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How to Remember More With Spaced Repetition Technique

Posted on 29 Sep 2020

5 min read
How to Remember More With Spaced Repetition Technique
Remember More With Spaced Repetition Technique

Being ready to remember every important thing is a crucial thing. Daily we work with documents, texts, and different process information. To manage the amount of data, you need to possess a good “memory card.” Do you have one? In some cases, there is no need to remember everything because we have our phone or laptop on hand. But what if you forget a date or formula on the exam? In such cases, you start regretting the time spent on learning. But dedicating more time isn’t always that beneficial. Do you want to know how to improve your memory and make your brain remember more? Spaced repetition is a brilliant technique to manage all these things. Want to learn about it more? Read the article to find the remedy. 

Truth behind the spaced repetition technique

In the 19th centure, scientists had no chance to study the processes within our brain properly. There were so many reasons for such a reluctant approach to studying a human brain. First and foremost, it was the lack of technologies that hampered the process of studying. Second, those days people had different misconceptions and assumptions related to the work of the human brain. 

But Herman Ebbinghaus was the one to experiment on human memory processes. Nevertheless, others believe it was a useless undertaking, and the scientist didn’t stop. He managed to create a set of word combinations that had no association with regular words. These were one-syllable combinations. He memorized them following the different number of repetitions or the order of so-called words. When he analyzed the data, he found out that it influenced the work of his brain and memory. He called it a “forgetting curve” case. The attempts were focused on initial material reviewing. Later it proved to be an efficient method to learn and remember the material. 

Thus, today we know that there is a direct dependence between the time you see the material for the first time and the retention. The scientist developed a technique to improve the process of memorizing different materials. The technique aimed to help people remember the information better and for a long time. 

Spaced repetition technique

Nevertheless, Herman Ebbinghaus made a great impact on the scientific industry, and he was mistaken. He failed to define the nature of the forgetting process that happens in our brain. He believed that the information we remember simply disappears with time. But the reality is much more complex. 

People use their short- and long-term memory on a daily basis. Herman Ebbinghaus was supposed to work on a short memory concept and based his findings on the basis of it. But when we talk about a long-term memory, we can’t say that its traces fade away with time. Retrieval failure is that it lies in the heart of memory fading. 

When we talk about our long-term memory, we should take into account different aspects and treat the issue from different sides. Due to the lack of consolidation theory, we can take into account Herman Ebbinghaus’s learning curve and base the research on it, as well. When a person tries to remember some information for a long time by repeating it constantly, the information will be stored appropriately. Thus, you won’t be able to recall the facts other than from your storage. 

The thing is that our brain isn’t solid. It has two crucial characteristics important for understanding how it works. 

  • First is storage capacity. In our brains, there is a big network of neurons. There are also different synapses and transmitters. And consolidation helps us form permanent memory. 
  • The second characteristic is accessibility. It depends on the retrieval cues. It could be an emotion, song, taste, or smell. If it is absent, the person can no longer remember the information connected to these memory triggers. 

Does it sound weird or complex for you? If you can’t understand how it works, you can remember Sherlock. No matter what episode of the sequence you remember, there is always an illustration of these memory characteristics. He managed to remember where the thing is located and what exact flashback it bears. He knew how to delete unnecessary pieces and focused on the crucial aspects. 

The most important time intervals to remember better

You have already learned a theoretical material that stands behind a spaced repetition technique. Now it’s time to leave the background information and move to the practical part. How can spaced repetition help you pass the exam and remember the information later? With the help of this proven method, you will always have access to any piece of information. 

The time is approximate. You may need to learn the information for today’s exam, or you might need it in a week. Depending on the timing, the study gaps will have different duration. You need different time between learning sessions to make the most of the technique. 

Scientists claim that 1-day intervals work great for long memory. But you still need to keep in mind your purpose. If you have an important meeting in a week, this piece of advice will have no use for you. You will fail to present the information if you repeat it every other day. 

Specialists say that long-time intervals are better for memorizing the material. If you have two or three months for preparation, you can use 1-week spacings. This way, you will recall the material when you need it easily. If you build your wall of knowledge in a few days, it will ruin quickly. Thus, to ensure a long-standing structure, you need to take time and effort. Otherwise, you will remember the information in fragments.

Is there any analog to the system?

If you have ever learned a foreign language, you know the struggle of memorizing all those vocabulary entries. Foreign language learning requires real effort to remember everything. Vocabulary is a substantial part of language learning. But so many people hesitate to use those paper cards to remember a word or phrase. The method seems to be ineffective. With paper cards, you won’t get the desired results. Using paper cards isn’t convenient. There is an alternative to them. These are mobile apps with online cards. But the approach is the same. 

To make the learning process more effective, you can resort to the Leither Box technique. This technique allows you to recall already forgotten terms easily. This could be either a digital version in the form of an app or a paper variant. The system is the same. You place the cards in the boxes in the correct order. You should put every new word in the first box. If the next day you easily remember this word, you can move it further to the second section. If you don’t, you should get it back to the first one. If you follow correct time intervals, you won’t find it difficult at all. You use the first box every day, the second once in 3 days, for example. The third box should be used once a week. 

This is just the only example. Learning languages can be substituted with any other subject or discipline. You can use this technique to work with specific terminology for your classes in medicine. You can also remember important dates for your history classes. The technique is versatile and applicable to any course. 


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