The Huffington Post:
How did you study? It’s question I often find myself asking college students during office hours when they come by to talk about a disappointing exam score or ask for suggestions for improving future performance. One thing you learn when you ask this question is that people approach studying in very different ways.
Flashcards for key terms. Underlining. Diagrams for major themes. Writing summaries. Re-reading before the exam. There’s no shortage of study strategies available to the diligent student. And, quite often, there’s no shortage of confidence that the tactics each of us chooses are effective.
In an article in this month’s Psychological Science in the Public Interest, a team of researchers led by psychologists at Kent State University published a thorough review of empirical research on 10 commonly used learning techniques, including old standbys like highlighting, using mental imagery, and practice tests. For each technique, they explored the assumptions underlying the strategy, and then assessed what empirical research has to teach us regarding actual effectiveness.
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