Research has shown that more work does not equal better information recall. It should come as no shock that some methods of studying and learning are simply more effective than others, but you may be surprised to find that scientists by and large agree on one method as the best of all – spaced repetition.
Spaced repetition is a study method that emphasizes the repeated review of information at increasing intervals over time to improve long term recall. Put simply, short study sessions over a topic should be repeated very frequently at first, then less and less frequently as time goes on.
The first few days and weeks of frequent review cement the information in the brain longer, and as time goes by the goal becomes simply to review the information before the brain starts to forget it. As long as that review is maintained, the information will be easy to recall. And the longer that the information is maintained, the less frequently it needs to be reviewed in order to remember it.
One study even found that the number of review sessions wasn’t the predictor of the best retention rates, but rather the intervals at which review sessions were completed. The study found that the information should be reviewed just before the brain starts forgetting it, and not just on a uniform time table. In the end, studying more often didn’t generate any greater results than studying less frequently but at the most appropriate times.
Essentially, less can be more.
But how can you know when those magic moments to review are? Well, to be honest, it would be difficult to pinpoint them all with exact precision, but there are plenty of tools out there that can help. In our opinion, the best tool of all for spaced repetition is flashcards.
As a leading provider of advanced test-preparation materials, UWorld integrates these evidence-based methods into our products to give you the best resources for your exam prep. The UWorld Roger CPA Review Flashcards are not only tailored to the most relevant and important information on the CPA Exam, but they are also integrated with spaced repetition best practices to help you learn as much as possible without wasting any of your precious time.
Don’t believe us? Do a quick internet search for spaced repetition. It’s real, and it works. So we’re putting it to work for you.