Is it ever a good idea to ‘cram’ revision?

Is it ever a good idea to ‘cram’ revision?

Everyone probably recalls ‘cramming’ at one point or another in life. Whether for your own exams, before your driving theory test or before a big interview, many of us will have done it!

When we cram, we try and squish as much information as possible into our brains- in a very short space of time.
Sometimes, cramming is a result of laziness or procrastination. Sometimes, it is because of unforeseen events or illnesses (whereby there’s little choice in the matter!) Either way, the topic of cramming is one that inevitably pops up when we’re talking about exams!

Is it ever a good idea to ‘cram’ revision?

But the question is… is it ever a good idea to ‘cram’ revision?

As a general ‘rule,’ no. Cramming is not usually advised. That’s because revision should be a process whereby your child truly learns: whether that beknowledge, strategy or skill. All too often, teenagers make the mistake of just re-reading notes or class books, believing that they have revised. Job done.
The truth is, to maximise grades, your child really needs to know their stuff. To do this, they will need to master their topics and skills- usually by repeating processes or ideas over and over again. And they need their brain needs to ‘engage’ with what they’re doing, too.

Our revision courses are an ideal way for your teen to revise effectively, because our subject specialists lead classes that will help your child to refine their skills and deepen their learning, without the need to cram!

More and more students are choosing to attend revision courses as they see the many benefits: working in a purposeful environment; a planned programme of study delivered by a subject specialist and learning with peers who are like-minded and focused.

So…when can cramming be done?

The only time where ‘cramming’ can become beneficial is a couple of nights before the exam- or right before your child walks into the exam hall!

A couple of nights before the exam, your child will probably find themselves ‘naturally’ cramming all of the last bits of information in. (Where possible, it’s wise to avoid cramming the night before the exam- as this may add to your child’s stress levels and therefore be detriment to much-required sleep.)
Also, before your child enters the exam hall, they might read through several pages of notes or run through a large number of flashcards as a last minute ‘cramming’ session. However, in these scenarios, you’d imagine your child is- at least- very familiar with the information. They shouldn’t be trying to learn loads of new things (or look at topics from months back!)


Memory is, of course, important when it comes to revising for exams. The temptation to ‘cram’ comes when your child may think that they have ‘memorised enough.’ However, it might be helpful for you and your child to research key information on ‘short term’ and ‘long term’ memory, so that your teen receives a better understanding of how their memory best functions.

Again, using a revision provider (such as ours,) allows your child to revise intensively and effectively, without the cram or panic at the last minute. Our next courses run during the Easter holidays and take place over a four day period. Sign up now to ensure your child receives quality revision support

Blog Headline: Is it ever a good idea to ‘cram’ revision? For SQA Exams Blog Description: Fast forward to a few nights before your child’s first exam, and you suddenly find them revising like crazy, trying to cram years’ worth of knowledge into their brains! Funnily enough, their brains won’t retain it all and it’s not a particularly wise revision strategy for your child to have… But are there ever any good reasons to ‘cram’ - and what’s best for your child’s memory? Published Date: 26/02/2019 Modified Date: 26/02/2019 Image URL: Image Width: 750 px Image Height: 469 px Publisher Name: Grade Booster Tutoring Logo URL: Logo Width: 375 px Logo Height: 375 px