Considerable research has explored strategies that are most likely to lead to long-term learning. Among these strategies, two have emerged as effective: retrieval practice and distributed practice.
Retrieval practice centres on the concept of students actively generating responses to questions, which can encompass a range of exercises such as revisiting past exam papers, tackling multiple-choice questions or engaging with practice essay questions. Distributed practice, on the other hand, encourages students to disperse their learning efforts and periodically revisit the material across multiple study sessions. This approach proves invaluable in enhancing the retention and comprehension of the subject matter. Another effective strategy is interleaved practice, which involves mixing up the types of problems students work on.
Following is a checklist to help your son identify and improve his study habits:
- Make Notes Regularly: Instead of cramming studying into the last-minute, make it a habit to make study notes regularly.
- Plan Ahead: Don’t wait until the last moment to finish your study notes. Start early, so you have ample time to review and understand the material thoroughly.
- Create Organised Study Notes: Create structured and easily digestible study notes. Use headings, bullet points, and diagrams to make notes visually appealing and comprehensible.
- Use Active Learning: Don’t just passively read notes. Test yourself on the material to gauge your understanding. Use flashcards, quizzes, or teaching the topic to someone else. Active learning reinforces memory and comprehension.
- Use Diverse Study Techniques: Don’t rely on a single study technique. Experiment with various methods like mind maps, mnemonic devices, or group study sessions. Explore what works best for you and adapt your study routine accordingly.
- Simulate Exam Conditions: Practice under realistic conditions. Set a timer at home when doing questions, avoid looking at notes and simulate the exam environment as closely as possible.
Director of Learning & Teaching