A simple 3-step Framework using Active Recall to actually remember what you studied

A simple 3-step Framework using Active Recall to actually remember what you studied


Table of contents

I've been practicing for over 6 years how to sum up what I've learned in a day of studying and find out where I need to study more.

Along the way, I have done all sorts of things to try to get better:

And all of these things helped me a ton.

If I had to start all over again (as a beginner), this is  simple framework I wish I had on how to use Active Recall to remember what you studied

Step #1: After a day of studying, take a blank sheet of A4 paper

Lay it out in portrait or landscape format. On the far left, write all the letters from A to Z underneath each other:

  • A
  • B
  • [...]
  • Z

You should now have 26 letters and lines.

Step #2: Set a timer for 5 minutes

Write down everything that comes to mind about your topic. Do not go chronologically from A to Z, but crisscross whatever comes to your mind.

E.g., learning about "Building resilience":

  • M: More challenging things
  • F: Find resilient friends
  • V: Vipassana meditation
  • etc.

The first word must begin with one of the letters you haven't used yet.

Step #3: Make the ABC list after each studying day

You can take out all the ABC lists one day before the test. You can look over the most important parts of each learning day to reactive your memory. It looks like this, for example:

  • ABC List Day 1: Subjects 1, 3 and 4
  • ABC List Day 2: Subjects 2, 8
  • ABC List Day 3: Subjects 9
  • etc.

You have now summarized the most important points for yourself.

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