Monday, January 13, 2014

Long gaps during revision 'better than cramming'


All-night revision sessions are not the best approach to exams, says research

There is bad news for anyone relying on last-minute exam cramming, as psychologists publish research showing that learning is much more effective when spaced out over stretches of time.
The study from Sheffield University examined how more than 850,000 people improved skills playing an online game.
It showed leaving a day between practice sessions was a much better way of gaining skills than continuous play.
Researcher Tom Stafford says this reflects how memories are stored.
Prof Stafford, a psychologist from the University of Sheffield, was able to analyse how people around the world improved when playing the Axon computer game.
Day break
He found a clear pattern showing that people were more successful when gaps were left between sessions of playing.
Leaving a day between sessions did not weaken performance, but strengthened it, says Prof Stafford.
This is because it makes better use of how the brain stores information, he says.

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