While many students believe that cramming is the best way to ace an exam and pass a test with flying colors, the actual efficiency of cramming is highly debatable. The majority of the students have the habit of burning the midnight oil and keep cramming for a test to achieve the highest possible score.
Every student has their own reason behind cramming. Some say that last-minute cramming helps them in focusing, while some other students keep procrastinating and don’t have any choice other than cramming at the last minute.
Whatever the reason might be, it is important to note that there are several disadvantages of cramming. It is not as useful as many people believe it to be. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to explore why shouldn’t you cram for a skills test.
Keep reading to learn about the top 5 disadvantages of cramming!
1. High Stress
There is no doubt that cramming can cause a dramatic spike in your stress and anxiety levels. It does not bring the confidence and relaxed state of mind you need to attempt a test and gain good marks in it.
The stress is caused by the fact that when you look at an extensive amount of information you have to cram, you will realize that you are too behind in the exam preparation, due to which you’ll start panicking.
Moreover, the stress caused by cramming leads to high testing anxiety which has an adverse impact on your performance during the test. It can significantly impair your ability to focus on fully preparing for the test and remembering all of the given information.
This kind of high-stress level can also cause some students to fall sick physically, which can also affect their performance in exams. Therefore, you should avoid cramming because it leads to high stress and anxiety.
2. Lack of Long-Term Retention
It is important to go through a topic and piece of information multiple times for long-term retention. However, when you are cramming for a test, you are likely to read about a topic only once, due to which your brain is unlikely to retain the information for a long period of time. It means you won’t be able to do well on the test and also won’t remember the information for your later classes.
It shows that fitting a massive study material into one or two sessions is not a good idea. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you plan multiple study sessions with significant space between them for long-term retention.
Cramming doesn’t match the benefits of connected learning, a form of knowledge building in which you dive deep into topics and link personal interests with academics. This helps memory and understanding. In contrast, cramming is just a quick splash, resulting in students often forgetting details soon after.
3. Wastes Time
Since you are reading and analyzing a lot of information in a cramming session, it is bound to result in information overload. The human brain is capable of digesting and retaining a limited amount of information at the same time.
Many studies have found that the average attention span of humans is anywhere between 15 to 20 minutes. Therefore, students should plan frequent but shorter study sessions with breaks between them to properly utilize the time.
Another reason why cramming results in inefficient use of time is that you are unlikely to remember the information for a long period of time. As a result, the definitions, formulas, details, and any other important detail you memorize will be forgotten in the long run. It is much better to avoid cramming and study topic by topic, so you can memorize the information for a long time.
4. Lower Grades
It should go without saying that pupils want to get good grades through cramming. Yet, most of the time, cramming proves to be insufficient in achieving the desired results. Research has shown that students who tend to cram for tests face a great disadvantage on the test day because of their nervousness and high-stress levels.
Even if the students have the knowledge, they face issues in actually applying them to the given problem in exams. Ultimately, it results in poor performance on tests and leads to lower grades. Therefore, your focus should be on shorter and repeat study sessions for effective studying and information retention.
5. Lack of Sleep
Many students ignore the importance of getting quality sleep before a big exam or class test. Instead, they spend the entire night cramming. However, when your sleep requirements are not fulfilled, you are likely to forget the information and do badly on your test. So, it is better to perform prepare for an exam in advance and get a good night’s sleep before the exam day to attempt the test with maximum focus and alertness.
Overall, there are many disadvantages of cramming, due to which you should not be cramming for skills tests. It leads to a lack of focus, inefficient use of time, and a lack of long-term information retention. Shorter study sessions will ultimately help you in retaining the information for a long period of time and ace any test.