Space Out Studying, Don't Cram, To Learn More Effectively

Space Out Studying, Don't Cram, to Learn More Effectively

All it takes is one semester of university to realise how easy it is to slip into a last-minute cram session habit, and two semesters to realise how poorly you remember things after a marathon cramming session. Try pacing yourself instead.

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According to researchers Henry Roedinger and Mark Daniel, who have written the book on learning, advise that last-minute cramming sessions aren't effective. You may retain information over the short term, but as soon as the final, the information can evaporate from your brain. Instead, space out your study habits.

This often happens in statistics. Students come back for the next year, and it seems like they have forgotten everything, because they crammed for their tests. The better idea is to space repetition. Practice a little bit one day, then put your flashcards away, then take them out the next day, then two days later. Study after study shows that spacing is really important.

Obviously, cram sessions frequently happen because students feel they don't have time to study until the last minute. But since the idea here is that shorter sessions spaced out will be more effective, you don't need to build up studying as a massive task. You can study a little bit every day and retain much more information.

Re-reading is inefficient. Here are 8 tips for studying smarter. [Vox]


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