Beast Mode Study – Part 2: Active Recall

Active recall goes hand in hand with ‘spaced repetition’ which we spoke about last time.

Active recall is using what’s called the Testing Effect to its full potential.

Straight out of Wiki of the pedia it says: “The testing effect is the finding that long-term memory is often increased when some of the learning period is devoted to retrieving the to-be-remembered information. The effect is also sometimes referred to as retrieval practice, practice testing, or test-enhanced learning.”

Again, while wary of sounding like a broken record, not the Michael Phelps kind but you know, the lp kind, it is important to bang on about this; there WILL be a learning curve. An ugly, discouraging learning curve BUT the improvements in your learning power will make it all worth it.

As the name suggests, active recall uses active learning methods as opposed to easier, passive methods.

There are many ways that you can utilise active recall and it’s an opportunity to get creative. For example, you could study something, then put away your notes and;

– Record yourself recalling everything that you remember
-Sketch out things that you recall from said topic
– Write down as many bullet points as you can
– Use flash cards in either hardcopy form or via an app such as the popular Anki.

Then pick up your notes and compare for accuracy. This is an important step. Accuracy of recall must be verified so that the wrong info isn’t reinforced. Clustering the different components of the studied topic is also important. If you isolate points then comprehension can be lost.

So to recap!

Spaced repetition and active recall! What a power duo! Revisit lessons and use pro-active methods of recalling what has been taught.

Albert Einstein has been attributed with the quote that I’ll leave you with today:

“Never regard study as a duty, but as an enviable opportunity to learn.”

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