As much as we avoid it, life happens and there are times when we have no choice but to somehow fit six chapters worth of information into your brain within a few days for that very important test. It happens as much as we wish we could always be on task and prepared for things. The question is: What are some effective ways of cramming. Here are some things I have learned from experience as an overwhelmed college student.
1. Don’t Overwhelm Yourself
At this point you are past being able to prepare a little at a time and you are going to have to absorb a lot of information in a short amount of time. Be careful not to overwhelm yourself. If you try to read every single page of every section you should be reading you are going to burn yourself out. This is where we start preparing how to expertly skim the material.
2.Outline What To Focus On
If you do not have a study guide, start by finding a way to list the topics that you need to be studying. This can mean anything from grabbing the main ideas from your textbooks, or skimming through powerpoints for main points. This will help you be able to focus instead getting easily overwhelmed by a lot of unorganized information.
Once you have your list and have an idea of where to start, you can start making flashcards. When I have time I like writing my flashcards because writing notes is another way of absorbing information. However, when I’m short on time, quizlet is my best friend as it is easy to copy paste from powerpoints and other sources.
4.Explain Your Knowledge
As you feel yourself getting a better grasp of the information, explain your knowledge to someone who knows nothing about the subject. They’ll most likely ask questions (if they are a good friend) and it will help you see how much you have grasped the material.