How Cramming Can Affect Study Habits

Cramming is a common habit amongst students, particularly those in the 8th-12th grades. Cramming can be defined as the practice of working intensively to absorb large volumes of informational material in short amounts of time. This means that someone is trying to learn or remember a very large amount of information without enough time. This is usually a result of procrastination and can result in bad grades. However, cramming can work if the material and focus level are right. This causes the false belief that cramming is ok and the better solution for studying material.

The solution for cramming is simple: studying for more time, more often. Though this is the best solution, there are situations that would make cramming seem like the only solution. However, this is not the only solution. Here are some tips to learn new material…fast.

  1. Instead of trying to memorize long, wordy definitions, words, and explanations, create a list of keywords.
    1. (example) Sesquipedalophobia: the fear of long words. Step 1: Break it down. Sesqui- could be compared to the word, Sasquatch. Just like the name of the word, Sasquatches are long. Pedalo- could be compared to a bike pedal. Phobia can be compared to fear, like how a germaphobe is afraid of germs. Together you can remember Sasquatch-Pedal-Phobia as the fear of long words.
    2. (example) The First Amendment of the United States Constitution: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. This is a difficult clause to memorize, but it can be done! First, you want to repeat the entire thing and focus on words like religion, free exercise, freedom of speech, press, the right of the people to peaceably to assemble, petition the Government, and redress of grievances. These are the keywords of the amendment and can be accompanied by actions to help visually bind the definition to your muscle memory. For example, make a cross with your fingers for religion, run in place for free exercise, cup your hands over your mouth to mimic free speech, and so on.

Though there are ways to study when in a hurry, it is best to study well beforehand so you are prepared properly.