Many students do not know the best methods to use when studying for a test.
According to Jeffrey D. Karpicke, a researcher at Purdue University, a lot of students don't understand that they can't be looking at what they are trying to learn in order to learn it. Instead, they really need to put the material away and try to remember it without looking.
"When students have the material right in front of them, they think they know it better than they actually do," Karpicke says. "Many students do not realize that putting the material away and practicing retrieval is such a potent study strategy."
Purdue researchers call this “retrieval practice” and they claim that students should do this every night as part of their homework. Specifically, they should sit and try to remember new things they learned so far in a unit.
This retrieval practice helps to consolidate the learning into long-term memory.
A way for students to practice retrieving information without looking at it is by using this customizable vocabulary chart from SchoolFamily.com. If students study by using elaborative strategies such as webbing (which I recommend), they should also incorporate retrieval practice into their routine.
Editor's note: For more studying-related tips and strategies, check out these other blog posts from Livia McCoy on SchoolFamily.com: