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A Simple Technique for Active Recall

Shalev
Shalev
Hey everyone, this week I wanted to share an interesting study technique inspired by the wonderful mod Jamzy (but it’s most assuredly not his original idea). It’s a simple method of incorporating active recall into the learning process, making the passive process of watching a lecture or reading a textbook more active and effective.
The way it works is, you go through a paragraph in a textbook or a section of a lecture then stop. You then write down everything you remember into your note-taking device.
(At this point, I took the liberty to expand on the idea)
After you’ve done that you can go back and fill in everything you missed in a different color. As you progress through the material you’ll be actively retrieving the information and filling in holes in your understanding.
When you get to the end, not only will you have notes on the topic, but they’ll also be color-coded based on what was easy to understand and retain and what you didn’t get the first time around. Now you can focus on those topics that had more things you didn’t remember (the harder ones) so that you can more effectively use your time.
Admittedly, there are multiple ways to go about this, not everybody studies the same way. The things that work for some people won’t work for others. That isn’t to say that some people don’t need active recall and spaced repetition, but it does mean that the way people prefer to go about it can differ. This method may work for you, or you may prefer Anki, Notion, a google doc with questions, or a spreadsheet.
You could just use this for your first run of a topic then rely on Anki for spaced repetition, or you could use this as a manual form of spaced repetition. The way you’d do this is by creating a set of notes using this method then you’d use the titles as “questions” and update the colors as you retain more information. I haven’t tried this method but it could be useful to some people who aren’t fans of Anki.
If you get anything from this newsletter, let it be that it’s important to incorporate active recall into our studying where possible and that we should experiment with how we study to find what works for us. See you next week.
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Shalev
Shalev

Hi Everyone, I'm Shalev a 3rd year medical student studying in Italy. This is my email newsletter, every Friday I'll send out an email with a new idea I had, something I learned, or something I found interesting. I'd love to hear back from you if you have any thoughts about something I wrote.

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