There’s nothing more terrifying than taking an exam that you’re not totally prepared for. Although cramming for it isn’t necessarily ideal, sometimes that’s the only studying option you have.
When push comes to shove, it’s important to retain as much information about your upcoming test as you possibly can. Here’s the secret to cramming for a test if you only have one night to study for it.
Collect Your Materials
Make sure that you have all the materials you need for a major studying session. Gather your notes, print out your essays, and find all of your previous handouts from the class. Take a highlighter and highlight any topics that you remember being particularly important.
Create a Study Guide
Most professors don’t offer blank study guides once you get to college. They will, however, give you topics to study so that you can properly prepare for the exam. To organize your classwork, even more, create your own study guide based on the test information that you’re given. Make a one-page list that shows you where to find more detailed notes about each topic in the classwork you have already completed.
When you have a big test the next day, find every possible gap of time until your test time to study for it. If you have physical copies of your notes, it’s easier to review them wherever you go. Incorporate your studying into your mealtimes, conversations, self-care routine, and any other activities you have planned so that it sticks as much as possible.
Phone a Friend
Connecting with a classmate is key to cramming for any exam. Not only will you be able to practice reviewing your material by talking through it, but they might remember key information that you didn’t pick up on during class. It’s even more helpful if you can organize a study group to collaborate the night before. That way, you guys can all individually study a smaller section of the material and then put together all of your notes into one mega study guide.
Sleep deprivation can be detrimental to your test performance. Resist the urge to pull off an all-nighter while you’re preparing for your upcoming exam. If you give yourself time to sleep, your brain will be better equipped to recite all of the new information that you took in during your study session. There’s only so much you can grasp onto the night before, and it won’t do you any good to be exhausted while taking a difficult test.