In today’s New York Times, an article on study habits posits that variety is the key to retention. The author explains repetition and last minute cramming is not always the key to retention of new material. Instead, mixing up studying habits with self-testing, spacing out your study sessions, and even a change in where you study can help improve your performance. The more students vary their study habits, the more likely they were to retain information and recall that information on a test. Researchers theorize that the brain needs the variety to create a stronger neural impression of the information. And, in a bit of good news for those who are struggling with new concepts, the author notes that “[t]he harder it is to remember something, the harder it is to forget.”
Want to learn more? Check out, Benedict Carey, Research Upends Traditional Thinking on Study Habits, NYTimes.com (September 6, 2010).