3 Most Effective Learning Tips for Students

Practice Retrieval

It is the most powerful way to study. We have to practice getting information out of our brains. It often feels clunky and slow, but it will increase how long and how much of the information you can learn.

Space out Retrieval

Forgetting is part of the learning process. Your brain needs time to forget a little between study sessions. The length of these gaps depends on the material and how close you are to an exam. Allowing our brains to forget a little can feel like we are going backward. But the more effortful retrieval helps the information stick better.

Interleaving Practice

Study different types of problems and concepts. Mixing things up will help your brain connect more ideas. Seeing subjects out of order also mimics much more of a real-life experience. Interleaving often feels slow and counterproductive because we are stopping the flow of learning, but we are training our brains to learn deeper and make better connections.

Other Learning Strategies


Explaining the information in our own words and connecting it to something else that you already know or how it relates to your life. This is a potent tool because students are allowing the brain to build off of something that it already knows and generally an idea that is visual and tangible.


Generation is when we attempt to solve a problem before the solution is offered. Students can also practice generation by trying to answer the end of chapter review questions before reading the chapter. Generation is straightforward in math and science as students can work problems before class lectures.


Reflection is a metacognitive activity that helps students examine what they know, are fuzzy on, and where they are still lost. Reflection can help students strategize around how they can fill their knowledge gaps.


Calibration is being able to accurately access what we know. Accurately gauging our learning is a tough thing to do because we are susceptible to illusions of knowing. When quizzing ourselves, we need to take the time to make sure they know the subject matter. Group studying, attending office hours, and practice tests can be very helpful in calibrating our knowledge.




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