As a candidate for the CPA Exam, you’re going to have to memorize a lot of information. So, if you’re studying for an exam that requires some serious memorization, wouldn’t it make sense to study using the method that experts broadly agree is the best tool for memorizing information?
It’s not some kind of magic trick and it doesn’t mean you’ll never have to study again, but it does mean that the time you do spend studying will be more efficient and effective. So, what is it?
It’s called spaced repetition. Also known as retrieval practice, spaced learning, or the spacing effect, the principle is simple. The more you practice remembering something, the easier it will be to remember that thing.
For example, someone may think of their wedding day often and remember it fondly. Many details of the day will stick with them for decades because they have recalled it so frequently. On the contrary, a random Monday at work will likely be forgotten quickly because you don’t spend time actively recalling the events of that day. In the same way, the more times that you force your brain to recall a piece of information, the easier it will be to remember that information in the long run.
Here’s how it works:
Make a Schedule
For every new topic that you study, you will need a schedule. For example, you listen to a lecture and take notes. A few hours later, you go back through your notes and recall the information that you learned. The next day, you review again. Then every other day for a while. Then once a week. Then once a month. Eventually, it will get to the point that recalling that information is effortless. But consistency is absolutely vital.
Study for Efficiency
The indicator of a good study session is not how long it was but how effective it was in helping you learn information. For each review session mentioned above, you should allow only a set amount of time before moving on to another topic. Generally, between 20 and 30 minutes is ideal. This keeps you focused, keeps your brain engaged, and prevents you from burning out. If you study one topic for too long, your brain starts to retain significantly less information – that’s the opposite of what we want. So keep it short, but make it worthwhile.
What do these “review sessions” actually look like? Well, it can take many forms, but by far the greatest way to facilitate spaced repetition studying is by using flashcards. UWorld Roger CPA Exam Review Flashcards are a digital tool that is already incorporated with spaced repetition techniques and in the course product. When using our flashcards, newer and more difficult concepts are presented more frequently and older, less difficult concepts are displayed less often. The spacing of how and when the flashcards are introduced has been proven to increase retention and strengthen memory recall.
Using digital flashcards also requires active, instead of passive learning. The active learning aspect of flashcards requires you to test your memory; hence, “retrieval practice”. The spaced repetition of CPA flashcards and constant testing of knowledge is all a part of active recall. As a result, your brain creates stronger neural connections, which in turn improves memory retention, and ultimately increases the speed of learning.
The experts all agree, spaced repetition works, and it works better than anything else. Our goal is to help you succeed, so we’re putting this evidence-based learning technique to work for you. Unlock the full potential of your brain with UWorld Roger CPA Review.
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