58 The Queens Courier •college •january 17, 2013 for breaking news visit www.queenscourier.com college open house s CRAMMING student’s studying strategies by thomas nocera necessity than preferences, but do not necessarily lament stress just made me shut down. I couldn’t think. I got it. On the other hand, many who don’t cram would never little done and remembered nothing.” Sweat, gray hair, tears. These things are synonymous think about doing so. Such is the case of City College However, the case is not closed yet. Other students with finals week. As students approach the end of the senior Jeremy Neiman, who admitted to not studying like City Tech junior and graphic design major Katie semester, campuses all over are sure to be filled with red- much but still managing to get good grades. Amir feel otherwise. “I always end up cramming. I find eyed, frazzled looking youths, driven only by caffeine “You might as well just play a videogame the night that sometimes the extra pressure helps me work faster and the distant, distant hope of winter break. before,” he said. “Studies show that memories get devel- and more effectively,” she said. All night cramming sessions, a trial by fire for the oped while you sleep. The odds you remember something Nonetheless, cramming, says Amir, isn’t her preferred university student, will abound for some. But, for most you studied 12 hours ago if you haven’t slept in that time option. “If I could, I’d study days before. Cramming can students, responsible studying techniques of measured are pretty low.” be stressful. But I can’t. I just don’t have the time. I’m memorization in the days and weeks before exams will Other students are what we’ll call preparation studiers. always overwhelmed with work from my other subjects be the norm. Right? These students study in the weeks and days before a test, too.” Wrong. In fact, according to a number of studies, any- methodically absorbing information in a piecemeal way. Tracy N., a recent graduate of Hunter College agreed. where from 25 to 50 percent of students admit to engag- Proponents of preparation studying cite the lack of effec- “Between classes, work, homework, and trying to bal- ing in pre-test cramming sessions. This tradition, which tiveness in cramming due to stress and other pressures. ance a social life, studying before sometimes is impos- has probably been around as long as the exam has, is Chris Hart, a recent Adelphi University graduate, sible,” she admitted. Cramming, she says, was more out the art of attempting to jam all the necessary information was iffy on packing days of studying into a single night. of necessity than preference. possible into one’s memory the night before a test. “Absolutely not. I’d never cram. I’d never risk it. It’s Tracy offered a suggestion for crammers that might How effective is cramming though? In trying to under- ineffective.” turn this last resort into a much more enjoyable and stand this studying ritual, students themselves proved to Okay, so a bit more than iffy. Hart essentially wrote worthwhile experience. Group cramming sessions were be the best sources. cramming off as completely useless. Citing his own especially helpful for her, she said. Along with alleviat- Many crammers choose the method more out of personal experience, Hart remembered the stress and ing stress, “we also help each other out when we can,” struggle in his first and last cramming session. “The she said.
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