A specific tool that students can use to prepare for their exams is active recall. Active recall is a technique that involves testing yourself. Research has shown that when people attempt to recall previous information, it strengthens their memory of that information more efficiently than other study techniques.
The concept of “use it or lose it” is very critical when it comes to active recall as it emphasizes the idea of forgetting information that is not actively used. Through attempting to remember information, we are making use of the information being absorbed, thereby storing it in our memories instead of forgetting them.
Strategies for Active Recall
Creating “Active Recall” Flash Cards
Creating flashcards, (one side having a question/fill-in-the-blanks and one side having the answer) can be a great resource in terms of quizzing yourself on the information.
Teaching and communicating the information to someone can be a very beneficial strategy for some students. This allows students to not only remember the information but also explain it in concrete simply way.
Readings and Remembering
Another strategy that students can use is taking notes AFTER readings. Students can read a section and then write down everything they can remember on a piece of paper.
Practice exams can be an excellent resource that mimics upcoming exams. Students are able to investigate their knowledge and quiz themselves.
Written by Abdullah Marei
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*This is an opinion post. While the topics described here are mostly based on research, please keep in mind not to assume all of the information described above is factual.