You're in panic mode. You've got one of your biggest exams tomorrow and you have no idea where to start. All you know is if you go in as unprepared as you are right now, you'll fail miserably. Not everyone knows how to cram, and it's usually not the best tactic but hey, we can't go back in time and pay attention in class can we? Here's how to cram the night before an exam to make sure you actually pass:
1. Make sure you're in a quiet spot where you won't be distracted
Sure, study halls or computer labs can be a good place to study during the semester but it's better to be somewhere where you can have silence if you need it and not have anyone around you. Get in the zone.
2. Put your phone away... far away
This is an obvious one but so many students nowadays get anxiety being away from their phones too long. Give yourself time to read everything on Facebook first then put it away in a lockbox or with your mam.
3. Make a list of topics from your syllabus which you need to study
If this is the first time you're really paying attention to your course work, then you've gotta use some brain power to figure out which topics were the most important this semester and will likely be on the test. Make a study plan and start at the beginning. You don't need to focus too much on the details at this point - just the main ideas. Write down notes that will be easy to read and understand in your revision later.
4. Make flow-charts and diagrams
You might feel like you don't have much time but just take a deeeep breath. You need to focus! One of the best ways to retain information is to make easy-to-read diagrams and charts that make sense to you. Not only will this help you digest what you're studying, you'll also be able to look back later and understand it quickly.
5. Get a friend to quiz you
If you have a friend who can help you study, bribe them until they say yes. Make a list of questions and get them to quiz your knowledge.
6. Use YouTube to explain any topic you don't understand
This is especially helpful for anyone studying a language or a complex degree like engineering. Just got straight to YouTube and take notes of someone explaining it properly, as most of us know a textbook isn't always written in layman's terms.
7. Borrow someone else's class notes
If you have a BFF in your class who actually paid attention or came to class this year, then see if you can borrow their notes. See what they thought was important information and copy it down in your notes.
8. Find last year's test if you can
Sometimes you'll be able to get a copy of the test from last year. If you're lucky, your test will have pretty similar questions on it. At the very least, it's a useful resource for testing out what you've learned in your cramming!
9. Do a refresher the morning of the exam
When you wake up, get out your notes and revise them again. Use mnemonics like a song or rhyme to help you remember little bits of information. And get a friend or partner to help you revise everything.
10. Nail the exam
You're gonna be great. And if not, then it'll be OK! It's not the end of the world and you might get a second chance. Or it could be the wake-up call you need!
Oh and also make sure you take a break and get some sleep. Your brain will not remember anything if you're tired! Good luck.