How to Cram for a Test With a Free Memory Program

Even if you only have days or hours to learn a few hundred facts, you can do it. This article will save your grade.

Okay, so it’s time to cram. Meaning, time to hack your memory.

An Emergency Guide to Cramming

Ideally, we’d have time for me to explain why all this works. But you wouldn’t be here if you weren’t in a hurry. So here’s how to cram these facts into your brain, and keep them from falling out before the test:

1. Download Anki

Download Anki, a free flashcard program.

Here’s a quick introduction to Anki.

2. Add Your Facts as Flashcards

You need to get all your facts into Anki so you can review them.

Take a quick look at the free decks other people have made first.

Most likely, you’ll need to make your own deck.

Try to keep one fact per card, if possible.

If you need to do lists, break them into chunks of three or four each.

(There’s way more to the art of making good flashcards, but we’re in a hurry here.)

3. Use Cram Mode

Now for the secret sauce: Cram Mode.

Go to Tools -> Cram... and click OK.

Normally, the reviews are carefully scheduled. Cram mode shows you everything. You see all the facts over and over again, as long as you keep marking them Soon.

You keep seeing each fact until you know it. (At least, you’ll know it long enough to pass the test.)

As soon as you do know it, mark it Good, and it gets out of your way.

4. (Optional) Sync the Deck to Your Mobile Device

If you have time, you can try syncing the decks to your Android or other mobile device.

If you’re really short on time, skip it. But it’s a great way to pack the reviews into those little bits of spare time.

5. Ace Your Test (Or at Least Pass)

I won’t promise you’ll get an A this time. But in the future, with more time and practice, you could ace almost every test.

For now, cramming with Anki will be way better than any other cramming I know of. Try it.