Not all revision strategies are equal. Some are far more effective than others. These proven strategies help students retain more information and increase their ability to recall them at a later date. These techniques include retrieval practice, spacing, and interleaving.
Retrieval practice (sometimes referred to as ‘the testing effect’) is the name of a strategy that requires students to generate an answer to a question. It has been proven to be one of the most effective revision strategies. Retrieval practice may comprise of past papers, multiple-choice tests or answering questions aloud. Flashcards are another good example of this.
Spacing is another good revision technique that students can employ. This involves students learning a little information regularly, rather than trying to learn a lot in a single day.
Recent research has found that the use of spacing resulted in a 10% to 30% difference in final test results compared to students who did lots of cramming. Spacing out their revision gives students enough time to forget previously learned information, meaning that when this information is re-visited and re-learned it is more likely to be transferred to their long-term memory.
Interleaving involves students mixing up the topics they study within a given subject. Recent research has shown how effective this technique is: while students who ‘blocked’ their learning (the opposite to interleaving) performed to a higher level when tested immediately after learning the information, those who used interleaving performed more than three times better if the test was more than a day later.
Interleaving helps students make links between different topics as well as discriminate between different types of problems, allowing them to identify the most ideal thought process for each.
A Good Study Partner
This one comes with a warning attached, as students need to ensure that they are choosing a study partner for the right reasons rather than choosing someone who they believe will reduce their boredom and distract them from their revision.
A good study partner is someone who is motivated to revise, as research has shown that if the person next to you is working hard, it is likely that you will follow and increase your work ethic to match theirs. Another study also found that if students are able to work together, for example on a problem-solving task, they are more likely to experiment with different techniques in order to try and solve it as well as learn faster from positive and negative feedback.
May 22, 2020
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- August 5, 2020