Cramming… How to do it well.

Ever wake up and the test is closer than you thought? -like tomorrow?


Let’s quickly outline a few exam-cram tricks of the trade… 

Start with Outcomes you desire most:

This is your foundational win that will amp you up as things get harder…and the hours stack up.

Ask yourself: What do I really want from this?

Then form an image of at most three outcomes you really want accomplished for the hours leading up to your test (This is going to be the go-juice you use to motivate your self beyond heavy eyes, and whining.)david hospital lab

So, make sure that this image is something that excites you! If you can’t find an outcome that excites you stop reading this now. Everything is built on go-juice from here on out.

List all the actions you believe you will need to accomplish your key outcomes -and make sure these actions line up logically with what the test will cover. (Use your class notes, textbook, and most importantly previous students to see what has been the most significantly stressed.)

IMG_1741Destroy 80% of your list:

Now look at these actions carefully and determine what 20% of these actions will give you 80% of your desired results. -this is critical. With a short time-line it becomes increasingly important to major on the majors.

Now that you have your magic 20% corralled off list even those in order of biggest impact to smallest impact. You’re almost there.

Assign these actions with times it will take to complete them well.

Congrats, you’re 80% of the way to the outcome you want -keep that image fresh and vibrant, you’re going to need it!


Exam-Cram Hotlist:

This golden 20% is your new Hotlist for the night. All that’s left is to line-out your remaining time until your exam according to your Hotlist. Use the times you’ve assigned to keep you on track.

Every hour or two, get up and do some jumping jacks, push ups, or stretch. Visualize your desired outcome and  let it really give you the buzz you need to rock on.

Keep on track with the time you have allotted while planning. If you get to the end of the specified time segment –move on. You can come back if you have time, but don’t get stuck reading the Great Gatsby out loud to yourself and neglect the gems in your class notes, spark notes, or a buddy’s notes… Staying on track with your schedule will give you a psychological boost, and drive you to engage your next segment with gusto -or RedBull (sugar free).


Final 5 Cramming Tips:

1. Eat Grapes. Yup, you heard me. Grapes are the only fruit that produce glucose as their sugar. Steer clear of the 5-hour energy and RedBull when cramming. All that caffeine roller coaster will do is leave you jittery, and not likely to retain anything you are reading a mach II.

But, do eat the grapes. Remember, the Glucose molecules that grapes magically make also happen to be the yum-yums that or brain uses for energy. Your body doesn’t even have to process the sugars. It’s the grapes to gray-matter express.

2. Stay Hydrated. Join the PCC (Pee Clear Club). Your brain is mostly water, and a good percentage more than your average body tissue. To function well it needs to be kept cool, hydrated and happy -consider doing something fun for the hour before your test.

3. Steal a Professor. When I needed to understand a concept in physics, I learned that it was much easier to ask a professor from MIT that to try and make sense of it for myself. I don’t go to MIT, but you can search YouTube MIT Physics 1, and attend one of the world’s most prestigious schools in your jammies! Try it: Search YouTube for top schools in the subject your cramming for… Try Duke for Biology, or Harvard for Business, maybe a little Oxford for world lit. Chances are they have a unique way of explaining concepts, and they just may shed the light you were searching for.

4. Remember the 80%-20% rule. 80 percent of your desired results come from 20 percent of your actions -get good at knowing which is which.

5. Relax. By following these guidelines you have already knocked out 80% of the stuff you thought you had to do. SO you have less do than when you started reading this, and the things you do will have a more powerful impact -Well Done! Be diligent with your . Congratulate yourself on every step along the way -no matter how small. Be proud of yourself for staying in the fight, and smile as often as you can.shane kelehan and david wearing wigs to a Physics Exam to keep it light

Contact me if you would like more in-depth keys to cramming


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