A Beginner’s Guide to Cramming

By Elena

Although cramming is not an effective way of studying, sometimes it is the only option. Especially if you’re taking a lot of AP tests this year, you’re probably going to have to cram for at least one of the tests. So, without further ado, here are some tips you can use this AP testing season!

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The Environment 

Especially if you do not have a lot of time to study, you need to know what kind of environment is the most stimulating for you. You need to have the right environment around you, or else focusing is not going to be possible.

Personally, I find working in a coffee shop or studying somewhere else is where I am the most stimulated for myself. Sometimes, having a friend there to study with you can also make the environment better for you to study, however you have to make sure this friend is not going to distract you. 

We will be making a separate post soon about finding the right environment to study, so stay tuned for that and make sure to follow our social media accounts or subscribe to our rss feed to get notified for that post!

Breaks

Even if you are cramming, you need to take some breaks to ensure that you don’t overstimulate yourself with information and that you are able to actually focus. These breaks can either be within a certain time period, or they can just happen when you feel yourself getting tired or distracted. 

This is something you have to figure out on your own, because taking breaks effectively is different for everyone. However, you do have to make sure that the breaks do not last for too long, or else you will just procrastinate for too long. You should try to keep the breaks at 15 minutes max, and you need to make sure you do not start something that will be difficult to finish.

This means you shouldn’t go on Tik Tok or Youtube (unless you’re specifically watching a video that is for studying purposes) and you shouldn’t start playing a game you are addicted to. Some alternatives is to go on a walk and get some fresh air, or you can take a quick break to eat a snack. Do something that won’t be too time consuming and will help you refocus.

Switch Things Up

Doing the same thing over and over won’t end up being all that productive. If you just go through your textbook for 5 hours straight, you likely won’t end up soaking in a lot of the information and you are going to get increasingly bored.

If you don’t have much time, you don’t want to do something that’s extremely repetitive and boring. Try to take some notes for an hour, and then switch to watching a couple of videos. Switch things up so that you can focus better and so that you stay as focused as you can.

The key to cramming is to get yourself in a mindset where you can easily stay focused. If doing the same thing works for you and keeps you in the right headspace, then you shouldn’t switch anything up. 

However, as soon as you feel your focus slipping, you should switch to studying in a different way. If you start getting overstimulated by the videos you are watching, switch to looking through study guides you have or looking through your notes. 

Switching things up as soon as you start getting bored and start losing focus, you need to start doing something that is going to refocus yourself.

Background Noise

Sometimes, it can be easier to focus if there’s something going on in the background, but sometimes that’s not the case. Learn to tune into yourself and what kind of mindset you are in to figure out if you need something going on in the background or if you need to focus entirely without any distractions.

This might mean listening to some music quietly in the background, or even in some cases have a video running to keep yourself stimulated enough to study.

Cramming is an art that can be difficult to master, and it’s something that might change depending on what is going on at the moment. For example, sometimes I need to tune in 100% to what I am doing, but other times I need to have something going on in order to not lose focus and keep myself from getting tired.

With background noise, though, you might have to make sure that it isn’t getting to a point where it is too much. As soon as the noise is annoying you, you should turn it off or else you are going to lose focus.

As you can probably tell, the most important thing to cramming is to keep yourself from losing focused and keeping yourself stimulated just enough to keep focused. 

Thank you so much for reading another post of our 2021 AP Test Prep series!

We have also changed our posting days to Wednesday and Sunday, so make sure you still catch our videos to get all the tips you need to ace your AP tests this year. We will be posting this series all through April and May, so let us know what you want us to write about. If you have any tips, please leave them down in the comments. If you found this post useful, make sure to leave a like. Don’t forget to follow our blog if you like our content, and subscribe to our rss feed to get notified every time we post. For more content from us, check out our social media linked down below! 

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