New Research Sheds Light on the Optimal Study Techniques for Retaining Information
As students, we are constantly on the lookout for ways to improve our study habits and techniques. A new study has shed light on the best methods for retaining information.
The study, published in the journal Psychological Science, looked at how different study techniques affect retention. The researchers found that repeated testing and spaced studying are the most effective techniques.
Repeated testing involves taking practice tests on the material you are trying to learn. It can be done by creating your own practice tests or using online resources. The researchers found that the act of recalling information from memory strengthens the neural pathways in your brain, making it easier to retrieve the information later.
Spaced studying involves breaking up your study sessions into smaller chunks and spacing them out over a longer period of time. For example, instead of studying for four hours straight, you might break it up into two two-hour sessions over two days. The researchers found that spreading out study sessions over time helps to consolidate the information in your brain and improves retention.
The study also found that highlighting and rereading material were not effective study techniques. These methods may help you momentarily understand the material, but they do not strengthen the neural pathways in your brain and do not improve long-term retention.
So, what does this mean for students? It means that if you want to retain information for the long-term, you should focus on repeated testing and spaced studying. Creating and taking practice tests can be a valuable tool for retention, as can breaking up your study sessions over time.
Of course, everyone is different and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to studying. However, these findings provide valuable insight into the most effective study techniques for retaining information. So, if you want to improve your study habits, give repeated testing and spaced studying a try and see how they work for you.