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4 Funny Ways How NOT to Study for Exams

Updated on October 23, 2013

Exam time somehow brings the best of our stalling, delaying and postponing abilities at the worst possible time. We all suddenly become masters of procrastination, able to find and accomplish any task other than the one you are actually supposed to do.

"I suddenly feel like cleaning. Maybe Ill somehow learn about Koch's postulates in this bacteria-infested sink."
"I suddenly feel like cleaning. Maybe Ill somehow learn about Koch's postulates in this bacteria-infested sink."

Having some experience in that regard, I have compiled a list of tasks that you should absolutely NOT do during exam time, even if you convince yourself that you can easily make that flux capacitor and travel back in time with a few grams of unobtanium*

*Note to self – stop trying to make flux capacitors for time travel. Especially during exam time (even more so when those classes are super hard).

1. Play a Game

It’s the night before your morning exam. You haven’t touched your textbook and you’ve skimmed over all of your notes in half an hour. Who are you kidding? You probably pretended to skim over all your notes. Do you even have notes? Doodles don’t count.

Maybe an all nighter is the only way you’ll manage to cover all of your material. But you’re really tired from pretending to skim over all of your notes and fighting that imaginary sponge monster in the bathroom.

"I told you, you shouldn't have cleaned the sink. Now look what you created."
"I told you, you shouldn't have cleaned the sink. Now look what you created."

What do you do?

How about play a game?

That is exactly what I did at 12 am the eve before my microbiology exam, by engaging in an epic Rise of Nations match.

The logic for this is pretty solid (of course). See, using your computer for long periods before going to sleep will make you more awake. The light from the screen tricks your brain into thinking you’re staring straight at the sun (or at least that there’s still broad daylight), and it makes you less sleepy. It can also make your eyes blink less, which surely means you will be all the more alert with your dry, irritated eyes.

"I am super alert right now."
"I am super alert right now."

Rise of Nations was also a wise choice for a game. A new study has shown that you can get up to a significant improvement in memory-related tasks by playing strategy games like Rise of Nations, as opposed to games like pong. Mainly because pong is lame. Disregard the fact that this study was only conducted on the elderly, and you’re basically playing your way to a better mark.

"By conquering the French, Ill immediately have super memory for my exam."
"By conquering the French, Ill immediately have super memory for my exam."

2. Devise Stupid Ways to Cheat

After 2 hours of military warfare going neck to neck until some idiot uses too many nukes and creates Armageddon, you’ve probably realized that there is no way you’ll be able to memorize all of the different bacterial strains that cause bloody diarrhea. In turn you resort to a dark and evil method: cheating.

The problem is, you need to figure out a way to cheat without getting caught. That is the key. The five D’s of cheating: dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge. Or is that for dodgeball? I can’t remember. Damn Rise of Nations didn’t work at all for my memory. Maybe I just need to play it more.

But that is inevitably the road block that you will find when trying to cheat. You will come up with things like:

  • Writing formulas on water bottle labels
  • Hiding sheets of random information up your sleeves
  • Writing names and terms on your shoes
  • Devising an ink and using it on your glasses so it only shows on a certain angle
  • Typing stuff up on the calculator using a secret number language
  • Master telepathic electronic communication (TEC) so you can Google in your head

But these all have setbacks:

  • They don’t allow you to bring water bottles with labels
  • The amount of information you can fit in a sheet on a sleeve or a pair of shoes is almost completely useless when you have a textbook’s worth of information to put in there (unless you have giant sleeves/shoes)
  • That ink plan didn’t work so well due to lack of materials or possibly physics understanding
  • The calculator language WOULD HAVE WORKED if it didn’t only fit 80 table cells worth of information (and the fact that you don’t need a calculator in microbiology escaped your mind)
  • And you were this close to mastering TEC, but sadly Google’s TOS specifically block that sort of thing (seriously, look it up)

Asking your friends for suggestions to cheat doesn’t bode well either. Most of them suggested “sleep with your teacher”, who in my case was not attractive and also a man. Nothing wrong with being gay, but that’s not how I roll, or who I roll with.

Another suggestion was something very interesting. It involved repeatedly reading the material to make sure you know it, testing yourself on this same material, and then when you take the exam you’ll have hopefully remembered everything on the material. This sounds like a myth though, and my friend who knows a friend that does this said he only gets B-.

"If I'm gonna cheat, I need to do it properly, dammit. None of this 'studying' business."
"If I'm gonna cheat, I need to do it properly, dammit. None of this 'studying' business."

3. Wonder about the Asinine Methods of Teaching You’ve Been Subjected To

You’ve wasted another few hours and given up on cheating (but you still vow to perfect TEC). There’s only one thing left to do – complain about your teacher’s ineffectiveness in teaching stuff.


