The way students study today is pointless, psychologists Henry Roediger and Mark McDaniel conclude. Together they spent 18 years analyzing learning and teaching methods and they published their findings in “Make it Sick: The science of Successful Learning”.
Most students study by repeatedly reading the same notes, textbooks and other materials. However, this is the worst way of learning, Vox reports. A far more effective way is by making diagrams and maps or by self-examination. Psychologist Mark McDaniel shares his tips for better studying.
Do not just read the notes
Mark McDaniel says that most students just read the notes, but the research concluded that this will not create a lasting memory. The monitoring of students showed that those who read the material only once remembered just the same as those who read it twice.
Ask yourself many questions
A good technique is reading the text and asking yourself questions about the material. This is a more effective method for recollecting information. If you answered a question erroneously, re-examine it.
Connect the new with the old
Try to connect the information you already have with the new facts. This way, you’ll remember the most important parts faster.
Creating diagrams, a map or similar visual patterns in your mind is an effective strategy. Active learning gives meaning to information and plays a major role in the retention of information. It’s simple, the learner must be engaged in the learning process.
Divide the material into several parts
Don’t wait for the last moment to study. This is unfavorable for the long-term memory, especially if a few prior lessons are required for various current ones. It’s helpful to divide the material and study every day.
You can’t be “Just bad” with some subjects
This is a wrong attitude. People are not born without talent for Mathematics or languages. This restricts you from the beginning because you think some subjects are more difficult than others, while they’re not. Instead, psychologists recommend to focus on the gradual improvement in what you think is your weak side. Devote more time on the subject and be engaged.