Information review refers to the effort you put into remembering and solidifying the information you have recently learned. Certain lessons are very easy to remember immediately once exposed to them. This is the case with case studies and real life examples.
Subjects such as psychology are an excellent example of this as they contain experiments which are not too difficult to remember. Many know of Pavlov’s experiment with the dog because it is very easy to imagine. If you don’t know of it, you can look it up and you’ll see that you’ll very likely be able to re-tell it to someone the day later.
Experiments and examples are simple to remember, but learning the detailed processes behind them are trickier, but they too can be learned if one conducts proper information review.
Good notes are key to good information review
This is often mentioned in any type of learning but notes are vital! They allow you to highlight the most important parts of the subject at hand, and are to be used after that process is completed. The key to good information review are good notes. Without them, you will be forced to take the slow path and either study through books and transcripts, or re-do the note-writing process until it is sufficiently effective.
Information review should be a habit
A lot of people make the mistake of writing down a bunch of notes for later use, and what’s worse, they don’t even take time to polish and re-write them in a cohesive manner.
The main mistake is that people use all notes collectively and attempt to learn all the information at once. Not only is this highly difficult and straining for the person, it also simply doesn’t work. You should make a habit of reviewing information regularly for it to be absorbed properly.
Studying the night before an exam doesn’t work
If you didn’t study once in the three months of lectures, and didn’t review your notes, if you try to learn all of it in one or two days, you will fail. In that case, you are relying on luck to guide you because your brain will absorb fragmented information. What’s worse, you’ll actually believe you are well-prepared because you invested a great deal of time and you’ll believe, “surely I remembered a lot.” But that is not true.
If you study all night and attempt to use that information the next day, you’ll mix up sentences and titles that have the same beginnings. This is much like attempting to use acronyms to remember information. Whilst this is useful for a few cases, if you attempt to learn fifty lessons using acronyms, you will fail because your brain can’t possibly absorb that much information. Sure, it could after a month, but you’d get better results if you actually worked on understanding the lesson through repetition.
Test yourself frequently
Once a lesson has been completed and processed, be it in a school environment or with any sort of knowledge you are attempting to gain yourself, it needs to be refreshed every now and then.
Test yourself by asking questions on lessons you have already passed. You can even write down the most vital parts of lessons, or the questions you should always know the answer to. Questions such as “what is Physics” or “what is a DNA chain composed of” are good examples of questions you simply must know if you are educating yourself in such fields.
Visualize to learn easier
We all learn differently, but I think it’s safe to say that is very much like splitting hairs. Sure, some of us prefer reading notes, others prefer to read and study directly from the book, but visualizing the material you are learning helps everyone.
Visualizing content essentially means learning the material with understanding. Learning it by just remembering how a sentence starts and ends is pointless, unless you are learning a poem. You must do your best to visualize the core meaning behind every lesson you are learning.
This type of thinking doesn’t only apply to studying but also life in general, because, as the old proverb states, it is pointless for someone to give you the fish, but it is beneficial if they teach you how you can catch it yourself.