Like most students, you’ve probably crammedthe night before an exam.
然后发现 效果还不错 甚至非常棒
And after it, you probably did OK or maybe you even did well,
but did you remember any
of what you learned after the exam?
One evidence-based way to better remember what you
’ ve learned is through Spaced Repetition,
or spacing out your learning and practice of new knowledge or skills.
Although this might seem novel, this is hardly a new concept;
it was first described in 1885
by a German psychologist named Herman Ebbinghaus.
Here’s how it works.
Say you plot your retention,
or how much you remember of something, vs. time.
Now you learn that something on day 0.
Without reviewing it, the “ forgetting curve ” will look
like an exponentially decaying curve,
which is kind of scary!
If you review (or better yet actively retrieve)the material at increasingly spaced intervals
after learning it,
那么 遗忘曲线就会开始变缓 你的记忆
then the forgetting curve starts to flatten out and you ’ ll get a lot
better longer-term retention. Now,
the goal here is to review the material at the right time.
It turns out that the best time to revisit information
that you are trying to learn is
right around the time you would naturallyforget it.
Since forgetting typically follows this exponential curve,
the trick becomes timing your study
sessions around it. Practically,
this means having more
widely spaced intervals between study times for the
material that you are more familiar with,
and shorter intervals between study sessions
for material that you are less familiar with.
While this strategy would be effective for all fields of study,
it is especially important
for students in the medical field,
who have to retain key knowledge and skills in order
to care for their patients.
Kind of frighteningly,
one study found that without spaced repetition, after one year
medical students forgot up to 33 % of their basic science knowledge,
and after two years,
more than 50%!
But when students and residents applied
spaced repetition strategies in their studying, they
significantly outperform their counterparts,
with some studies showing close to 40 % greater
Knowing about spaced-repetition is one thing,but what about applying it?
Students—especially those in the healthand medical fields—have to remember hundreds
or even thousands of “bits” of knowledgeand skills.
Because of this, it would be incredibly hard
for them to keep track of when they should
revisit each piece of information—especially since each bit
of information will follow
its own learning curve.
This is why researchers and software
developers are using computer algorithms to try to help
students optimize their studying.
These algorithms help you learn
by sorting information based on your responses to questions—so
if you get a question wrong,
they will automatically prioritize that information for repetition
over the information in questions you answeredcorrectly.
In doing this,
these algorithms can actually reduce your overall study time by making sure
the time you are spending studying
for your exams isn ’ t wasted on studying information
that you can already reliably recall.
One of the best parts of spaced repetition is
that it suggests that we can gain a lot
by studying smarter, not necessarily longer.
With just a little more organization or forethought on your part,
you can achieve a whole lot
That said, spaced repetition means
challenging yourself to apply your learning right at the
point where you ’ re starting to forget it,
and that can sometimes be kind of hard! So,
just know that if a spaced repetition regimen feels difficult,
that can mean that it ’ s doing
exactly what it ’ s supposed to be doing.
Okay one final point.
In some fields (like health and medicine)certain knowledge may change relatively quickly
because of new discoveries,
so it ’ s important to know the right new information, rather
than remembering the wrong old informationfor a long time.
That ’ s why you should make sure
that the tools you use to do the spacing are also designed
to help you stay current.
Alright timeto get studying.