Do you take notes in class? Do you have exams coming up soon? Do you want to know how many times you have to review your revision notes until they stick in your long-term memory?
The answer is simple.
Five times repetition equals long term memory. Say that with me again. Five times repetition equals long term memory. It is as simple as that. My grandfather always taught me to stick with the K-I-S-S principles (keep it simple, stupid) and you know what, revision notes are as simple as that!
- The first repetition should be 24 hours after first learning the material.
- The second review should be one week later after the initial learning.
- The third review of your notes should be one month after the initial learning
- The fourth review should be six months after the initial note taking
- Then finally, the fifth repetition, one year after the initial learning.
Read carefully for this part, because this is the place that most people go wrong: When you first learn the material, you review your notes 24 hours after you learnt it. Then, you review your notes one week after you first learn it. Not one week after you review your notes the first time. Get it? One month after the initial learning, not the last review.
I know that if you are studying for an exam or something coming up soon, you will obviously not have the time to go over your revision notes one year after you learnt the material. However if this is something complicated that you really want to stick for the rest of your life, then do it. Or if you want to learn something off by heart (eg. a poem, or quote that you really like). Also if you have end of year exams covering the curriculum for the whole year.
If you follow these guidelines you will be able to transfer whatever you want from your short-term memory, to your long-term memory. Here is a real fact: Your brain has unlimited memory. You would have to live forever, twice, to fill up only half of it's memory capacity! Now isn't that nice to know. So remember: Five times repetition equals long term memory!
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