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Chunking vs Cramming during FMGE Preparation?

  • FMGE aspirants who are not guided to prepare systematically end up cramming the subjects in the last days before the FMGE.
  • We provide the complete insight into the chunking vs Cramming during FMGE Preparation to enlighten the aspirants on how to prepare for FMGE effectively.

Chunking during FMGE Preparation:

Chunking is grouping the connected items/concepts together so that they can be stored or processed as single concepts.

Scientific background:

  • Short-term memory can only store between 5 and 9 pieces (Miller’s magic 7) of information at a time & proposed by Harvard professor George Miller in 1956,  although, re-analysis of Miller’s results by today’s scientists showed that we need to break information into 4 chunks would be more accurate.
  • Short-term memory is extremely limited and arbitrary on the contrary long-term memory which is vast and orderly, therefore, your learning goal is to move information from short-term to long-term memory that can be easily tackled later.
  • Deep processing vs shallow processing: deep processing leads to better long-term memory than shallow processing according to levels of processing theory proposed by researchers in Cognitive psychology in the 1970s.
    • Chunking→relations between concepts →more meaningful analysis→ Deep processing→ better long-term memory
  • Chunking in action: Large piece of information can’t be forced into your long-term memory however your mental energy can be used to etch the whole information into your memory piece-by-piece until the entire concept sticks.
Bring chunking to your study table:
Start high level
  • Start by getting a big idea (big picture) as you plan your lesson you want to comprehend.
Break up core concepts
  • Big picture → breaking each core concept→ four consumable chunks (limited number: 5-9 chunks).
Give context to chunks
  • Understand how learning each chunk helps you remember it later when you are presented with a question.
Link the chunks as you progress
  • Understand how each chunk connects with the previous one
Refine until you get it right
  • Fine-tune the lesson plan until you have the right number of chunks that each consist of the right amount of detail.

Incorporate chunking into your studying:

  • A good study routine should be grounded in retrieval practice regardless you’re using chunking or not.
  • Distributed/spaced learning: extremely powerful technique for studying by practicing remembering information.

Grab the Best Study Materials for the FMGE 2020 ↓


Cramming during FMGE Preparation:

Cramming: study intensively over a short period of time just before the exam.

  • You do all the reading, make a pile of notes, and try to memorize like crazy until you have most of it shoehorned into your head.
  • In intense cramming, you begin maybe only three days before the big exam to start making some sense of the coursework.
  • Tips: We advise to use cramming for those subjects that will be only for the sake of the exams & will never need any of the knowledge again.
  • Shortcomings:
    1. “Cramming” is ineffective like “drinking from a fire hose”.
    2. If you’re anxiety-prone: this cramming program probably won’t work even for short-term memory. Intense anxiety can cause large memory gaps during tests. The best remedy is self-confidence, and the surest way to achieve that is to practice prepared to cram.
    3. Unless you’re really desperate, don’t use intense cramming for any course that contains information you’ll need in a later course or that may have some value in helping you deal with life after college.

Read More about How to Make a Smart study plan ↓


Intensive Cramming vs Chunking with spaced learning during the FMGE preparation:

Intensive CrammingChunking with spaced learning
  • Poor recall: Only 20 % of quickly learned material after a 30-day period can be recalled due to its storage in short-term memory  & anything not shifted to long-term memory gets ‘dumped’ according to Thomas H. Mentos
  • Illusion of competency: your mind will trick you into thinking you’ve learned all when you try to learn some materials continuously for after several hours
  • Facts vs concepts: Information that rely on simple memorization can be learned by cramming but complex information that requires analysis requires a completely different approach
  • Unhealthy: staying up late in the days and weeks with the loss of sleep leads you to be fatigued on and before exam day that shall, in turn, decrease your focus/ concentration & increases your stress eventually decreases your performance.
  • Good recall: 80%+ learned material can be recalled depending on the frequency of spaced learning
  • Performance analysis: You be able to assess your stronger and weaker areas &  have a chance to revisit those more challenging topics.
  • Better concepts: complex information requires time to comprehend & challenge your understanding, therefore, they shall be improved exponentially
  • keep you healthy & sane: Good sleep & low-stress levels keep your body healthy & helps you to focus/concentrate during the exam.

Also Read About How to Prepare the Inter-related Subjects:

  1. How to prepare for FMGE in 2 months?
  2. What is the effective method of revision for FMGE?

Also watch:

  • Chunking Lessons to Increase Retention:

  • Revision Tips – Stop Cramming:

Grab the Updated Fire Aids Revision for FMGE 2020

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