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Thursday, 11 December 2014

MUST READ - Study Tips: The Power of Spaced Study

Many students ask me this golden question:

"How to manage my study so I can remember my notes and excel in my exam?"

Here is my answer: we study by utilizing our brain. So, we need to understand how it works. According to Aamodt & Wang (2011), all the brain need is a well-spaced time.

Most of us would study according to this graph (every red dot is the study/revision session):

The students tend to postpone their revision until the very last minute. In other words, they procrastinate. I understand most of the students love the feel of adrenaline rush due to impending exam, Unfortunately, that is not the right way to study. Here are the three main reasons:

  • Our brains are not machines that can store information like memories in computers. Our brain is biological - like a tree, it needs time to grow and flourish. 

  • Our brains memorize by connecting brain cells into certain specific neuron path. And that needs time. That's why when we study last minute. even not sleeping the whole night, we would forget most of what we studied, because the neuron paths are simply not yet complete.

  • Our brains need a quality time to to shape and retain the memory. That's why we need a well-spaced time between our study schedule. This is because we memorize not during our study, but during our sleep and leisure time. That's why you frequently remember things/ find brilliant ideas during your shower.
"Singing in the shower..!"

Here is the graph of a well-spaced study:

By doing this well-spaced study, you give your brain the precious time to convert the information learnt into long-term memories. Now you know the secret of study - you just need to be consistent.

To prove my point, I asked the A-score students during an education research for my M.Ed. They would answer that being diligent (rajin/ 勤奋) is the key, not being born brilliant.

I realize most of the readers of my blog are not students, but teachers and parents. Here are final, golden tips for you to tell your students/children:


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