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Procrastination: How to Cram Effectively

Nov 12, 2012

Late night study sessions are quintessential aspects of high school. The terrifying sugar-induced rush, the stockpiles of coffee and soda, and the blaring music all lead to one thing: last-minute procrastination.

There is simply not enough time throughout the week or even in the day. Weekends are spent having fun, going to parties, and being lazy, not studying in a dark little room. But then, what time is left for schoolwork? A night is not infinite and we can’t all conjure up time-turners.

Rather, cramming is sometimes the final and only option. There are a few courses to take when cramming for tests and projects. Though these are not foolproof, here are some of the many Do’s and Don’ts behind procrastination.

Do: Embrace your inner nocturnal animal.

Sometimes, the only way to get things done is in the wee morning. Cramming should not be left for study halls or passing-times the day of said exam or project. Staying up all night can prove effective in getting the job done.

Don’t: Watch a five-hour marathon of the Legend of Korra.

We all know and love our favorite television shows, but these are not reasons to put off doing homework. Catching up on the latest episodes of Smash or Nashville can wait. Homework and tests should be prioritized ahead of media of any form.

Do: Review all vocab and key concepts.

It’s the night before the exam and the papers are left untouched. One way to get the most out of such a short amount of time is to focus on the basics. Key concepts will be more important than details and, if applied, can lead easily to an answer. In addition, vocabulary is a must. Without knowledge of it, some questions may as well be written in ancient runes.

Don’t: Memorize the entire document. Do not memorize an entire Shakespeare play.

Memorization will cover the basic topics, but not the application. Sometimes understanding how things interconnect works better than being able to recite the chapter word for word.

Do: Have a comforting atmosphere

Procrastination usually entails immense stress, something that is not always beneficial to academics. Having a workspace that is both relaxing and motivational will help keep focus. Even motivational music can also be a key to success.

Don’t: Listen to screamo while studying.

Loud noises can prove to be heavy distractions. Clear out any things that are glaringly disrupting and could potentially be problematic.

Do: Look over figures, images, and summaries in the textbook.

Figures and summaries usually go over the most important topics. Therefore, looking over these can be a valuable review, especially for visual learners.

Don’t: Read the textbook the night before.

Perhaps the hardest thing to do the night before is read the material. Things will fly by your head and the details will not stick as easily. Rather, focus on notes and study guides. The textbook will turn brains to mush late at night.

So, as we all get ready for those upcoming exams and of course last-minute study sessions, how will you guys stay focused? Do you have some additional tips on procrastination? Or will you go the classic midnight caffeine route?

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