Binge Netflix, Not Your Homework


Lena Amburn, Opinion Editor

Cramming information the day before a test is something a lot of students, no matter their age or grade, have done. The bad habit of procrastination has been prevalent all week, and by the time the test rolls around, you notice that you have not studied at all.

In this situation, you might think that cramming all of the information at once is the best thing to do, but in reality, it is not.

According to Nate Kornell at the University of California, different parts of the brain support different kinds of memory. Whenever you cram information for a test, it is not really part of your memory. In fact, your brain is just recognizing it as something that you have seen before and not something that you can actually recall. While you may recognize some of the information from cramming, you cannot remember it all. This can help you pass whatever you are cramming for, but this will not help you out in the long run.

Cramming for a test or quiz is counterproductive, according to UCLA professor of psychiatry Andrew J. Fuligni and his colleagues. Fuligni’s experiment recruited students from three different Los Angeles high schools to keep a 14-day diary with entries of how long they studied, slept, and whether or not they passed the quiz or test they were studying for. His experiment shows if a student sacrifices sleep to study, they will have more academic problems the next day, not less. At that point, you are academically hurting in more than one class due to being exhausted from attempting to cram for one test.

Many students claim to know how their brain memorizes things and often say that cramming for a test the day before works perfectly fine for them. Despite people claiming this, cramming is actually worse. The information you try so hard to stuff into your brain is not even remembered by the time the test rolls around the next day!

Start studying earlier for your exams! Spreading your studying time throughout the week or upcoming weeks will help build time management skills, help you get a healthy amount of sleep, and remember the information needed for an exam. Some studying tips that you could use include creating flashcards, study in a group, or even use apps like Khan Academy or Quizlet! If you spend roughly 20-30 minutes per day studying for a test that is at the end of the week, you will definitely know the material and ace that test!