Everyone knows you have to review it to remember it (no matter what “it” is), but reviewing doesn’t have to take long.
Do little reviews even during class or while you’re reading.
For example, during a class lecture the entomology professor explains the distinguishing characteristics of the order Diptera, the true flies, and then gets sidetracked by some dweeb asking questions about how bug-zappers do their magic. You take the opportunity to cover up your notes and try and recall those distinguishing features of Dipterans.
Or, perhaps you’re reading your textbook on Medieval Latvian Mortuary Practices. The author has provided you with a beautiful chart outlining crypt stylistic differences from the early to the late Medieval periods. Look over the chart carefully, then immediately cover it up and try to recall it. QUIZ YOURSELF.
These tiny reviews during the initial learning process really lock information into your brain. That means less time spent reviewing later on!
In general, you should do a brief review at least once per page you are reading when trying to process a textbook.
Imagine that there will be a pop quiz at the end of each page. Do the same for each page of class notes, although you may have to review even more often, since your class notes should be more information dense than most texts.
The mini-review doesn’t have to take very long at all; usually just a few seconds is sufficient.
At first, you’ll find it challenging, but keep at it. Soon you’ll be paying much closer attention to what you read in anticipation of the mini-quiz you know is coming.
Mini-reviews are a very simple way to make sure your paying attention and noting key points as they come up. You’ll find they really supercharge your recall!
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