Tuesday, 17 January 2012

How To Cram For An Exam

It's the night before the exam and you finally get your books out.

If this is you, I have one sentence that is going to be important:

Expect the worst and don't expect any miracles.

The best you can do now is to get through the main stuff and do your best in the exam. Unless you've attended every lesson, done all the assignments and haven't fallen behind once, you will not get a top grade. And chances are that if you did all this work in the first place, you wouldn't be in the position of having to cram.

Here's a step by step guide of what to do when cramming. Use this guide if you have less than 24 hours till the exam:

  1. Get all your notes together and texts used during your course. Make sure you have a copy of the specification. 
  2. Get a wad of plain paper or lined. It doesn't matter. Just get some paper. A pen helps too. Different coloured pens also help. 
  3. Use your specification to get the heading of each topic and write one topic on the top of one separate page until you have a few sheets with headings on the top. 
  4. Go through your notes and text and write down at least 5 points for each sheet. 
  5. Once you have your points, get out a sample paper and a sheet of paper. 
  6. Write down the questions on the paper with enough space to write down some notes under the question. If you want you can skip points 3 and 4 and use the questions to make points instead. 
What to do if you have more than 24 hours:

  1. Do everything as said above but instead, write down the questions you can find and answer each and every one of them. 
  2. Condense these answers into key points and type them up onto the computer. 
  3. Revise from these notes. 
If you have less than 8 hours till the exam, you're in a very difficult position. I can't really recommend anything unless you're still in secondary school. If you're in college, these tips won't help much.You're best bet would be to get some sleep and just try your best. You won't learn much in those 8 hours and at least you'll learn your lesson.

If you ever find yourself in this position then learn from this mistake. Write down exactly what it feels like and stick that note on the wall. It'll be a constant reminder.

I hope this helps but I do understand it won't help everyone. You learn in your own way. But remember this: You won't be able to cover everything so just go through the main ideas.

And good luck. You'll be needing it. 



  1. I love this. I have been there before, but I was always the good kid who attended every lesson and did all the assignments. But I can clearly remember the first time I failed a test. I didn't even need a sticky note. I never made that mistake again!

    1. haha! I attended every lesson too but would often forget about assignments.

  2. What really sucked when I was in college was how even when I didn't procrastinate, I usually found myself cramming for one exam because I was busy cramming for another occurring before that one and working on a bunch of homework for other classes to boot. It was impossible to work on things ahead of time in instances like that. :(

    These were great tips! I'm glad I don't have to worry about using them anymore, though, haha. College is not a fond memory for me....

    1. That is so me. My teachers have stepped up the homework load recently. It's exam month!!!

      I'm sorry about your experience. Mine hasn't been too positive either but the last two years were okay.

    2. Aw, that sucks how teachers have been bombarding you with extra homework! :(

      That's good the past couple years have been okay for you, though! "Okay" is definitely better than straight-out bad.... (I didn't want to go to college in the first place, so...yeah. So torturous to stay motivated!)

    3. I can relate. I've got to go to university now. That's about £12,000 of debt per year. And I don't even want to go! I need a degree though :( Oh the dilemma we writers face lol!

    4. Haha, yeah. Darn degrees! I was supposed to get one, but could never figure out what to major in. It's one of the reasons why I'm no longer in college, heh. Good luck surviving university!

    5. So you went to college and left without a degree? Oh my! Why? I would've just used heads/tails to pick a degree!

    6. It got to the point where I started to fail every class I took. Even when I was doing well, I could never seem to pass any natural science classes, which is mandatory for whatever degree I might've gone for. I knew I'd have to get a job soon and that there was no way I could handle that and college if college was already becoming that unbearable, so...yeah.

    7. Oh no! Oh god. Science! Don't worry, I failed my Chemistry classes! I'm so sorry. So are you working now?

    8. Not working yet. I didn't start job-hunting until this month, since certain things would have gotten in the way of that during the last half of 2011. Whatever job I get will probably suck, but at least I'll get paid for it, unlike college, haha.

      And aw, that sucks about your chemistry classes! Chemistry is so hard, with all the math involved and such, eep. I had taken an earth science one in college, and when I failed that, tried planetary science. Science doesn't like me in any form.... XD

    9. I hope you can get a job. That's one of the reasons I'm wary of university. All that debt and there's no guarantee I'll get a job after.

      I love science. I just found it really hard and I'm lazy so meh. The math is definitely suckish. I'm good at maths though. I just found all the concepts and applications hard.


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