Cramming is part of student life. Not many students leave university or college without having had at least one cramming session. This is mainly because there are so many courses and other activities that take up their time and so the students fall behind on parts of their work. Sometime they just have to priorities a few exams and hope for the best on others. So, what if you are stuck and only have 24 hours until the exam? Then what do you do?
Well, cramming depends on your skill, your memory, whether or not you have attended the classes, and if you have taken notes, or at least received chapter overviews from your teacher.
Let us say that you have an excellent memory and that you have all the notes. Sit down in a comfortable chair and read them over and over till they stuck. That should see you through. You might not receive top marks but you will know enough to answer the questions. If you have some spare time, browse through the chapter summary and any tests / exercises you might have had during the course. Often re-doing previous course work can prove beneficial as you are actively testing your knowledge.
If you do not have a great memory, you will have to focus on less information. With little time there is no point trying to cover too much as you will not be able to remember most of it. Instead, write a few bullet-points on all chapters and try and remember these. You can then develop your ideas based on these main ideas.
If you did not attend any classes and do not have any notes, then I would suggest that you try and get hold of some. It is virtually impossible to read a full book in 24 hours and if you have not attended classes it is hard to know where the focus should be. If you cannot get hold in the notes or the chapter summaries ask your fellow student what they are prioritizing. You need to know at least where to start.
One final tip that might be useful, most colleges have old exam papers available. If you have them then you can see what type of questions they usually ask. If they have recurrent questions, learn them by heart and hope that they will show up.
More often than not, if you cram a lot of information it is hard to take it all in. Try and get a good night’s sleep so that you will wake up feeling refreshed. You will also notice that you remember more than the previous evening as all the information has been processed overnight.