Crammers: The Grade Makers - ETCSINES

Crammers: The Grade Makers - ETCSINES


Cramming to pass versus studying to get understanding has been a contention over the years in the academic system. It has been observed that many students at all levels of education are involved in this habit.
My experience with my colleagues when I was in the university made me to discover the sole intention of those who engage in cramming; the title, “Crammers are Grade Makers” is very true, although, not so in all circumstances. 

Before now, I thought the word, “cram” or “cramming” was not in the Dictionary or, probably, it meant something else, thinking the word was only borrowed from the English lexicon to refer to the process of retaining notes and information for the purpose of supplying them verbatim in the exam. But I have discovered that it has a meaning similar to this in the Dictionary, which is, “to learn a lot of things in a very short time, in preparation for an examination.” Unfortunately, there has been an alteration to this Dictionary meaning, as so many students try to memorise notes before exams without caring to understand and get knowledge.

Initially, cramming was not meant to be something bad, it has been misused by students in the Nigerian schools because it has been developed into a habit. When it is habitual, there will be so many students with excellent grades, who do not know anything. I term it this way, “first class results, but dullard brains”. That is why Nigerian organisations complain that few graduates can be employed; they have good results quite alright, but their knowledge, skill, competence and technical dexterity are not commensurate with what their academic results claim to be. 

Cramming will only help, in the short run, to pass exams; studying to get understanding will earn you a lasting retention capacity in the long run. This is the reason why student who are in the habit of cramming are more interested in lecture notes that will possibly provide answers to exam questions. The students who study to understand, on the other hand broaden their scope. They source for a wide variety of materials to study and get knowledge.

Let me end with this antithesis, “students who cram are grade makers (though, not in all cases), but those who study for knowledge tend to be inventors and innovators.” Choose one. 

By Daniel Owa-George

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