Most students cram for their next day exam especially if it is their final examinations. This is so natural as many of us tend only to study hard if the exam is already fast approaching.
But we should understand – how we actually learn or remember the facts.
We(at least 80% of people) remember movies start to finish, as it has linkage(storyline) and drama(attention factor). Same is true with studies. when we are learning to fill up the storyline and with dramatic passion, learning gets easy.
Now to get a storyline of your subject you should listen to the lecture in your class with utmost attention as you listen to a good song. Now read lecture notes at the end of each day. Doing this technique is effective because it helps your brain to absorb the information one by one. This actually makes a mind map of what you read.
To understand the subject effectively you must study in short stretches of time. Give short intervals of relaxation between stretches, as in movies. This way your mind will pick up storyline effectively.
Following cartoon shows what is cramming.
Cramming is not a good habit because studying big chunk of info in a short span of time and pushing your brain to recall all of it is a hard work and gives you nothing but stress. Cramming also means that you will deprive yourself of a good night sleep which is necessary to give you enough energy and alertness the following day.
Simply reading your notes over and over is not a very effective way to revise: the information simply slides over the surface of your mind without leaving a trace. So rule three is to use active learning strategies to ensure that you involve yourself in what you’re learning, looking for links between different elements and reflecting on what you’re studying. If you can really engage with and understand the material you’re studying, and relate it to what you already know, it moves into your long-term memory and becomes much more interesting and useful in the process.
Learning by understanding the subject is far more fruitful than just cramming. You will forget what you crammed but remember what you have understood.