*Disclaimer: a cram sesh should be taken as a last resort only, but we’ve all been there so you might as well give it a solid go.
You spent weeks telling yourself that you had plenty of time to study, constantly procrastinated and watched as much Netflix as you wanted. It’s only now, at the very last minute, that you’ve started panicking enough to start studying. While not the most effective study method, sometimes cramming is your only hope, so here are our top tips for performing a miracle.
1. The syllabus is your best friend
Or the ”silly-bus” as some teachers may say in an attempt to get students friendly with it. Trust me though, don’t be fooled by this horrible play on words, because the syllabus really is your angel in disguise. It quite literally dot points all the topics that may be in the exam. In the context of a late night study sesh, the syllabus acts as a sieve to weed out the important pieces of information. Briefly skim through and highlight any terms that you don’t understand, then go back and revise them. This way your brain can grasp the basic gist of the topic while retaining key concepts for the exam the next day.
2. Learn from the past
Past papers are an excellent tactic for putting your knowledge to the test. It’s the perfect way to gain a feel for the exam and the types of questions that could be asked so that you don’t totally freak out when you start the paper the next day. However, if you have left it until the very last minute and don’t have time to find/access any, we suggest digging through your desk to try find your own past papers from earlier in the year that are still lying around. It’s a good way to digest information that you learnt earlier and your teacher’s comments on it will be super valuable.
3. Record, play, repeat
I’d rather listen to nails on a chalkboard than my voice but desperate times calls for desperate measures. If you want this damn essay etched in your memory then I’m afraid this is your only option. Record, play it back to yourself and repeat. Maybe even as you fall asleep. Write it out a million times if you can. It’s no lullaby, but hey, it works.
4. Know when to call it quits
I know, I know, the plan was the pull a super productive all nighter but sometimes the best thing you can do is sleep. You’ll need that precious shut-eye if you are to be raring and ready to go for your exam. So say no to that crappy cup of Joe, the Redbulls and No Doz which will only increase the stress and anxiety of the next day. You are much better off calling it a night ASAP, getting a solid six hours of sleep, and then waking an hour or two before you must leave for school to jam in some last minute study.
5. Accept your fate
When it all boils down, you put yourself in this situation. Accept defeat and just give it your best shot. Maybe next time, don’t leave it until the last minute you fool. Although it’s encouraged that you do give Year 12 a red-hot crack, it’s also important to remember that life beyond school is not determined by the results of your final exams. There will always be other options and alternate ways of doing the things that spark your passion or float-your-boat. It’s not the be all and end all and once it’s all over you’ll be able to take a step back and see the bigger picture.
So with that, good luck my fellow procrastinators!
header credit: ihatetraveling