given to which topic or subject. Therefore, it would be best for you to make a timetable and put it on a timer to get proper time to study everything necessary. Work as per your timetable and do not go beyond your set timer.
Schedule your study session. Train your brain to work as per the set timer and process for efficient learning.
Also, add break time to your schedule. Take some time off from studying to freshen up your mind. Do not burden yourself by constantly learning. Make time to refresh your mood if you feel tired.
6. Eat Healthy To Keep the Blood Flowing
To keep you fresh and motivated while cramming, you should eat healthy food. The food you eat greatly determines your mood and activeness, which you must consider, especially while studying. For example, if you take a heavy diet, you will end up feeling sleepy and lazy. On the other hand, a refreshing and healthy diet with light food and fruits will keep you active and motivated while studying. As a result, you can have a better focus and successfully cram for a test.
It is also essential to eat healthy for your test as well. Take a healthy diet the night before your test, and do not sit for your exam without eating. It helps to keep the blood flowing properly, especially during the tense period of test-taking.
7. Take Proper Sleep
A good night’s sleep is vital to study and appear for the test. Sleep deprivation can lead to poor performance, tiredness, lack of concentration, and confusion. Therefore, to give your best for the test, make sure you fall asleep and wake up on time. You can make it a habit for your exams by practicing it from a few days before the tests.
8. Find a Comfortable Place to Study
While studying or cramming for your test, you should feel disturbed as you lose the flow of learning. Hence, you should make sure you study in a good spot. It could be your study room, bedroom, or someplace out such as library or coffee shops. Coffee shops are the best spots among students to study for their exams while sipping on their coffee to stay alert and active.
If you want to study properly and get good grades, it is vital to find a comfortable spot. Surroundings play a significant role in determining your mood and will to do something, even studying.
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How To Cram For A Test The Night Before?
Although you should be well prepared for all your tests beforehand, some students still wait till the night before the test. Usually, the students prefer not to burden themselves with studying the day before a test. On the other, some save the last night for a quick review or a revision. But some still need to study entirely for a test. Hence, they look for answers to how to cram for a test the day before. But how to cram for a test the night before? Let’s find out!
1. Study with Notes
The most basic way to cram last minute for a test is to study from the notes. You must prepare the lecture notes beforehand because if you don’t, you will not have any time to prepare them while studying. However, you can still make pointers or note down the key points in brief.
2. Take a Friend’s Help
Most of the students usually have a friend who is good at studying. If you also have such friends, ask for their help. When your friend teaches you, not only will you get to learn for the test, but it will also help your friend in their revision.
3. Use Flash Cards
Flash Cards have been proven to be highly efficient for students to study, especially when there is a lack of time. Flash Cards are twice more efficient as the traditional way of learning or cramming to learn for a test.
You can also put these steps to use if you wonder how to cram for a test in an hour. Although we hope you will not let that happen because cramming an hour before cannot guarantee you good grades.
How To Cram For A Math Test?
We discussed that cramming could be done for any subject. But you might be wondering how to cram for a test related to practical topics. Subjects such as math, physics, calculus, etc., consist of formulas and practice questions, which, unlike theoretical subjects, can be challenging to cram. But, it is not impossible! Let’s see how you can cram for a calculus test or a math test entirely.
1. Review the Homework Assignments
Your teacher likely gives you the questions in your test from your homework assignments. Therefore, you must go through them before your math test. You do not have to solve the entire math textbook; revise the questions and solutions you were given for your homework.
2. Use Flashcards for Formulas
Subjects like math, calculus, physics, etc., are majorly based on formulas. Almost every mathematical query is solved with the help of a formula. If you face trouble remembering them, you will not be able to solve the question. In fact, once you put the formula in your question, half of the work is done then and there only. Therefore, you must know all the formulas for which you can use flashcards.
