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Benefits of Cramming before a Test (ib exam)

Updated on May 18, 2011

Cramming and Procrastination

Cramming is often perceived as the action of a bad/lazy student, but studies have shown that cramming vs persistent studying yields about the same grade. Why is that?

Cramming is defined as putting off studying until the last day or weekend before an exam but despite teacher/parent warnings, it is beneficial to a student's natural brain abilities as compared to percipient studying. It is during cram sessions that students are able to see what they are made of and improve on their current brain abilities.

A person who walks steadily over long distances will not have a heart as strong as a person who runs at quick bursts over short distances.

During a cram session, a student is forced to push his/her limits beyond what they are. This is similar to muscular work outs. A person who uses heavy weights over a short time will have stronger muscles than a person who uses lighter weights over a long period of time.

It improves a person's concentration, and short term memory. Frequent cram sessions will improve a person's ability to absorb information and thinking speed resulting in an overall more intelligent student. In a desperate attempt to learn the material before a big exam, students often uncover methods of studying or thinking that they would not have uncovered if they studied normally. Before my IB European History exam, I had to relearn 5 Wars/Dictators the day before the Exam (Stalin, Mao Zedong, WW2, Korean War, Vietnam War). I had little recollection of each and as I was faced with this impossible task to learn all that in a single day, but something within me just snapped. Pictures/words flooded though my mind and I was able to memorize and understand information almost instantly. Now, as I am studying for my IB Biology Exam, I am using the same method I used to study for my history exam - a method I would not have figured out if not for my desperate cramming session.

Sure if a person needed to cram the the courses of an entire year into a single day, it may not be beneficial to the student's grade, but if it is only 1 or 2 classes, it will certainly benefit a person's overall mental strength which is what school is all about - to teach a student how to think efficiently.

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    • Doctor Kristy profile image

      Kristy Callan 5 years ago from Australia

      I love cramming. And it does work! I still remember the different functions of each brain lobe from high school psych a couple of years back.

      I never really thought about why cramming's good though... the running analogy was good.

    • profile image

      JD 4 years ago

      You have some peculiar ideas about learning and memory.

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