Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Best Ways to Study

The Best Ways to Study, adapted from “Highlighting Is a Waste of Time: The Best Learning Techniques by Annie Murphy Paul (TIME magazine) (

According to a comprehensive report released on Jan. 9 by the Association for Psychological Science, the authors, led by Kent State University professor John Dunlosky, the learning strategies with the most evidence to support that they are effective are:

1) Distributed practice - This tactic involves spreading out your study sessions, rather than engaging in one marathon. Cramming information at the last minute may allow you to get through that test or meeting, but the material will quickly disappear from memory. It’s much more effective to dip into the material at intervals over time. And the longer you want to remember the information, whether it’s two weeks or two years, the longer the intervals should be.
2) Practice testing -Yes, more tests — but these are not for a grade. Research shows that the mere act of calling information to mind strengthens that knowledge and aids in future retrieval.
3) Using flash cards- And now flash cards can be presented in digital form, via apps like Quizlet, StudyBlue and FlashCardMachine. Both spaced-out learning, or distributed practice, and practice tests were rated as having“high utility” by the authors.

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