3. Solve the Important Questions Yourself
Although it is not essential to solving all the mathematics textbook problems, some questions hold great significance. Such questions are repeated in almost every test and exam. Solve and practice such questions yourself.
You can use or repeat the follwing tips:
- Cram for a Physics test, which also includes some theoretical part. Hence, you can use both theoretical and practical subject cramming techniques.
- Cram for a Science test consists of all three fields of science, i.e., Physics, Chemistry, and Biology, along with other sub-subjects and areas.
- Cram for Calculus and Algebra. Math is an umbrella term that includes calculus, trigonometry, algebra, etc., which become individual subjects for higher studies. You can use these techniques to cram for a test related to practical subjects successfully.
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How To Cram For A Zoology Test?
Zoology is a field of study within Biology, which studies wildlife biology and related ecology and environmental studies. Zoology is a specific subject that requires the students to learn and understand the concepts properly. A student studying Zoology or any other related field should not be dependent on cramming for their tests.
However, if you are unable to learn something important for a test, cramming can be helpful. Follow these steps to cram for the zoology test, which can also answer your question ‘how to cram for a history test’ as both are theoretical subjects and need in-depth learning.
- Make a learning routine.
- Review the past papers
- Revise the homework projects, assignments, and tests related to zoology
- Use Mnemonic Techniques, which helps in remembering the answers or words with the help of imaginary images, shapes, or figures.
- Revise with your friend.
Essential Steps To Cram For A Test
Although we have covered every important question and point to answer how to cram for a test, let’s look at some essential steps:
- Take a proper good night’s sleep. Don’t keep yourself sleep-deprived while cramming as well as while appearing on the exam day.
- Eat a healthy diet to get energy, feel fresh and active. Also, you must keep your body active with exercise such as jumping jacks, etc. Always try to give enough time for your body as well.
- Sit to study with all the necessary preparations.
- Keep your study table prepared with necessary items such as notes, books, pen, notepad, etc.
- Find a comfortable spot to study where you do not feel sleepy or get disturbed. It can either be a library, your bedroom, or a coffee shop.
- Please avoid using your phone while cramming unless you are using it to study.
- Please stay away from social media apps while cramming, as they can significantly help you waste your time.
- Keep your notes prepared. It would be best if you kept handwritten lecture notes with you while learning the subject in class to avoid haste during the last minute.
- Use flashcards for better remembrance. They are separate piece that carries the keywords related to the essential topics, and it is also a fun way to study. Hence it helps in retaining the information.
- Take breaks between long hours of studying. You can get tired and bored quickly if you keep on learning. It is recommended to take breaks between and get some fresh air or do something you like to refresh your mind.
- Even during your breaks, stay away from social media, as screen time can strain your eyes and brain. It will ultimately affect your focus, concentration, and learning ability. You can get caught up with the world of social media after your test is done. It is better to take a walk for a few minutes and breathe in fresh air during your break from cramming.
- Follow a timer as there will be multiple concepts and topics to study to cover in the remaining time. Therefore, a timetable and set up a timer will help study all the necessary topics.
- Do practice tests to judge how well you can do in your exam. You can do so by solving the past papers.
- Revise the homework assignments and tests as the teachers tend to give important questions for assignments and tests.
- Try to solve some important questions yourself to understand them better. You are not required to do everything, but make sure you hold all the main ideas, topics, and concepts.
- Make study guide using vocab words, study time and essay questions, which makes sense. It can be helpful to follow the routine.
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Cramming is a technique that we all have been practicing since our childhood. However, it would definitely help if you will try not to be dependent on cramming and study properly to put the knowledge to use for your career making. Cramming is about stuffing the knowledge in your brain and retaining it only a short while, which is till the time of the test.
Cramming and the haste that comes with cramming can be avoided if you properly study from the beginning. Follow these points not only the day before your test but since the beginning of your course to get a good grade. However, the points mentioned above and proper time management can significantly help you with cramming and scoring good marks during the last minute. Good luck for your tests!