Every college student and high school student believes he or she has honed a set of highly effective, useful study skills. I used re-reading, lots of summarizing, note-taking (and outlining), and taking the little tests you would often find at the end of a chapter to help me remember the material I just read.
Nobody taught me how to study this way. It was just something I did through trial and error in trying and discarding multiple techniques. For instance, I tried highlighting, but it did little for me.
Of course, psychologists and other scientists have been testing effective study techniques now for decades. Being far more clever than I, they’ve actually run such techniques through the research ringer, and have come out with some effective study strategies.
Just last month, another group of researchers decided to take a look at all of that research, and boil down what we know about the most effective methods for studying. Here’s what they found.