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Active Recall is one of the most effective study technique! It allows content to be easily stored in long term memory, which means you will remember it better. Spaced Repetition can be used as part of active recall in order to remember things even better. Practising these techniques is one of the best ways to remember what you have studied.
See my post on the difference between active and passive techniques!
What is active recall?
Active recall involves trying to remember information without the help of notes or textbooks (or any help at all – except maybe a question). It is a powerful tool for memory retention. By actively engaging with the content, you will be able to recall information much easier during a test.
How to use Active Recall
There are many ways to practise it, some of which are:
- Practise Questions
- Pre-test before revision
- Past Exams
- Spaced Repetition
All of these methods are completely fine, however we will be mainly covering the last two methods (blurting and spaced repetition) in this post.
You might have seen this on TikTok or YouTube. This technique is most often used during exam revision. It can also be known as a ‘memory dump’. The goal of it is too find out how much of a topic you know.
How to practise ‘Blurting’
Step 1 ~ Shut all your textbooks and hide your notes. Get out a piece of paper.
Step 2 ~ Write the topic someone on the page (either top or centre)
Step 3 ~ Write down everything you can remember about the topic – WITHOUT looking at any notes OR the textbook. (You can do this in a list or a mind map – I prefer a mind map because they are more flexible!)
Step 4 ~ Once you’ve finished writing down everything you know, get a different coloured pen and write down everything you missed using you’re notes or a textbook (Yes you can look at your notes now!)
Step 5 ~ Everything you wrote in the second colour is what you need to revise on more.
Spaced repetition is a good way to remember stuff. Basically, it’s where you review and recall information at optimal spacing intervals until you know the information by heart!
Using a study schedule the incorporates spaced repetition is very useful.
Making your spaced repetition like a game could make it more enjoyable and help you to keep up with it consistently. I have always had a hard time keeping up with these methods for more than 10 days. After 10 days goes by, I start to lose motivation to do it (discipline is key people!)
Softwares that use Spaced Repititon
I think that SaveAll is the best because it allows you to just type your notes into the program and then it creates questions for you. It’s pretty much half the work. Of course, there are lots of others out there but these are the ones that I have used.
Thank you for reading this post! I really feel that using Active Recall and Spaced Repetition is the ONLY way to truly remember content for a long time! Don’t forget that I post every Wednesday and Sunday at 12:00.