Working at a university is a great experience, except for the week or two leading up to finals. The pressure ratchets up and you can really feel it. While many students work hard the entire semester, just saying “test” or “final” increases anxiety and you can see the increased attention students give to tests at the end of a semester..
The folks at Scienedump (via besteducationdegrees.com) have a great infographic on the “science of study”–putting into graphics the neural processes when we study (and this isn’t limited to just students–anytime we’re working on new information, we are studying). When you learn new information, your brain grows!
The science says that cramming isn’t effective for long-term recall, regular testing seems to lead to better retention, and night-owls perform worse on tests than others.
Keep those synaptic connections firing! Study new things a little bit at a time, over time, for the best chance to retain those memories.