John Dunlovsky, Strengthening the Student Toolbox: Study Strategies to Boost Learning

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I teach many students who stubbornly insist that they revise best simply by re-reading their notes.  I have also known students to ignore their notes altogether and instead revise exclusively by reading the textbook, despite my warnings that the textbook in question does not cover the whole syllabus and/or includes limited amounts of the necessary detail.  I have tried explaining why re-reading isn’t an efficacious way to revise, and am met with claims that ‘it works for me’ or ‘it’s been fine for other exams’.  Last year I made a list of students who I knew were doing practice questions as part of their revision programme because I was curious to see if these students would do better than those of similar ability who refused to revise in this way.  They did.  The list was only for my own interest, of course.  I didn’t turn round to students on results…

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