04-22-2010 - MTFF: Why Cramming Doesn't Work - And What Does!
The Grade Coach

MTFF: Why Cramming Doesn't Work - And What Does! Sent Thursday, April 22, 2010 
April  22nd 2010
Weekly tips for better grades with less stress from The Grade Coach

A Note From Julie

Hi ,

I am sunning myself in Florida as you read this, and it is my husband's birthday so our family tradition is to go to a water park. No, I did not take my laptop to the water park; I took my own advice, planned ahead and set up the newsletter issue ahead of time!

As I contemplate hurling myself down water slides I can't help think of how the experience is similar to how a lot of students prepare for tests.  Check out this week's article to see how....
Wishing happiness and success



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New Product - Coming Soon
I will be launching my brand new home study product "Focused Time Management System - For School and Beyond" soon. I am really excited about this product because it will allow students who I cannot help personally have access to a lot of the same information and exercises that I use in my 3 month intensive coaching program. It is like having me with you in a binder!

It is designed for older students to use independently or for the parents of younger children to use to coach them through the process.

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    Why Cramming Doesn't Work!

    I never used to be very fond of roller coasters and water rides, but as my kids got older I began to run out of excuses as to why I should stay behind as a watcher. With my littlest now being a big roller coaster fan, and my oldest taunting me with a chicken dance, I have been forced to start joining in. Having taken the plunge (literally) I now enjoy the rides - okay, maybe the word "enjoy" is a bit of a stretch, but I do get a bit of a thrill from them, especially with my kids beside me to share the experience.

    As I contemplate the whole thrill ride experience I can't help think of how the experience is similar to how a lot of students prepare for tests.

    ·        There is a long boring period where nothing much happens as I wait in a long line (like the term slowly passing);

    ·        Then there is the rising panic as you reach the top of the line and realize how long the drop is (kind of like the realization that the exam is approaching faster than you thought);

    ·        Next comes the rush of the ride itself, full of action and drama (like the last minute study/cramming attempts);

    ·        Followed by the euphoria of having completed the ride without dying (the sign of relief when the test is over).

    Of course, I have a choice whether to go on the rides or not - regardless of what my kids say! You do not have a choice about whether you will sit the test, only how you go about preparing for it.

    Cramming and last minute studying are much like the thrill ride experience. Sure it can be fun as the adrenaline flows through your veins, and the high of having survived can be addicting. But if this is a long term strategy you will end up burnt out and stressed.

    The brain is a fascinating instrument; it requires time for new concepts to percolate into your deeper memory. Time allows all your new thoughts to sort themselves out so they can be retrieved when you need them.

    Last minute cramming does not give your brain time to do this.

    How the brain deals with memory is also pretty cool. As we learn new stuff it is fresh and we can remember it for a little while, but as time passes the memory fades and it becomes more difficult to recall. There have been a lot of studies that show that within 24 hours of learning something new, the majority of it has been forgotten. That is unless you top it up by reviewing your notes - then your chances of remembering are way higher. The first review should ideally be done later the same day (checking over your notes, doing homework), then reviews should be done at least weekly to preserve the memory in your long term storage. Then when it comes time for the test, all you need to do is another review to bring it back fresh and clear.

    This approach may be more like the baby rides than the roller coaster, but this way, instead of get the thrill from just surviving the test, you get the thrill from the great results.

    If you or your child are struggling to control your time and get the results you know you are capable of then it is time to take action.  The Focused Time Management System TM for Students avoids all the clutter and gives you the most important things to focus on to get you back in control of your time and your life. It's all step by step, not a big mish mash of things. So you do step one of the system, and when you're done with that, you move on to step two, and so on. So easy!  All the tips, tools, and worksheets are handed to you on a silver platter.  E mail me at Julie@thegradecoach.com to arrange a time to chat over your issues and see if I can help.
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    You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:The Grade Coach Julie Baird helps overwhelmed students through High School and college with time management skills so they can get back in control of their lives and get the grades they deserve with less stress. Julie publishes the FREE weekly E-Zine "Make Time For Fun" for students and their parents. If you want valuable tips and resources to get more done in less time. Sign up now at www.MakeTimeForFun.com

    If you liked today's issue and would like to learn more about getting better grades with less stress and The Grade Coach come visit the site.


    More articles are in our blog

    Time Management for Students E-Course

    Interview with  Julie

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