How to Be a Better Learner
Study on Schedule
Crammers, take note: Your child may perform just fine on a test after pulling an all-nighter, but the knowledge she has accrued is also more likely to be temporary. “In the long term, you’ll remember more if you force your brain to repeatedly retrieve information,” says Nate Kornell, an assistant professor of psychology at Williams College, in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The key is giving yourself time to forget—and then recall—what you’ve studied. Revisiting information that is no longer fresh in your mind gives the material a firmer foothold in your memory. And the longer you wait between study sessions, the harder your brain has to work to dig up those answers—and the more solid that knowledge becomes. In a 2011 study published in the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology, fifth-grade students who reviewed new vocabulary words at one-week intervals locked in almost three times as many words as did those who didn’t space out their studying.
When it comes to the do’s and don’ts, you’ve got lots of questions. Here, solutions for making the season merry and bright.