The Real Science behind flashcards. And: how you can help

Dominic Zijlstra
Dominic Zijlstra
Publish date
Mar 24, 2023
In the past weeks, I’ve done another deep dive into cognitive science!
This time, I set out to uncover the real science behind one of the most widely used study methods: spaced repetition flashcards.
The promise of spaced repetition is simple and appealing: improve your retention by reviewing information at optimal intervals.
But when I looked at the stats, I found that many learners over-rely on spaced repetition. 67% of students use flashcards and spaced repetition. But less than 12% take the time to organize information first. And that is where big learning performance improvements can still be made:
Effectiveness of retrieval and encoding practice, compared to actual use by students
Effectiveness of retrieval and encoding practice, compared to actual use by students
If you’re one of those learners who consistently review material, but find it difficult to see the bigger picture, or apply knowledge to real-world problems, I’ve written up a guide on how to use spaced repetition to master, not memorize.
In the guide, you’ll find the actual science behind spaced repetition as well as other effective learning techniques, and a practical way of using those methods in your everyday study process.

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