Common theories and advice for studying can be a disserve to students according to the recent article “Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits.”
In recent years, cognitive scientists have shown that a few simple techniques can reliably improve what matters most: how much a student learns from studying.
The following are among the techniques that have been shown to be effective for motivated students:
- Alternating study locations, which improves retention.
- Mixed-practice: that is, the idea that studying distinct but related skills in one sitting is more beneficial than focusing intensely on one skill at a time.
- Spacing study sessions, which improves later recall without requiring students to put in more overall effort.
- Tests and quizzes, which can be very effective tools for learning. The process of retrieving an idea improves later recall.
In addition, the article challenges the idea that “forgetting” is bad for learning. Forgetting offers opportunities to relearn something and to reinforce awareness and understanding of the subject.