What is active recall? (Facts, Uses, Study Optimization)

Learning is best done with active recall. Using active recall, I have coached many students to improve their study. In this article, I will be sharing with you my practical experience about active recall, and how it can help you in your learning.

What is active recall? Active recall is a process of learning information, whereby information is being transferred from short-term memory to long-term memory. Through active recall, an information is being strengthened within the mind. This makes recalling of the information in future faster and easier.

Below I will share about the essentials you need to know about active recall, and ways you can start implementing active recall in your learning. In addition, I will talk about different ways you can implement active recall into your study session.

Facts about Active Recall

Active recall is a process of remembering information. It is an efficient learning method to stimulate the memory, which makes it productive when used in studying new topics. The memory stimulation is encourage from the effort taken to recall an information, which happens through repeated testing. This emphasis of effort differentiate it from other approach of learning.

In contrast, passive learning, also know as passive review, requires less effort. The process of passive review can be reading of a study material. Beyond reading and going through the material once, no further action is taken. As such, it requires less effort than active recall.

In the case of passive review, the information learned will mostly be kept in the short-term memory. If no further action is taken, the memory will soon be easily forgotten.

When it comes to recall an information, active recall will do better than passive review. The difference of effectiveness between active recall than passive review in learning will be greater the longer the time has passed. 

While so, active recall and passive review are not mutually exclusive. They can be used together to achieve a new study objective. For example, the initial exposure to new learning material will require passive review to identify learning points. Thereafter, you will know the learning points to engage in active recall.

For you to learn efficiently and effectively, you will need to understand and master the art of active recall. Below we will cover the strategies and techniques to use active recall effectively in your study.

Simple Steps to Start Active Recall

The idea of active recall involves the remembering of information. To do this effectively, there are numerous strategies. We have narrowed down and simplified into a systematic step-by-step approach that you can easily follow.

3 steps to start active recall:

  1. Prepare the information
  2. Schedule time to do active recall
  3. Ask questions and repeat testing

(More Details Coming Soon…)


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