How Does Cram Studying Impact SHS Students?


Shu-yu Chen, Staff Writer

The student had every excuse to procrastinate his studying: job, sleep, friends, and Netflix. The test he thought was next week was actually tomorrow, and he had no time to prepare. With the test less than 12 hours away, he resorts to cram studying.

But what is cram studying? Cram studying, or cramming, is the act of studying intensely in order to absorb as much information as possible in a short amount of time. For example, a student might study a large amount of information the day before a test, which may induce all nighters.

It is a method that is frowned upon by both parents and teachers who recommend studying for a test several days in advance. While the debate on whether students should cram or not still rages on, many high school students still practice cramming, including those in Stroudsburg High School.

An informal survey done at SHS that includes 100 students from sophomores, juniors, to seniors, reveal that 79% of the students have admitted to cramming on a regular basis. Of those 79 students, 41 believed that cramming does not help them perform better on tests as opposed to studying days in advance. Though the students of SHS clearly practice cramming more, the majority of students do not believe it is the best way to study. So why do students do it?

ai???Studying in general is required to remind yourself of the things you donai??i??t know,ai??? said history teacher Mr. Shawn Thornton. ai???People tend to know things they spend more time focusing on. The number of different classes that students have, combined with what theyai??i??re going through in their biological development, further combined with the social struggles teenage years bring, make it really hard for them to spend a lot of time focusing on any one

Junior Tyler Slomiak explains why he cram studies.

ai???Iai??i??ve cram studied throughout high school. I found it works for me. Since I have a very busy schedule, I kept it up,ai??? said Slomiak. ai???I have a very good short term memory, so it works to pass the test. I donai??i??t recommend cram studying to other people since it doesnai??i??t work for everyone; it depends on the

On the contrary, Erin Hunt, a senior, was one of the 21 people that donai??i??t cram study.

ai???I like to study ahead of time in case something comes up and I am not able to study in the later days,ai??? said Hunt. ai???Cramming doesnai??i??t work for me. I break it up into sections. I get anxious and stressed if I have to study everything at once the day before. I do not recommend

According to, only 20% of the information crammed will be remembered after a 30 day period. That is due to the brain encoding the information gained from cramming into the short term memory. Short term memory encodes information based on simple characteristics of the word, rather than its meaning. says cramming leaves spaces in our brain, which leads to the student recognizing the information, but not being able to recall it.

ai???There is a separation between short term memory and learning,ai??? Thornton said. ai???Cramming does not necessarily facilitate learning. It might facilitate preparing for a test, but it does not facilitate learning. Learning is the degree to which it makes something your own, it becomes a part of your stockpile of knowledge that is easily recallable and useable.”

According to another informal survey done, 50 students revealed what subjects were crammed the most for. It was revealed that history class got the most votes with 32%, while math class got the least with 10%.

ai???I wonder if itai??i??s because the students look at it as being more informational,ai??? Thornton said, when asked about why he thinks history class is the most crammed for. ai???I think the structure of school and the biological dynamics of teenagers makes cramming a necessary Ai??

With the ever stressful life of the SHS student, cramming can prove to be an inevitable process. Different students study different ways, but the goal is to pass the next test. How students go about achieving that goal is up to them, but cramming is always an option as the testing day draws closer and closer.

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