What works? What doesn't? Does cramming work? Is Adderall safe?
So lets begin, what is the best way to cram for an exam?
1) Studying. Duh? Yeah, you need to study. Not
hours before the test. But, days and weeks before. The more you
study the more information becomes stored in the long-term
memory area of your brain. When you cram information is stored
in the short-term memory. Due to the anxieity of taking the test,
not sleeping enough, or not eating well you have a greater chance
of forgetting everything that you crammed into your head.
2) Sleep. If time permits, try to get at least
3 hours of sleep (one sleep cycle) before the exam so that you
don't fall asleep when taking your exam. Don't forget to set your
alarm! Have a back-up waking system in place so you don't sleep
through your exam!
Know your sleeping habits. Lack of adequate sleep WILL affect your cramming
session an you will do poorly on the exam. Sleep help your brain to process
all the information that you are cramming. So cram and then get a good nights
3) Food. Eat some food to give you energy to
study, but try to avoid excess sugar which will make you hyper,
increase stress levels, and will make it more difficult to study.
Be sure to eat a nutritious breakfast the day of the exam. An apple
does a better job at keeping you focused and awake than caffeine.
Use stimulants such as coffee carefully, if at all.
4) Positive Attitude. Maintain a positive attitude.
Tell yourself that you can do it! Do not allow doubts or worry
to interfere with your studying, make the best of the time you
have. Keep a positive attitude, it is easier to study when you
are relaxed than when you are stressed out. Have a positive attitude
when you enter the exam room. Try to stay calm and confident!
5) Study Drugs. Adderall, Ritalin, Cylert, Dexedrine,
No-Doz, high energy drinks.... no, no, no, no. The risks
of substances are just too high... for example, Adderall has
a high tendency for abuse, can cause clinical depression, create
dependence, trigger latent schizophrenia and turn a person into
an empty shell.
7) Study Location. Find a well lit place with
no distractions around to study but don't get too comfortable or
you may fall a sleep.
8) Organization/Have a Plan. If
you are going to cram at least have a plan. Take at least
one five minute break an hour so that you can gather your thoughts
and let your brain relax. Study from the top down. Select the
most general and significant ideas to review first, then use
learn more and more details as time permits. Leave yourself extra
time to get to the exam, the unexpected may happen.
Cramming for exams should be avoided at all costs.
You should only cram for an exam as a last resort. It's hard to
take in and retain a large amount of information in a short period
of time. Some of the tips on studying and preparing for a test
may over lap with the cramming techniques below.
Avoid Cramming... Why?
Your anxiety level will go up
You will lose sleep and eat poorly because of this
You will get sick more easily because of this
You will miss the exam because of this
You will take the much harder essay make-up exam because of this
You will fail the exam.
Seriously, at a minimum you will do worse on the exam than you would have otherwise.