As finals roll around it’s probably the “cramming season” again for some veterinary students. Just like overzealous consumption of food is a risk factor for bloat and indigestion, cramming all the study materials overnight right before a test will somehow do us harm eventually, physically and mentally.
When we had the neuroscience class during first-year, I really liked one of the sentences written in the syllabus, “The teacher does not give a grade, the student earns it.” In that class, we also learned that the best way to memorize something is by doing it over time. In contrast, rushing to do it, especially at night, barely contributes to memorization. And it’s very likely that reality will rough us up in future situations where knowledge of those crammed materials is needed.
Despite this fact, overnight cramming seems to be inevitable in veterinary school life. And not surprisingly sometimes we can still do great and get good grades in the exam. Some might consider this being “luck” but I don’t think so and I try to persuade myself not to think so. After overnight cramming, I might be able to know the majority of the material and pass the exam. However, chances are that I would miss some points on the exam due to inadequate memorization or understanding. I used to blame myself for missing those points. However, success is not luck, it’s wiser to improve the learning process rather than blaming yourself for not getting that “luck.” Let’s study in a benign way and no more “I learn it, I pass it, and I forget it.”