Everyone who crams for finals say I!! I’m sure if I asked this to a group of high school or college students, every person would agree with participating in this stressful event. It’s just something about procrastinating until the night before a test to actually crack open our textbooks. Is there a science behind chugging red bull and enhanced memory that we are all unaware of? Is there a thrill in forcing oneself to remember as much as they can within a matter of four hours? Or is it just pure laziness? Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer. But I have acknowledged (through research) that cramming does more harm than good. Yeah, we may feel invincible when we instantly become experts in a matter of hours, but the habits associated with cramming actually do have long-term effects on your academic performance, as well as your health. Lets take a look at few of these of effects.
1. Impaired mental function. No sleep leads to a higher chance of inadequate performance. Also, consistent, sleepless nights can leave you with long-term, permanent mental and emotional damage.
2. Poor mental and emotional well-being. Disorders such as anxiety and bipolar depression can be the results of not tending to your body’s needs. Stressing about retaining as much information as possible and putting your health not he back burner will not do anything but hurt you in the end. Is is really worth it to risk your well-being for two extra points on that exam?
3. Physiological effects. Stressing out about the final because you waited last minute to seat studying can effect you more the you know. Your blood pressure can be increased, which leads to a higher chance of developing heart disease and cancer. Poor eating can lead to obesity and diabetes if you choose to eat quick foods high in fat and hold no nutritional value. They don’t provide enough energy to help you function effectively. This may seem SO farfetched for those who cram every once in a while, but we all should be aware of the potential risk we are putting ourselves in when we decide to be zombies for a few days. Consistent cramming can and will effect us in someway whether its in a small way or severe.
So, what can you do to have effective stay sessions? Try out a few of the tips below.
1. Use time before the night of your exam to ask your professor and/or teacher’s assistant questions you may have about the areas you are struggling in. The help will be extremely useful since they are the ones actually teaching the material and creating the test. They should be your number one go to people.
2. Write it all down! Numerous studies prove that putting your pen to paper dramatically helps to retain more information. Doing this helps you study while learning. Come pre-test day, all you have to do is skim over what you wrote over to review!
3. No more all-nighters! We all experienced the dreadful reality of being up when we should be asleep. Pulling all-nighters don’t guarantee remembering what you just crammed. You’re better off getting a decent nights rest and knowing a little less. Sleeping will re-energize you and help you focus on your test much more than not sleeping at all!
Try using these tips on your next test to see if they work for you! Good luck!