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The End Result Of Cramming - ETCSINES


My research today was gotten from USA Today website. A dictionary definition of cramming would be something like this: “trying to quickly force material in a container that cannot hold it.” This definition just about sums up the disastrous “learning” technique that so many students have adopted in recent years. For many, it is the normal way of studying. It’s a habit that will produce dire consequences in college.

Cramming is not learning
Cramming produces short-term knowledge, like remembering what to pick up at the grocery store. People can remember to pick up a gallon of milk and a jar of peanut butter just long enough to get the job done. In the same way, students remember a chunk of knowledge long enough to get through a test. Then they forget the knowledge as the course moves onto the next chapter. Unfortunately, good crammers frequently get high grades. These grades confirm in the students’ minds that cramming works. And for these students, it’s an easy next step for them to believe that they are learning. They’re not. Here’s the difference.

Learning is understanding and retaining specific knowledge that can be recalled later. This learned information will be combined with already-learned information and later on, with information learned in the future. That is exactly how learning should work: combining what you learn now with past and future knowledge. As students move from one year of school to the next, or from one level to the next (like high school to college), teachers trust that the knowledge students carry with them from one point to the next is as permanent as it can be. But it does not seem to be happening these days.

When college freshmen leave for campus, they take with them their highly developed cramming skills. Not only will cramming fail them in college, cramming has already undermined their chances to succeed because it has emptied their knowledge bank. They have not “stored” the knowledge that their college professors expect them to bring to college courses. These courses begin and expect that students have a rich bank of knowledge. Their good (even excellent) high school grades prove they know the material, right? But for crammers, the knowledge bank isn’t there. The courses move fast and get away from them. The knowledge bank aside, for a moment, why doesn’t cramming work in college? In most courses, there are only a few tests, and these tests cover large amounts of material. There’s too much to be crammed. And because crammers are procrastinators, there’s too much information to be crammed in too little time.

That’s where those dismal numbers we’ve talked about before in this blog come from. Because students lack knowledge and mature learning skills when they arrive at college, 25% of college freshmen do not return to the college in which they have enrolled, and only about 35% of college students finish college in the traditional four years.

James Oluwatobi  Jeremiah,
BSc Economics.

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