Want to learn better, scientists suggest to drop the highlighters. Remember countless study nights, staying up late just to try to earn better grades. Highlighters, from blue, green, yellow, pink, to orange; we are using all different colors to differentiate the importance of lines in the textbooks. According to Harvard Health, “in some situations highlighting can prevent us from using knowledge to make inferences in the future.” Highlighting and other common studying strategies include underlining and rereading, are found not effective in learning.
Harvard Health Publishing suggests four science-backed ways toward better learning.
Quiz yourself frequently on the material you read.
- Make flashcards of the important topics
- Generate Q&A to quiz yourself regularly
- Keep retrieving knowledge from memory.
- It will prevent forgetting and allow you to identify areas you do not know to focus future study.
Space out your studying and quizzes.
- Space out your studying and quizzes by hours, days, weeks, and months.
- As you gain mastery over the material, keep spacing the quizzes further apart.
Quiz yourself on different topics in each study session.
- don’t just study the chapters in order.
- Mix in questions from different chapters as you study.
- Interleaving, or alternating topics, will improve your ability to remember and apply information in the future.
Ask yourself questions while you are reading.
- These can include “Why?” questions. Asking why will help you process the information you are reading and apply it in future situations.
- Questions can also help you process and make meaning of the information you have just read.
Reference: Harvard Health Publishing