Study habits are varied among students. Some are naturally studious, reviewing their notes and studying their lessons regularly. Others don’t look at their books until the night before an exam. Let’s analyze these two approaches:

Constant reviewing
Constant reviewing allows your brain to absorb the content so that it stays with your long-term memory. The assumption here is that you already have a firm grasp of the concept that you are studying. When you first learn something, it is immediately stored in your short-term memory. That information shares space with a million other things happening to you. But when you constantly review something, it is transferred to your long-term memory. It is only when the information is stored in your long-term memory can you say that you have learned it.

While it’s easy to say that constant reviewing is better than cramming, some personalities do thrive on stress and pressure. Plus, if the child has other activities outside of schoolwork, cramming may be his only option.

Cramming is a highly stressful activity. It relies on data to be stored and retrieved from your short-term memory. Scientifically, it doesn’t work. However, perennial crammers will attest to this approach’s effectiveness.

Cramming pumps up adrenaline levels which heightens stress. You probably have to forego sleep, which diminishes your memory function, making you less alert. You may also be more vulnerable to illness. In the end, the stress combined with a lack of comprehension and understanding of the material may result in failure.

Studying and learning
Reviewing is easier if you already know and understand the material. If you want to move short-term data to your long-term memory bank, then repetition is very important. Here, some tips to make studying and reviewing easier:

* Rather than cramming, it makes more sense to actually show up in class and pay attention.

* Listen; try to understand the material.

* Take down notes, ask questions, and remember the lectures.

* For some people, it helps to make an outline. For others, visual aids may be necessary to understand the material.

* Want to know if you understood the material? Teach it to someone else. Being able to explain something in your own words shows a comprehension of the material.

The key to true learning is understanding and remembering. Cramming may help you in the short run as it can get you through one quiz or exam. But if you want true comprehension, then constant reviewing is necessary.

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