Whether you’re studying for an exam or learning on your own, you want to do more than just re-read your material to absorb it. This video offers four ways to study smarter, not just harder, and really remember what you’ve read. Reviewing your notes might make you feel prepared, but turning those notes into activities will help you better retain what you’re studying. Here are four active strategies to try.
- Ask yourself (or have someone ask you) questions on the material.
- Visualise the information. If it lends itself to a diagram, draw it out or just create a mental image to recall later.
- Apply the information to a common metaphor. For example, if you wanted to remember that plants take in water, sunlight and carbon dioxide and put out oxygen, you could think of the intakes as cookie ingredients, the bake time as processing by the plant and the finished cookies as oxygen.
- If you use flashcards, don’t remove the cards you get right when you quiz yourself. Keep them in the deck so you build a stronger memory for all the cards.
These active strategies force you to engage with the information you’re trying to learn. Besides these active strategies, Vox also recommends planning your study blocks well ahead of your test to avoid cramming. Check out all of the tips at the link below.