Working smarter means using your time and energy efficiently, but many students still do not use the most effective strategies. So what techniques can improve students’ long-term memory, and help them to do well in exams?
Cramming is very popular amongst students, but doing something little and often – spacing – is a much better method. This is because the time in between allows you to forget and re-learn the information, which cements it in your long-term memory. The gap between revision sessions should be between 10% and 20% of the total time you want to retain the information. If the test is in a month, you should review the information around once a week, and if the test is in a week, create time once a day.
In some cases, students may decide to dedicate a whole day to one subject and another the next day, which is called blocking. Instead, Interleaving is all about mixing up subjects and doing a bit of both on each day. This helps students make links between different subjects and discriminate between different types of problems, allowing them to identify the ideal process for each.