Have we been taught the wrong way to study for all these years?
For high school students It’s the season for AP tests, finals, and tests like the SAT and ACT. But college and graduate school students are also going through the same study motions.
Notecards, crib sheets, highlighting, isn’t that what we are supposed to do?
A NY Times Opinion article “There Are Better Ways to Study That Will Last You a Lifetime” challenges the way most of us learned to study. The premise, offered by author Daniel T. Willingham: “Students get studying wrong because they don’t assess whether a method works in the long run. Instead, they pay attention to whether the method is easy to do and feels like it’s working while they’re doing it.”
Willingham’s focus in his assessment is that the superficial nature of how most students study, rereading notes, or textbooks, doesn’t get to the most effective goal of understanding the meaning of the content.
“And so, as students reread their textbooks, the increasing familiarity makes them think they are learning. But because they are not thinking about the meaning of what they read, they aren’t improving the knowledge that actually builds understanding.”