## Effective Study Strategies

**"5 Research-Backed Studying Techniques"**by Edward Kang. April 4, 2019. Edutopia

https://www.edutopia.org/article/5-research-backed-studying-techniques

The book

*Make It Stick*identifies several research-proven studying techniques.

**1. Pre-test:**When students practice answering questions, even incorrectly, before learning the content, their future learning is enhanced. Research has shown that pre-testing improves post-test results more than spending the same amount of time studying.

**2. Spaced practice:**Spacing out study sessions—focusing on a topic for a short period on different days—has been shown to improve retention and recall more than massed practice. The book

*How We Learn*explains that spaced practice can feel difficult due to an initial forgetting of knowledge—reacquiring that knowledge takes effort.

Creating flash cards that can be used for spaced practice and self-quizzing is effective. Students should create different piles when reviewing the flash cards. The cards they’re able to answer immediately should be placed in a pile to review three days later; those answered with some difficulty should be reviewed two days later; and those that they answered incorrectly should be reviewed the next day.

**3. Self-quizzing:**Testing has a negative connotation in this era of standardized testing, but it is a form of active retrieval practice. Encourage students to make test questions for themselves as they learn a new concept, thinking about the types of questions you might ask on a quiz or test. They should incorporate these quizzes into their study sessions, answering every question, even those they believe they know well.

**4. Interleaving practice:**Students may rely on blocked practice, studying a set of problems—such as multiplication problems—as a group until they feel mastery. A more effective method of studying is to work on a set of problems that are related but not all of the same kind—for example, a set of math word problemsthat call for addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. The consecutive problems cannot be solved with the same strategy. This is more effective than doing one multiplication problem after another.

**5. Paraphrasing and reflecting:**Many of us have read a few paragraphs in a textbook only to realize that we didn’t retain a single concept or key point presented in those paragraphs. To show your students how to combat this, have them utilize intentional learning strategies. These include relating what is being learned to prior knowledge, thinking about how they would explain the content to a 5-year-old, and reflecting on and asking questions about the content.