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Active recall – 60 second video

Video transcript –

Active recall is the process of recalling facts from memory.  A single test after reading some text produces better learning than re-reading the text or reviewing any notes. It turns out that re-reading text over and over again is in fact a very poor and ineffective way to study.

So how do you use active recall? Before opening any books or materials, start your study session by recalling everything you know about the topic, then check whether you were correct. Next, spend time studying the material.  At the end of the study session test yourself. Finally, leave a gap before re-testing yourself again. The gap needs to be long enough (maybe several days), so that you actually forget information that didn’t make it into long term memory. 

To be most effective repeat the active recall again and again in spaced out sessions. Not only is it an essential way to build strong long term memories but it also highlights exactly what you don’t know so you can focus on those areas of weakness.

Active recall is hard and feels less productive than re-reading, but the effort produces longer lasting learning and stronger long term memories.