Justifying Cramming

No matter what anyone says, cramming is a vital part of education for regular students. By regular, I mean the non-savants, non-eidetic memory students like me. As a student, I have to comment that a lot of people have a narrow-minded perception of cramming. When I googled cramming for an exam, two main points are given as reasons why students cram for an exam

  1. Laziness
  2. Procrastination

I agree that those are valid reasons, but they are not always true

Other causes include:

  1. Abstract Courses: In my first year in senior high, I was introduced to chemistry by an uninterested teacher, and so that year, everything about chemistry seemed so abstract and unrealistic. I really tried to understand it, but as that was not working out, cramming was the only way I could ensure I passed my exams. And that was definitely not the last time I felt that way.
  2. Dates, formulae, and Quotes: I am very aware of my capabilities, and so I put in as much effort as I require to excel and understand things, but I still hate memorizing numbers. I love solving calculations so I would rather practice math questions than cram them, but things like memorizing dates and formulae are annoying.

Why exactly do I need to memorize dates, it’s not like I’m going on Jeopardy or something like that? As if understanding the maths is not hard enough, you are also expected to learn all the formulae

See why cramming is an essential part of education ???

Cramming is making use of your short-term memory to store up a lot of information. I watched two videos on cramming tips and here are some of the tips I got from them along with my only personal experience

  • Use of Abbreviations and mnemonic devices: This is when you use letters from some of your key points as an abbreviation to form words, sentences, songs, or rhymes.
  • Memory Palace: It involves places keywords as objects in places you are familiar with, which could be your home or dorm rooms.
  • De-stress: One of the videos gave an explanation as to why scientifically stress makes it harder to recall stuff. It involved things like cortisol, hippocampus, and limbic system
  • Quiz yourself: When I have to cram things like dates, policies, quotes, or lists, I quiz myself to see how much I remember. I find it even more efficient when I find a partner, and we trade questions, I tend to remember questions I ask or I’m asked.
  • Sleep (essential): Being sleep deprived always puts me on edge, which is not good for exams.




  1. Scientific tips on how to cram for an exam by David Pescovitz on boingboing.net
  2. 7 dumbest things students do when cramming for exams by Luke Mckinney on cracked.com
  3. Cram for exams in one day! The ultimate “how to” by ThatStudentLife on youtube




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