Workloads that students can barely keep up with have become the norm in the academe. But when those late-night study sessions with your 500-page textbook and cup of hot cocoa have become a nightly routine, it’s high time to step up your game. If your go-to study technique during periodic exams of reading through your textbook over and over again hoping some would stick is proving to be an ineffective tactic, City Academy recommends trying the spaced repetition technique instead.
The Real Deal with Spaced Repetition
If you want to ace that long exam, memorize your whole musculoskeletal anatomy, or learn a new language, try spaced repetition. The simplest way to do this is by using flashcards organized in a box. Once you start answering questions, divide the box into sections. Arrange them according to difficulty and which cards you always get the answers wrong. This way, you can just revisit them afterward and focus on them more.
Hacking Your Brain
Your brain works in a mysterious and complex manner, which explains why it is difficult to control. When it comes to retaining information, Scientific American says your brain scatters it in different regions. Several studies even reveal that you can only retain five to seven new fragments of information at a time. With the above limitations in mind, you should understand that cramming is not the best way to learn.
Basically, your brain chooses to remember what it thinks is important. So, if it encounters a certain piece of data frequently and regularly, your brain will remember it. This is how the flashcards work. Don’t force your brain to remember details instantly. Give it time to rest up before you begin studying again.
Spaced repetition hacks your brain by making it realize how important your notes are. It will force your brain to learn, which will preserve knowledge long-term and allow you to say goodbye to your nightly cramming routine.