Improve Your Learning With Spaced Repetition


  1. What is spaced repetition?
  2. How does spaced repetition work?
  3. How do you use spaced repetition for revision?
  4. What is an example of spaced repetition?


Spaced repetition is one of the most commonly used learning techniques. It’s used in classrooms across the world. Spaced repetition, which is also known as Distributed Practice, is a powerful learning method that can improve your brain’s ability to remember what you’ve been studying. Let’s take a closer look at how spaced repetition works, and how it can help you improve your learning process.

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What is spaced repetition?


Spaced repetition is a learning technique that focuses on set time intervals between study sessions in order to benefit from the brain’s way of retaining information. It’s generally considered to be one of the most powerful methods to improve the brain’s ability to remember what you’ve studied. 🧠

This method of learning is normally done in conjunction with the Leitner system, a method that employs the use of flash cards while studying to help with recalling information from memory.

How does spaced repetition work?


Spaced repetition maximises on a memory phenomenon called the “spacing effect”. This describes the brain’s ability to retain information when learning is “spaced out” over periods of time instead of cramming all the information at once. 

Think of it like building a wall – 🧱 if you stack the blocks too quickly without allowing the cement to dry, there’s a high chance that a part of it will topple over. The spacing between studying would be like the mortar. When you give it time to properly set and dry, the chances of the wall collapsing (in this case, the information that you’re studying and trying to retain), would be miniscule.

The human brain operates in a similar way – we learn and develop our understanding of certain concepts by remembering information over extended periods of time. 

Spaced repetition aims at studying information before it is forgotten, and increasing the time intervals between studying the same material until the information has become a part of one’s long-term memory. It’s basically a brain hack – you’re leveraging our understanding of how the brain works to your advantage. 

How do you use spaced repetition for revision?


Spaced repetition is a very versatile technique that can easily be used for learning a range of different things. People use spaced repetition in different ways, but a very popular and effective tip is to use flashcards to quiz your child on whatever they’re trying to learn at set intervals. 

In order for this method to be most productive, your best bet is to organise the cards in a box or bag depending on what your child got right. 🗂️ Cards answered correctly can go into a section that you quiz them on less frequently, while cards they didn’t know the answer to should be placed in a section that you’ll go back to more often. Using the spaced repetition technique, you should soon find that your child is able to answer most of the cards correctly. 

There are also some very helpful apps and programs available that utilise the concept of spaced repetition, and they can be very effective at helping your child learn faster and retain more of the information they read. For example, Anki and Quizlet both use the spaced repetition principle to help their users learn. 

What is an example of spaced repetition?


Let’s take a look at a very simple example of spaced repetition used for learning. 

Think of a child learning the alphabet for the first time. At 8 am, you might go through the alphabet with them. 🔠 At noon, you would review the alphabet with them again. At 4 pm, you go over it again. Then, in the morning, you’ll go over it again. Before you know it, your child will be reciting the alphabet. 

No matter what your child is learning and at what level – whether it’s complex concepts or simple basics – the spaced repetition principle will help them leverage the way their brain functions in order to retain more of the information. 

For most people, the spaced repetition method is a better method of retaining information than trying to cram everything in your mind at once. You tend to lose information quickly when you try to absorb all the information at the same time. Though time consuming, spaced repetition can be very rewarding to those who are willing to make the extra effort. 🥇

With the help of the spaced repetition technique, you may be able to improve your child’s ability to remember what they’ve learned. But if your child still needs a little extra help with their studies, GoStudent is here to help! We have a fantastic group of tutors available to help you make the most of your study time, so book your first lesson for free if you could use some extra one-on-one attention. 🚀

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