Learning better, more efficient and easier – forgetting less

During conscious learning many focus on marking the information, repetitive reading and „the more in a short amount of time, the better“. Exactly this kind of approach is little helpful or efficient. This is the result of the latest American meta-study. Being afraid of mistakes as well as having a negative tenor like e.g. “I will never learn this” are also part of it.

How to do it more efficient and easier is described in this study as well. Therefore the psychologist John Dunlosky at Kent State University in Ohio – and colleagues – checked around 7000 studies that tested different learning techniques practically.

What works is – in short – the following:

Self-testing and active repeating of the information, being pestered with questions on the topic and finding answers

Learning by portion: rather little information during a long time span than plugging much information in a short amount of time

Explaining why-questions: finding the sense of the information

Positive feelings during knowledge acquisition, i.e. learning can/must absolutely be pleasant, for instance in shape of a game as a quiz, interchanging with others. Fun and light bulb moments are often underestimated ingredients for a learning cocktail to agree with.

Result: A diversified blend of methods is the best guarantee for a strong memory. Diversity is more sustainable!


A detailed conclusion about learning better and more efficient is to be read in the latest edition of the psychology and brain science magazine “Gehirn und Geist” (10/2013) and can also be obtained –in German language – on the Internet:


The author’s overview is presented here:



Hope you found these findings interesting!

I’ll see you in a few weeks!