The truth about memory and learning . In other words…how to ace your exams!!

Researchers Schwartz, Son, Kornell, and Finn  have evaluated  the most recent advances in memory research.  They have uncovered 4 strategies for memory improvement which will serve to enhance your learning and memory for exams.   The techniques are designed to allow you to learn more in your study time than someone using less efficient memory strategies.

  1. Learn it like you are going to teach it The research calls this processing actively.  Many learners study material with the clear intention of  “learning,”  however, simply having an intention to learn is not often enough.   Approaching material with the intention of having to “teach” the material to someone else  produces far more effective learning and memory.
  2.  Test Thyself:  This technique requires you to recall information from memory.  It is actually more effective to practice recalling information or testing how much you know than it is to read and re-read material over and over again.  It is also most effective when you test yourself a few hours later, or even a day later.
  3. DON’T CRAM!!!  While it is somewhat counterintuitive, we actually retain more when we study smaller chunks of material over a longer period of time, rather than cramming before a test.  Research shows that 90% of students tested retained more information with what the researchers call distributed practice than cramming.
  4. Self evaluate your learning:  It is important to evaluate or ask yourself how you are learning; am I remembering?  Am I being too confident in what I know?  Am I being realistic and studying what I can actually learn?


The overall message of the research…. be active in your learning!

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