Studying takes too much time. So you need a method that lets you remember the same amount of information in less hours.
The scientifically proven solution is to space out your studying. With time intervals between your study session, you will remember more. And in less total number of actual hours studying.
This method is call spaced repitition and it might be the most powerful technique you can use to improve your brain’s ability to recall what you study.
How your brain learns new things
Your brain stores new information by creating new neural connections. These need time to solidify. If you keep absorbing new study material for many hours on end, you don’t remember the first things you learned very well.
Spaced repetition uses the fact that you brain learns more effectively when you space out your learning over time.
Another interesting research finding is that some forgetting must occur before revisiting the material does strenghten learning. In this way your memory builds like an exercised muscle.
Optimal study intervals
Research by Sebastian Leitner and other since the 1970s has resulted in a number of algorithms to calculate optimal study intervals, from every day to up to every month.
Some things are harder to learn than others. These study items need more repetitions for the same recall during tests. It proved optimal to only choose a longer interval after you remembered something at least once.
Therefore spaced repetition takes into account how well you remember a study fact since the last repetition. This makes your studying even more efficient: items that need it get more attention. In the end, you remember every part of your study material equally well, improving overall grades.
Spaced repetition study with cards
For each study item you use a separate flashcard, typically A6 in size. You write a “question” on the front side and its “answer” on the back side. You need five boxes and start putting all your flashcards in the first box.
Following the so-called Leitner method, you study the cards in these five boxes using the following intervals:
|Every other day
|Once a week
|Retired (study once again before test)
You take each card from the box, try to answer the question from memory and then flip the card to check how well you remembered. If your answer is correct, put the card in the next box. If not, the card goes back to box 1. You will study it already the next day, until you finally master it.
Using an app to study with spaced repetition
An app helps you remember more of what you learn in less time with spaced repetition. And with some extra benefits:
- Using more modern and andvanced algorithms than the above, which are impossible to calculate by hand. This means more than five virtual boxes, special care if you repeatedly failed an item and on the other hand not all the way back to box 1 after one glitch.
- You can study wherever you are, without having to carry a set of boxes. An app can store hundreds or even thousands of cards for you.
- Study multiple subjects, with each their own set of virtual boxes. The app organizes this for you with ease.
- Adding pictures and sounds to your study cards.
- Graphical progress of your study and easily locating the flashcards that you struggle with most.
The MnemoRep app offers all of the above and more. For free. Download it to your Android tablet or smartphone today.