I challenge you: Name one fact you still remember from the last test for which you crammed.
Anyone? Any fact?
If the ubiquity of immersion-style language programs, emergency test prep classes, bleary-eyed college kids and caffeine-fueled energy potions is any indication, cramming is a wildly popular study strategy. Professors frown upon it yet collude by squashing vast topics like "Evolution" or "World history 1914 to present" into the last week of a course. So is cramming effective or not? A new study by UC–San Diego psychologists confirms what you may suspect deep down: The answer is no. Hurried memorization is a hopeless approach for retaining information. But it's not all bad news. The team offers a precise formula for better study habits, and it doesn't necessarily entail dogged discipline and routine.
To arrive at their prescription, the scientists tested the "spacing effect" on long-term memory. In other words, they wanted to know how the time gap between study sessions influences the ability to remember material on test day. They asked 1,354 volunteers to memorize 32 trivial facts, such as "Who invented snow golf?" (Rudyard Kipling) and "What European nation consumes the most spicy Mexican food?" (Norway). Participants reviewed the answers anywhere from several minutes to several months after first learning them, and then were tested up to a year later.
The findings? Students perform better when they space their study sessions rather than when they try to cram everything into their noggins during one sitting. But for those who must cram, timing is everything. According to the researchers, if you have only one date on which to study, choose a day that's closer to when you first learned the material than when you take the test—but not too close. For instance, if you have a French lesson on Monday and a quiz the following Monday, you should study on Wednesday for maximum retention. Tuesday is too early and Sunday is too late. (Procrastinators, find a different study.) "We find that the optimal time between two study sessions is roughly 10 percent of the time between the second study session and the final test," explains Hal Pashler, one of the lead authors. If you want to remember something for a year, wait about a month to review what you learned.
Pashler suspects that most crammers don't realize the error of their ways. "Even in the scientific community, cram-type summer courses on new research methods are extremely popular," he told me in an email. "And I have never heard people who take these courses even notice the fact that they are a perfect prescription for rapid forgetting."
The study appears in the November issue of the journal Psychological Science.
I remember those times that I used to cram when there were upcoming exams. This study is right - after a while I forgot what I had studied and memorized.
Anyway, this is off-topic... but I remember those useful stuff wherein the professor used a funny situation or a situation that could be related to something that happens in real life. Btw, the subjects varied from soft sciences to technical subjects. But I remember those theories until now coz somehow I recall that it was one of those times that I laughed at school.
I dunno with some people but maybe injecting humor with teaching as well as relating it to real life daily events could help the student better absorb what is being taught.
So many fond memories of school even though it was mostly dull but some of those happy times during class still manage to cling to the memory even though the rest are just faint and somewhat mostly forgotten ideas and concepts.
I almost never study in any way. I find that I either know something or I don't. Although the main reason I never study is because I am an incurable procrastinator. I didn't study for my math exam and got 100% on it. The effectiveness of studying greatly depends on the person and how well they can retain the information during the original teaching.
I can relate to Speedy, if I don't get something the first time, I am less likely to get it later with studying. But if I can grasp it well the first time, often because of the teaching style or relation to something else, then I can often go without studying and still be fine.
I agree if you just pay attention in the class you ussualy should know everything on a test. I only study if I know I don't know a part of it so a ussually don't cram. But on really simple things like maching craming can work but. It can't be to much material.
Ok, I am not sure if everyone here is bragging, or just not taking hard classes. The end-result is the same. You are all wrong.
Maybe I believe this because I do not learn very fast, but people who just pay attention in class do not really care about what they are learning, and they forget almost everything. While I am taking a class with them one year, they beat me mercilessly. But as soon as that knowledge needs to be applied in a new situation a while down the line, I am the go-to man.
This study shows that studying in advance is superior to cramming, in an attempt to guide people who do not care towards greater learning. Did they forget that those people do not care? If you want to learn, study hard and study often. If you do not want to, then don't.
Not surprising at all. Real learning is a long process, any educator could tell you that. Facts must be learned and rehearsed, and later renewed. Of course the article does bring up a far more troubling point and that is the growing popularity of cram courses. It is troubling but who can say it is not expected? In a system where almost all certification and adjudication comes mainly from testing is it any surprise that the focus for students is on intense short term learning for a single event?