How to study to pass your exams: ACTIVE RECALL
Updated: May 13
I am sure that all of us have wondered before how to memorise information and not forget everything the next day. But how do we do this? Using active recall is one way. You might have heard about it, or you have been using it for a long time, possibly unintentionally.
What is active recall?
Active recall is a principle of effective learning, which actively stimulates memory during the learning process. It helps to transfer information from the short-term to the long-term memory.
But really, what does it mean?
It means that during every step of the revision process you retrieve information from your memory and test yourself. Recalling data ensures a better ability to retain information while also developing new connections between different concepts.
3 ways to use active recall:
1. If you take notes:
Familiarise yourself with the topic and then instead of copying try to take your notes with a CLOSED book. After you wrote down as much as you could, open your book and fill your notes.
2. If you don’t take notes:
In case the material is easily available for you, don’t copy everything. Instead, make questions and try to answer them instantly. By using this method, you will not only engage actively with the material, but you will already have many answers memorised for your next exam.
3. Using flashcards:
Making flashcards gives you the ability to test yourself anytime, anywhere. There are quite a few apps available that allow you to make flashcards on your phone. Using apps not only makes the whole process more environmentally friendly, but many use an algorithm that includes space repetition. Spaced repetition prevents you from forgetting the material by asking you to recall the information in specific intervals.
One more thing:
Active recall takes EFFORT. You will get tired faster than you usually do while learning passively. It’s okay.
It is WORTH it!