How To Cram For A Test And Get Results
While the need to cram for a test isn’t ideal, we all go through times in our lives when there is simply too much going on at once and things get pushed to the last minute. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad student, and it doesn’t necessarily mean you could have avoided it. Definitely try to keep up with things, but if you can’t, roll up your sleeves and get ready. You can do a lot of good cramming for an exam, whether it’s a standardized test or a semester final. To get the most out of your efforts, make sure that you follow these tips.
1. Apply a little disk cleaner to your life.
In every day, there is waste. No matter how much you think you’re pressed to the max, you can find extra time somewhere just like a disk cleaner finds unneeded duplicates of files, images, and auto-saves to find more room than what your system settings currently say. Even now, I’m sitting here writing this at around midnight, and I look back on my jam-packed day caring for an 11-month-old child during the day and jumping in to the mountain of work that I have to do before going to bed. It doesn’t feel like I’ve had a single minute to myself, but yet there are pockets of time where I was collapsed on the floor watching my daughter play independently. I could have had the computer open doing things but I didn’t because I’d allowed my mind to numb. If I had applied some of that good old-fashioned disk cleaner to my day, I would have seen opportunities like this. She didn’t need my help. I could have been working, and while that work may not have been as productive as the time I had tonight to really focus, it would have inched me closer to my goals for the day. So look at your schedule and scan it for those moments here and there where you weren’t doing something productive. Once you’re aware of it, you can resolve to make use of that time tomorrow.
2. Ditch the junk food, drinks, and excessive coffee.
Telling you to put a prohibition on coffee would be, in my estimation, cruel and unusual punishment. But when you decide to cram for a test, you definitely need to ditch unhealthy food and drink choices. Why? Because the mind focuses better on complex tasks when your body isn’t being polluted with more than your allotted daily intake of any one food item. Also, while you’re at it, get a little exercise throughout the day. Set your pedometer and get to walking. The activity boosts brain power the same as proper diet. If you’re going to be putting in a lot of study effort over a short period of time, you have to make sure the brain is optimized for it.
3. Do some walk-and-talks.
To follow that exercise suggestion, consider doing some walk-and-talks. A walk-and-talk means that you get away from the computer or work desk and you take a nice, long walk while bringing along your smartphone. Use it to research items that will be on the test. You can do this by making a list of what to study while you’re moving around, then engaging the Internet on your phone to look up information and repeat it back to yourself. I suggest making the effort to speak aloud and not simply read it in your head. It’s one extra form of verification and repetition that your brain needs at this crucial juncture in the cram for a test process.
If you are studying for a standardized test and only have about a week to do it, then make sure that you have scheduled out which sections to cover in the days leading up to test day. By breaking up the study efforts into smaller chunks, you can get a real sense of what you know and what you don’t, and which information will need your full and undivided attention the day before the exam.
5. Make a study guide.
While your schedule will set aside the time, your study guide will set aside the pertinent sections of information that will be on your exam. By making a study guide, you’ll find that a few interesting and helpful things happen: 1) You read the information to yourself. (Gotta know what’s going to be on the test, after all.) 2) You write the information. (This is the second time you’re actually doing something with the info, and in writing it down on a sheet of paper or typing it out, you’re reading it a second time.) 3) You’re creating a game plan for getting the perfect test grade and creating a document that at-a-glance will let you know where you stand.
6. Take as many practice tests as you can.
On test day, you’ll need to be up-to-date on not just the information provided, but also on the environment and extemporaneous factors surrounding the test. It’s a high-pressure situation, and if you can put yourself through a battery of similar conditions leading up to the big day, then you will be prepared for both the content of the test and the means of administration.
7. Don’t let your desire to catch up cause you to forget about break time.
Break time is important to your success, even when you’re running out of time and forced to cram for a test. The human brain has difficulty focusing on anything for longer than 25 minutes at a time. That’s why productivity hacks like the famous Pomodoro Technique have been around so long. The Pomodoro Technique was unleashed on the world in the 1980s. It took advantage of the short human attention span by scheduling 25-minute work periods followed by short, 5-minute break periods. Each session was called a “Pomodoro,” and after a few of these, the participant could take a somewhat longer break to recharge their mental batteries.
If you have to cram for a test on occasion, then congratulations, you’re a part of the human race! It’s common and nothing to be ashamed of, but if you’re always cramming then you may want to reconsider how you’re spending your day. Utilizing the 7 tip