Does Cramming Help with Studying for Tests?

Is Cramming for Tests and Exams a Good Strategy?

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Cramming is the practice of trying to study a large amount of class material in a short period, typically the night before an exam, test, or quiz. Students cram for a number of reasons including:

  • Low motivation to study on a regular basis well before time for tests;
  • Underachievement;

Is Cramming for a Test Effective?

Almost always, the answer is no. Cramming for a test can lead to:

  • Confusion of facts the student has already learned. This can be especially true for students with specific learning disabilities.
  • Inability to connect new facts to prior learning, which is necessary to input ideas into memory. Cramming does not allow time for the brain to process the information and make critical connections in concepts.
  • Reading fatigue during study and low energy levels during testing that can lead to lower marks on tests. and
  • Anxiety and frustration for the learner.

Light study before a test can be helpful if the student is already well prepared for the assessment and simply wants to spend a few minutes going over some concepts to help him feel more comfortable going into the test. In most students with SLDs, cramming only leads to failure and may reinforce low-self esteem.

What are Some More Effective Study Strategies?

In a term, advanced preparation is the most effective way to study. Try these proven strategies to help your child perform better on tests and earn better grades:

Used together, these strategies can help you improve test and exam performance more effectively and efficiently than cramming.

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