Sure, you skipped those morning classes and never once bothered to look at the material posted online, but they should have known better. They should have made class at a more convenient time for you, and should have added robots or explosions to the class material to make it more interesting.

"Or exploding robots."
"Or exploding robots."

Speaking of these oil spills, you notice the prof has posted that a great deal of emphasis should be on them and how bacteria clean them up. This will surely be a major thinking question on the exam, so you read the 16 page PDF that he posted recommending you to read because “it will be on the exam and it is an easy read”.

You write the exam, confident that you’ll get 10 marks for your impressive understanding of oil spills and bacteria clean up and… a single multiple choice question related to oil spills. Oh good, that’s a good start and… hmm, you don’t see any other questions about oil spills. Why is the short answer section asking you about what two Harvard scientists did with some bread mould? That just sounds horribly wrong.

"I am hoping they used protection."
"I am hoping they used protection."

Wow, your prof made you read a 16 page PDF for one measly, multiple choice question which you probably would have guessed anyway. Sadly you don’t remember the question (play more Rise of Nations), but it was dumb. Seriously it was like pick the false statement and one of the statements was oil turns to gold in water, or something.

But let’s think not what you should study (or when in the eventual future you should actually start studying), but why you should study.

Common, when are you ever going to need to know what kind of structure Pseudomonas aeruginosa has? Who cares what you call the thing that uses heat and pressure to kill bacteria? That probably won't be important, except maybe in a trivia show.

Besides, you can Google that sh!t if you really need to. What you can’t Google (or at least it’s a bit harder to find) is, for instance, why you should add nutrients to oil spills and why engineering bacteria to break down oil is probably not going to work.

That's the kind of thing that requires at least some comprehension of the subject, whereas remembering the structures of random bacteria is just pure fact memorization.

Seriously, society is so screwed up, man. They want us to be better at memorizing random, useless facts than actually developing the skills you need to solve real world issues. In a way, they are actually teaching you to suck at learning.

You don’t learn these subjects because you’re interested, you learn them because of a vague promise that high marks means you are a better individual, and lower marks mean you are not worthy.

And these subjects are almost always stuff that you will never use for the rest of your life.

Why are they placing so much value on a grade anyway? I mean it’s only a number or letter. How much does that tell about you? They’re not even getting close to your REAL skills and abilities.

"Like beer pong."
"Like beer pong."

And besides, why is college so god damn expensive anyway? It doesn’t guarantee a job outside of school and you’re probably better off joining the army and –

*trail off in pointless thought for another 2 hours*

Oh crap, it’s 5 am and you still haven’t started (and your flux capacitor sent you forward in time, you wrote your exam, found that the prof tricked you into studying a 16 page PDF about oil spills for 1 mark, came back in time, and forgot about it because you didn’t play enough Rise of Nations). Now you REALLY shouldn’t…

1. Play a Game

No dude, we’ve already been through this. Seriously though, get your memory checked. That’s not normal.

You REALLY shouldn’t…

4. Read Cracked Articles

This is basically crack in readable form. It’s no coincidence I have mirrored their style of writing in this Hub. It’s addictive, it’s fun, and it should be illegal. I am actually probably subconsciously plagiarizing one of their articles as I write this one. Hopefully they will forgive me, because it’s been two weeks and I still can’t stop reading them.

"Right when exams started too. What timing."
"Right when exams started too. What timing."

All of my worldly knowledge basically comes from Cracked. Even that one bit about radioactive bacteria (which I happened to learn in microbiology but forgot about it) I only truly learned from reading a Cracked article about super bacteria that clean up our environment. It’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, or porn, or porn on sliced bread.

But reading Cracked isn’t the worst thing in the world. Maybe reading Cracked will give you all of the information you need for this exam. Or how to get superpowers. And who needs to pass an exam when you have superpowers? You can just fly away from your troubles. Or punch them into oblivion.

"Take that, exam paper!"
"Take that, exam paper!"

And maybe, someday real soon, they'll post an article about how to make flux capacitors. Which reminds me...

BONUS: Build a Flux Capacitor and Go Back in Time

Definitely worth a shot.


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    • Ancillotti profile image


      5 years ago from Brasil, Vitoria - ES

      After a tiring day of work, nothing better than reading a hub as its for a good laugh. All that said is true and I believe that the way we act as we are students will be reflected in our lives as professionals.

      A big hug and congratulations by the text great. Vote helpful, funny and up :)

    • flagostomos profile image


      7 years ago from Washington, United States

      I never got the cracked reference until today lol. Those types of articles really are addictive. Good hub.

    • Michael Willis profile image

      Michael Willis 

      7 years ago from Arkansas

      lol, reminds me of school days!!

    • mrpopo profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Canada

      Does that work in a secure Wi-Fi? :P

    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 

      7 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      You could also get a Johnnu Mnemonic Brand Chip and download the answers:-))


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