Cramming for finals
November 30, 2005
Finals week is right around the corner and many students might be trying to cram in as much information as possible for their tests.
While this may seem like a good idea, counseling chair Dan Murillo said cramming information at the last minute hurts a person’s ability to learn. He said many students coming out of high school are not prepared for college-level studying.
“In high school, two-thirds of learning goes on in class, one-third outside of class and not very many high school students do everyday studying,” said Murillo. “Since they do a lot of their work in class they do well. Bright people will get A’s B’s and C’s, and get through and graduate just fine.”
Students learn more outside of class than inside of class in college, he said.
“The big difference here, is once you start up here at BC you learn sometimes too late that you get one-third of learning in class and two-thirds of learning outside of class, so those who are proceeding as if they’re in high school mode are in for serious problems when finals time comes up because then they find out there’s too much stuff they don’t think they are responsible for,” he said.
He said students should start studying for finals the first day of the semester or in other words, be organized from the beginning.
“If you go to class every day, take proper notes, study in groups and have an organized approach to studying then you don’t really need this cram situation,” he said.
Murillo said it is possible to do well on tests with cramming but most of the information will be forgotten after the test is over.
“You don’t learn very well that way,” Murillo said. “Bright people can do that. They’ll sit there and do six straight hours of studying for a final and they will do pretty well but if you test them again the second day after that and half of that stuff is gone.”
The final usually does not make a difference in a student’s grade.
“If you’re getting D’s and C’s on all your tests, there’s no way you’re going to get an A on the final especially if the final is comprehensive (covers the whole semester),” he said.
Murillo gave some advice for students who are cramming for their finals.
“Be real. Get rest. Don’t cram all night before the final. There is still time left,” said Murillo.
He said to try to study with someone who has been taking notes down correctly.
“Don’t study like you’re trying to memorize the whole book,” Murillo said. He said to get the main points of what the book is saying.
Students interviewed have different ways of studying. Katherine Chaffey, a liberal studies, major said she studies by reading the material carefully.
Maria Uranday, a radiology major, said she studies by using flashcards and reading the material.