2 Mar 2013

What's the Best Way to Learn?

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Exam season is looming. So what are the best revision techniques? A recent US study of the most popular ten methods produced the following results:

Highlighting
This was judged no more effective than simply reading.

Summarising the Text
Re-writing information in a shorter form can be helpful - if you're good at it.

Practice Papers/Testing
This was one of the most highly rated. Using the information that you've learned improves your ability to remember it.

Spaced Practice
This was also very highly rated. But what is it? In a sense, it's a less 'cramped' form of cramming. Students re-learn the same information time and again. This is used in spellings, where students are re-tested after one hour, one day and one week. It can also be used for facts, models, ideas or analytical techniques.

The author of the report, Professor John Dunlosky writes, 'In our experience, students who use spaced practice quickly see its power. Every next study session of the same material becomes easier.'