Fang Talks

30 10 17

Repeat, later

In my journey to study what has scientifically been proven(!) to be the hardest language, I’ve been reading a lot about studying efficiently.

As most of us might recall from our glory days in high-school, studying for a test by continuously hammering the material into your head is great for passing the test the very next day. For long term recall though, not so much. To really get things to stick, you get better results if you take huge breaks in between repetitions.

Apparently the brain is best at solidifying a memory when you recall it just as you are about to forget it. I’m guessing that’s at the point where the line between short and long term memory lives. So instead of going over the material ten times in an hour, you go over it once, and then return two hours later. What do you still remember? Take a look at that again in three hours. Forgot something? Go over it again a bit sooner.

Not only does this help with recall, it keeps you from getting bored and thus effectively wasting your time. Fifteen minute chunks of study a couple times a day are perfect. Sitting down for two hours of it… Well, you know how that feels.

Anki is really useful for this kind of learning, if your material fits on flashcards.
~ Fang


  • 02/11/2017 (2:14 PM)

    I’ve never been much good at studying. That’s probably why I sucked at learning Japanese. But you talking about it is inspiring me to give it one last go.

  • 31/10/2017 (3:19 PM)

    I’ve never given it much thought (or if I have, I’ve forgotten), but I do believe that’s how it works for me. I tend to study a little bit over multiple days instead of cramming, and my recall is better for it.

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