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Cramming: Why It's Ineffective & Should Be Avoided

Cramming in college pretty much goes hand-in-hand like peas and carrots. What has become known to students from across the globe as a normal part of their college lifestyle, is in fact, one of the most ineffective methods for studying.

According to a 2011 study conducted by, students that cram for tests and exams typically only pass their examinations with an average score. Additionally, the majority of the information gained through cramming sessions ends up being forgotten not just over a period of time but even during the actual test itself.

Trying not to cram can be a difficult thing for most college students to avoid. It seems like second nature and some may even see it as a necessity. With hectic class schedules, it can be hard to make enough time to adequately study for each exam individually, which often results in throwing caution to the wind and instead condensing weeks/months of information into a handful of late night cramming sessions.

Students attending prestigious colleges and universities like Stanford, UCLA, Yale and other well-to-do institutions may find themselves more prone to cramming under the intense pressure to make the grade and feel worthy of being accepted into such a school.

However, such behavior should be broken because it is ineffective and could even pose as a hazard to one's health. It goes without saying that cramming places too much stress onto the brain, pushing it beyond its limits. When the brain is overworked too much, too often, it increases feelings of anxiety, frustration, fatigue and even confusion. Like the human body, the brain needs time to breathe, relax and refocus. Cramming does the opposite of this.

Ever experienced a mental block in recalling information you've crammed for the night before? This occurs because of the ongoing stress the brain has been placed under. In a sense, cramming for exams has a higher risk of backfiring and potentially causing students to score lower, compared to if they had scheduled healthier periods of study time in advance of the test date.

In other cases, students that take their cramming to the extremes by doing this on a regular basis whenever mid-terms and finals roll around, also put themselves at risk health-wise. If a student is up late, it's highly unlikely that they're getting enough hours of sleep or eating a nutritious diet. Over time, this bad behavior takes its toll on the body, leading to exhaustion, moodiness and irritability, as well as fat loss (and not the good kind).

It is important for college students to understand that it takes proper time management to successfully study-not cram-for a test or exam. Not only will it lead to a healthier outlook in the long run, it will result in better grades, an ability to recall information much easier and promote confidence while taking the exam.

Still don't feel like you can overcome cramming? Then you may want to reevaluate your class schedule and lessen the load so there won't be a need to cram in the first place.