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Study Smarter and Remember What You Studied For Longer!

How can students ditch bad study habits, study smarter and remember what they studied for longer? It’s not as easy as you think! Most students have experienced studying for hours for a test only to forget most of what they studied the next day. How can students spend hours reviewing notes only and not remember anything? There has to be a way to make study time more efficient and effective so that students can spend less time studying, and spend more time remembering.

Beating the “Forgetting Curve”

Developing excellent study habits is one key way of combating what’s known as the ‘forgetting curve.’ Study skills such as problem-solving, paraphrasing, and active learning can help students avoid last-minute cram sessions and help them retain what they’ve studied for more than a week.

Mastering important study skills to retain information for the long-term is achievable with the right study habits. so, how can students keep important facts and details from slipping away before a test?

Four powerful tips to study smarter and remember longer:

1. Use the Spaced Repetition Method

Even after an hour, your memory can only recall 44% of the information you read. To remember the information you’ve learned for the long-term, use spaced repetition. Spaced repetition involves reviewing materials in intervals to decrease the deterioration of your memory over time.

Here’s how to used spaced repetition:

Take notes after each class and write down any questions. Before exams and tests, make flashcards and review them every few days rather than only the day before.

A 2009 study at the University of California found that for 90% of students when learning is spaced out, it is more effective than cramming.

2. Use Active Reiteration

One of the most effective ways to remember study facts is to teach them to someone else! The act of teaching, known as the protégé effect, involves preparing to teach information to others to help you remember that information. Active reiteration can increase metacognitive processing and makes individuals more actively aware of their learning. This can also allow students to feel more confident about learning!

3. Read On Paper

Laptops and tablets are being used to take notes more than ever.  A 2019 study was the third of its kind to find that reading on paper is still much more effective for comprehension and retention. Reading on paper can help with spatial awareness, recall, and retain a student’s focus. Laptops allow access to the internet, which can be great for multitasking but can also be distracting when trying to learn.

4. Participate In Group Discussions

Group discussions allow students to actively process the information and material they learned in class. If students are confused about certain topics, questions, or details, they can ask other students. Research shows that group discussions can improve engagement and long-term retention for students. If an in-person group discussion is not possible, students can utilize online forums or conferencing services to discuss their studies. 

Next class, switch the laptop for a notebook and use these long-term memory retention tips to improve study habits. Students will feel more confident and comfortable for the next exam!

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