Universal Vice: Cramming
“Whoops! It's the night before the big exam, and you haven't done a lick of studying all semester. Looking back on it, you know that you should have been hitting the books all those nights you were watching television, but there's nothing you can do about it now. Don't throw in the towel yet, though--it's time to get cramming.” How often do you do this? Most common among high school and college-aged students, cramming is often used as a means of memorizing and the practice of working intensively to absorb large volumes of informational material in short amounts of time. It is a widely-used study skill performed in preparation of an examination or other performance-based assessment. Best stated by H.E. Gorst in his book, The Curse of Education, “as long as education is synonymous with cramming on an organized plan, it will continue to produce mediocrity.” Students are often forced to cram after improper time utilization or in efforts to understand information shortly before being tested. Improper time management is usually the cause for last-minute cramming sessions, and many study techniques have been developed to help students succeed in lieu of cramming. Generally considered as a negative study technique, cramming is becoming more and more common among students at the secondary and post-secondary level, not mentioning those who are as young as five years old. Pressure to perform well in the classroom and to engage in extracurricular activities in addition to other responsibilities often results in this kind of study habit, cramming. According to W.G. Sommer, “students in a university system often adapt to the time-constraints that are placed upon them in college, and often use cramming to perform well on tests”. In his article, Procrastination and Cramming: How Adept Students Ace the System, he states, “Many students outwardly adapt to this system, however, engage in an intense and private ritual that...
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