Cramming is an art
, and the most important lesson
learned by any university student.
Essentially, one puts off a great many tasks
assigned during a course such as reading
and reviewing notes
, thinking that surely one will have time to deal with them later. Soon enough, later arrives and it is a day or two before the final exam
that’s worth 75% of your course grade.
cram in libraries
lack the basic facilities needed for cramming. The first necessity for cramming is some sort of stimulant
: I prefer Earl Grey Tea
. As well as stimulating the mind, the tea provides a rhythm
. You read a chapter, drink a cup, and take a break to refill. Between pots you can take a longer break, during which you make more tea. Another key rhythm
that’s established accomplishes the dual task of going to the bathroom and refilling the kettle
with which water is boiled for tea. Maintaining this elaborate, but easy, dance
keeps one mind adequately focused on the work at hand, while exorcising
the demons of distraction
Many people will tell you that distraction
must be entirely avoided while cramming. These people are either of a different mental constitution
than I, or have missed a vital part of cramming: perfect distraction. One must be just distracted enough that one doesn’t get bored and go find something else to do. For example, the right kind of music
, at the right volume, can hold back the desire to go noding on e2
while you prepare for your exam. What sort of music
ought to be used varies by personal preference and by the nature of what is being studied.
Another way in which crammers attain perfect distraction
is by eating. Eating small amounts of something that takes a small effort to eat, like sunflower seeds
, both adds to perfect distraction
and delays the necessity of actually leaving the room to consume a meal
s are a certain way of losing valuable cramming time.
One final word of advice: do not become overconfident
in your cramming abilities. For example, you may think that you have a sufficient skill at cramming that you can take a break from the tea-and-read
cycle to write an e2 post
on cramming. While I haven’t the wit to act on this knowledge, hopefully you shall.
Cramming is not a last-ditch
effort or something done exclusively by slackers
. The Communist Manifesto
was written in an overnight cram session
as were numerous Bills of Parliament
including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
. Acquiring the ability to focus
and achieve things under pressure
is valuable indeed.