By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When I was in school and studied for a test, I always reread the material to make sure I remembered it. Research shows that 84% of students report doing the same thing. Additionally, I always outlined the material.

It turns out that using a different strategy might have helped me do better. According to Jeffrey Karpicke, a Purdue University psychologist, learners tend to think “how do I get all this stuff into my head?” and don’t spend time considering how they’ll get the stuff back out of their heads.

So, if you pay attention to the research, next time you study for an exam of any type – the driving test, GRE, citizenship – use a strategy that research has found best and only 11% regularly use, quiz yourself on the material.

The interesting article in the June 6th Education Week points out that five to seven “retrieval sessions,” that is quizzing yourself, leads to the best long-term memory of a concept.

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