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How to Cram for a Test

How to Study if You Only Have Minutes


How to Cram for a Test
Flickr user gotplaid?

How to study for any test

How to Cram

You've been there, right? You forgot about a test (or procrastinated) and realized that you had less than an hour to cram in as much knowledge as you could. In that situation, some people would rely on a cheat sheet, which is never a good idea. You, on the other hand, don't have to do that. Learn how to cram for a test efficiently, and study for your test even if you only have minutes.

NOTE: These techniques will not work for tests like the SAT, PSAT, or ACT. If you need study help with those, check here.

1. Go somewhere quiet.

Head to the library if you're in school. If you're studying at home right before the test, turn off the TV, shut off your cell, power down the computer. Tell your friends to leave you alone. You have less than an hour to cram, so you're going to need 100% of your focus.

2. Learn your study guide.

Most teachers pass out study guides for a major test. If your teacher is one of them, use it now. If you have to cram for a test, it is the only resource you have time to use. Memorize everything on it, using mnemonic devices like acronyms or a song. Don't bother making flashcards at this point – you'll just be wasting time if you only have minutes.

3. Crack the book

If you misplaced your study guide, then head to the book. Read the first two pages of every chapter that's being covered on the test, looking for major ideas, vocabulary, and concepts. Read the last page of every chapter, too, answering the review questions in your head. If you can't find an answer to a review question, then look it up in the book. It's probably a question on the test.
If you still have time

4. Review your notes/quizzes/assignments

Your teacher probably created your exam based on the notes, quizzes and assignments he or she gave out during the unit. Read through everything you can, memorizing the info on the pages.
If you still have time

5. Quiz yourself.

Now is not the time to hunt down your best friend and have him or her quiz you. This is a cram session! You'll waste time! Cover up the answers on the study guide and quiz yourself, instead.

Cram Tips

  1. If you can't find any of your study materials, find the smartest kid in the class and ask to borrow his or her study guide. Bonus points if you can get him or her to study with you.
  2. Write down your mnemonic devices on your test as soon as the teacher gives it to you before you forget your acronyms and phrases you created to remember the material. Once you start testing, you may forget them!
  3. Ask the teacher for help if you get stuck on something. Teachers will often lead you in the right direction if you're struggling.
  1. About.com
  2. Education
  3. Test Prep
  4. Tips for Testing
  5. How to Cram for a Test - Study Quickly

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