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Spaced repetition: a hack to make your brain store information

James Gupta
The Guardian
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The well-tested study technique of reading through a textbook repeatedly is ineffective at helping knowledge retention. It is completely misaligned with how our brains actually work

Spaced repetition

  • Use flashcards to test your memory recall.
  • If you recall something correct, move the flashcard to a section you revisit less frequently.
  • If you don't recall something, revisit the flashcard more often.

Understanding the brain

  • The brain does not store information in the same format as a computer does and we have very little control over it.
  • Memories are made up of many different connections in different locations across the brain.
  • The brain's capacity for learning new things is limited to 5 to 7 pieces of new information at a time.

Hacking the brain

  • Recalling information more frequently and recently will strengthen memory connections in the brain, similar to exercising muscles.
  • By spacing out recall, you're strengthening connections over time for long-term durable retention.
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