The Best Study Method: Lather, Rinse, and Repeat

This is the study method that I have taught all three of my daughters and that I used myself in college to get the best results on quizzes, tests and exams. I’ve laid it all out here so you can put it to work right away. Give it a shot and let me know what you think in the comments below.

Getting Started, The Lather

Soap works best when you get a nice bubbly lather. Studying is no different. To get the best results you need to really get a good lather going. In this case, lather is flashcards.

You’ll need a rich set of cards for the topics you are studying. You need to start creating them with the very first paragraph you read or problem you solve. Here are my rules for flashcards.

  1. Names – create a flashcard for any names of people, places or things you encounter in your reading. For example: Who was Albert Einstein?
  2. Facts – create a flashcard for any facts about people, places, things or events. Example: When did the war of 1812 begin?
  3. Vocabulary – create a flashcard with definitions of any vocabulary terms or words you are unfamiliar with. Example: Define Oxidation
  4. Formulas – any math, science or process formulas deserve their own flashcard. Example: What is the Pythagorean theorem?

Next up, The Rinse

Time to review your flashcards. Go through each of your cards, one at a time and read the question. Think of the answer and then check to see if you are correct. Quick, easy and simple.

Finally, Repeat

You are going to review your cards at least three times a day. Spread out your review sessions over the morning, afternoon and evening. You’ll start to see improvement right away. But, remember, this is a marathon not a sprint.

Give yourself enough time to review your cards for a few days. 100 repetitions the night before a test in a caffeine drenched cram session isn’t going to give you the results you want.

Regular repetition over several days is the optimal pace.

Tools to Help was created to be an easy to use, go anywhere, tool for studying any topic. You can create your own flashcards or learn from the thousands of cards that have already been created by Cool Flashcards students.

What are you studying today?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *