Exams are no fun for anyone unless you have sadistic tendencies. Sometimes I find it necessary to study dense portions at a time the night before an exam as slacking is a recreational pastime. But the cramming culture is out of control these days.
I have never understood, or in fact pulled, an “all-nighter.” I’ve been up considerably later than I’ve wanted to be, to learn material. Solid sleep is necessary to consolidate and reinforce the ideas from textbooks, even if you only care to regurgitate them on the paper the next morning for the sake of doing well.
Caffeine helps facilitate otherwise resistant attitudes towards studying. However, some people at “Club Richter” look cracked out of their minds, shaking their heads while rifling through pages in their pajamas after numerous Red Bull and cigarette breaks. However, if you find this to be most efficient, do whatever works.
As if “Club Richter” weren’t crazy enough, the moments leading up to and after an exam are the most perturbing. Roll into class a minute before the exam, otherwise you’ll be around a bunch of neurotic, academic zombies having Q&A’s in scrambled, miscalculated thoughts. Take a deep breath, do what you need to do and leave. I don’t think anything that hasn’t been learned the night before can be crammed in the last few minutes leading up to the test; it can only hurt.
Also, when an exam is complete, I get annoyed if I was on the fence about certain questions. But I never understood the sense of urgency for people to open their textbooks immediately after the fact to see if what they did is even remotely right. Remember: what’s done is done; try to look forward.
Of course, this is all easier said than done, but there’s no reason to extend the time padding around the test to make being in the “hot seat” any more of an excruciating process.
Evan Seaman is a junior majoring in economics. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.