The way you’re revising may let you down in exams

Even the most dedicated study plan can be undone by a failure to understand how human memory works. Only when you’re aware of the trap set for us by overconfidence, can you most effectively deploy the study skills you already know about.

As a psychologist who studies learning and memory, I know quite a few scientifically informed revision tips: space your practice out rather than cram it all together, practise retrieving information rather than recognising it, reorganise what you’re trying to learn. Probably you’ve heard these before

But even the best advice can be useless if you don’t realise why it works. Understanding one fundamental principle of human memory can help you avoid wasting time studying the wrong way.

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