Preparing for late-night study sessions


Zachary Araki/The Lion's Roar

Nikolle Johannesen, a sophomore accounting major, studies in the Sims Memorial Library. For some students, finding a quiet place away from home and distractions can be key to an effective study session.

As students prepare for tests along with their other responsibilities, they may find themselves searching for time to study.

Chloe Cooper, a sophomore kinesiology major, found cramming to be her most successful form of studying.

“When I cram, I can definitely remember the information and regurgitate it easier than studying because I don’t have a good memory,” stated Cooper. “So, if I cram, I know it right then and there, but I’ll probably forget it after, and I’ll just have to re-study it again later. I feel like I can just know it for then and study again later if I need to.”

On the other hand, Amanda Pigrenet, a sophomore early childhood education major, experienced less success with study binges.

Pigrenet shared, “You think you’re learning the information because you know it right now, but you have to study it over long, long periods of time to actually understand the information because we study-crammed for the last test, and then when we got there, we thought we knew it, but we didn’t. We made a trillion small mistakes.”

Students may find that some traditional study tips are not effective. The 1985 study “Context effects: Classroom tests and context independence” showed that a change in classroom environment did not alter performance on a test.

Taking time to study the subject matter in its entirety may be more helpful than breaking it into smaller sections to be reviewed in rapid bursts. According to the 2009 study “Optimising Learning Using Flashcards: Spacing Is More Effective Than Cramming” by Nate Kornell, increasing the time intervals between seeing the material helps with long term memory.

“It’s just switching it up,” commented Hannah Gautreau, a sophomore nursing major. “You can’t look at the same thing for too long. So, you wanna set out time limits, set out different days you do different things, and that’s gonna keep you from getting tired and not learning the material.”

To encourage students not to cram for her class, Dr. Lucy Kabza, professor of mathematics, sets deadlines leading up to test day.

Kabza explained, “When, for example, I assign review homework and maybe a review quiz before the test. They are not due the day before, but they are spread over several days when they are due so students have to complete something three days before the test, two days before the test and the day before the test. So, it forces them to spread the time that they study.”

Regardless of the time span, students may find some strategies make a study session more beneficial, such as studying at the library instead of at home or making flashcards.

“Usually I’ll start by reading the textbook if I have it, and then I will go over notes that I get in class,” stated Nikolle Johannesen, a sophomore accounting major. “Like for accounting, I’ll practice problems over and over and over again until I know it like the back of my hand.”

Ashleigh Oatis, a student at the university, discussed how she remains focused on her study material.

“I put my phone away and try to really focus on what I’m doing and really get into it because if I’m not into it, I’m not gonna learn it,” said Oatis.

Gautreau encouraged students to manage their time efficiently to succeed.

“You definitely need to space out time in your day,” shared Gautreau. “You need to plan ahead to study. That’s definitely the best way to get ahead.”