You have a test coming up, oh say, tomorrow. You haven't studied at all. Should you cram for it- Sure. And, good luck.
For the next time, you'd really do better to space your studying out over the time you have. Do a little at a time over several study sessions. That's the idea behind distributed practice.
One reason distributed practice aids learning is that you have to re-start your memory for the topic during each study session. Once your memory for the topic is warmed up and moving, doing more is fairly easy. Like a car coasting downhill, it's too easy. Stopping and starting is harder on your memory. That's good (unlike the car), because it strengthens your memory.
Distributed practice seems to work regardless of how you go about studying. Yet, you can do best by combining it with practice testing. Don't be mad at your instructor for giving you lots of quizzes. They give you a double dose of good learning. Try (and try again) to get in the habit of doing it yourself!
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