Tag Archives: How to Study

Study advice from the Association for Psychological Science

13 Oct

You can find it here. The main suggestions are:

Study for a little bit every day. One of the most robust findings in all of cognitive psychology research is the spacing effect, which shows that learning material over several study sessions that are spaced out over time is more effective than cramming everything into one session.
Read, Recite and Review. Take 5 minutes to write a summary of a chapter’s big ideas after finishing the reading (aka practicing retrieval), rather than summarizing as you go. Then, check what you got right and what you missed before moving on.
Take notes by hand rather than on a laptop. You’ll be less prone to distract yourself (or your classmates) with various apps and website and the act of writing by hand may even help you to remember more.
Test yourself on key ideas. Using flash cards, practice quizzes, and friends to test yourself will help you practice retrieving information from memory and is one of the best ways to learn something for the long term.


Note taking improves memory

6 Jul

Most of us stop taking notes when we leave school. It rarely occurs to most of us that we might profit from note taking even if there is no exam hanging over our heads. I know this because here at Chautauqua, where lectures are common, I am one of the few people who takes notes and people do not hesitate to express their surprise. On one occasion, the lecturer even asked why I was taking notes.

note book

I take notes because it helps with memory. It helps in both the obvious sense of recording information I may want later. For, example at yesterday’s lecture Chris Hayes praised the book  The Starfish and the Spider  and today I ordered a copy from Amazon.

But notes help memory in a less obvious fashion. The act of taking notes by itself helps us to remember material. Note taking helps us pay attention and it promotes encoding into long term memory.

note book pen


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