It’s time to scram the cram

Cramming is put into the same basket as all-nighters. It’s just a no-no. They both have common denominators here (maths pun…get it!). Now, I’m confident that if your child is cramming, they’ve also been a victim of procrastination. They’re trying to cram all the information they can in a limited amount of time all in pursuit of a pass because surely they can’t be going for a good score if this is where it begins. Well, parents, you’d be surprised, because yes, yes it happens.
You can tell your children that cramming is not the optimal way to study, no matter what they try to dispute it with. Not only is it silly, but it’s not going to work in the long run either because let’s face it, it will be gone 2 hours after it’s done (2 hours if you’re lucky too). There’s no real learning or long-term effect of the study or content.
Now in an ideal world, children wouldn’t cram. But I guess, if it were an ideal world, everything really would be made of chocolate (thanks Cadbury for that dream). For some classes, if it’s not their dream or they dislike it, then I guess as parents we can maybe turn a blind eye to the light under their door at 3 am, can’t we?
But most of the time, cramming does a disservice to students and their learning. If you do see the light under the door, ask them what they remember. Do they truly understand the content or the justification they provided in the exam?
Try repetition. Use small doses and consume content. This is a good one especially when there’s a lot of information to learn and that information is dense. Use paper flashcards or a flashcard app.
Encourage them to do their homework. That’s what teachers provide homework for, to review and learn the content so there is little need for cramming. Doing the set-out work is also a way to find any missing gaps in their learning they may not have recognized until reviewing the day’s work. This way, they have the time to whip that into shape.
If students cram the night before, they don’t give themselves the chance to go to peers or even the teacher with questions. Reviewing the content, completing homework and doing the study, offers the student time to write down some particular questions or topics they aren’t particularly comfortable with. That way, they can take them to the teacher and ask for further explanation.
More from that one, encourage them to focus on what they don’t understand. Once they’ve got their questions and little gaps, they can be confident in what they do know. Evening out the playing field to make sure that there are no significant strengths and weaknesses will make tackling all the exam questions a little easier.
The last thing is to get sleep. Now that one’s a bit tricky if they’re trying to cram, isn’t it? Hopefully, we’ve backed them into a corner with these tips to study in advance and not cram, because it’s time to get rid of that don’t we think?