How I ACE my Exams with the ACTIVE RECALL STUDY METHODAug 07, 2023
- In this video, I'll talk about four different ways you can use
recallor quizzes to get better grades. Then at the end, I'll talk about the most common mistake students make when it comes to
activememory. (techno music) Hey, welcome back to the channel. If you're new here, my name is Mike. I'm a doctor working in California and co-founder of RemNote. This is another video in our series on evidence-based learning strategies where Matty and I take the research in cognitive and neuroscience and help you apply it in your studies to get better grades.
So if that's something you like, definitely subscribe for weekly videos. So in this video, we're going to talk about how to use testing, also known as active memory. I assume you already know this strategy, but in case you don't, check out this video here where we delve into the science behind why it works so well. I'd probably watch that video first to get some context. Then come back here when you're ready to put the techniques into practice. The easiest way to use active
recallis to ask practice questions over and over again. I remember in medical school, if you ask any student, they will tell you that the best way to
studyis to just ask a bunch of practice questions.
What I would do is ask the professor or seniors who have already taken the class where to find the best practice questions and best practice tests. If you are studying for a standardized test, I recommend spending some money on purchasing a question bank. This is an investment that is totally worth it. A second way to use quizzes is by creating flashcards. Quizzes require you to reach for your notes while trying to remember the information and making flashcards is the perfect way to do this and is my favorite way. But the best part about using flashcards is that you can also implement repetition and spacing at the same time, as we'll see later.
A third way to use quizzes is through buttons on a note-taking app. I do it in RemNote, but you can do it in any app that has toggles. Basically, you write the questions and then nest the answer below the question where you can't see it. Test yourself and then check your answers after you've tried to remember them. The reason I don't like the alternating
methodas much as flashcards is that you can see all the topics listed on the page. If you use flashcards, you'll never know which one will be next, so it will always keep you on your toes.
But with the changes, if you remember the order of your lectures, you may have a false sense of truly understanding the material. A fourth way to use evidence is through elaboration. Basically teach or explain the concepts. Teaching helps you learn the information. This is the teaching effect or the protected effect. But the thing is, you don't really need to teach anyone else. You can learn yourself in front of the mirror or you can teach your stuffed animals. The important part is that you actually put your ideas into words. You can't just teach it in your head, you have to say it out loud, write it down, or type it.
But make sure you don't exaggerate your notes when you're teaching. This forces you to express the ideas in your own words, but if you want to take it a step further to really test yourself, you can apply the Feynman Technique. Imagine you are teaching a five-year-old child. You have to use simple words so that the five-year-old child understands and you have to constantly ask yourself why. So, for example, let's say he's learning about this medication. Well, this medicine treats asthma. Because? Because it helps you breathe easily. Well why? Because it relaxes your airways. Because? Because it binds to this receptor in the body.
Because? You keep wondering why, because that's what a five-year-old would do. This really helps you break down your concepts into their simplest parts and make sure you're not overstating your notes. Now let's talk about a common mistake that students make when using active recall. Many students incorrectly assume that they should not begin self-testing until they have learned all the information. Well, actually, you can start testing at any time. It could be after, it could be during, it could even be before you learn the material. If you start self-testing before you learn the information, such as through a pretest, this could be very helpful because you will gain the benefits of the hypercorrection effect.
This is when you thought you knew the answer to something, but then you end up getting it wrong, making you more likely to remember the correct answer once you get it. So, use pretests to prepare your learning beforehand, then use the Feynman technique during the process as you read the material, and then when you're done reading, you can use flashcards, like RemNote, to test yourself. And here's how you can use testing in three ways at every step of the learning process to your advantage. Very good, if you enjoyed this video, we would appreciate it if you shared it with your friends.
Watch this video here if you want to learn different ways to implement spatial repetition in your studies and watch this video here if you want to learn different ways to implement interleaving in your studies. If you want to chat, follow us on Twitter or Instagram and send us a message. As always, thanks for watching and I'll see you in the next video. (techno music)
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