How to make your brain remember better using Spaced Repetition (with PDF)

Have you noticed how quickly you tend to forget what you have learnt? You might have paid attention in class, but by the time the exams approach, you feel like you have never heard of it before. 

Well, I don't know about anyone else, but I've noticed this often happening to me. And that's when I found out about the Curve of Forgetting and Spaced Repetition. 

How to make your brain remember better using Spaced Repetition (PDF included)
How to make your brain remember better using Spaced Repetition (PDF included)



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    The Curve of Forgetting

    The curve of forgetting shows how information is lost over time when there is no attempt to retain it. Usually, there is a decline of memory retention over time. 

    So basically, we tend to lose or forget the information we've learnt over a period of time, unless we take conscious action to retain the information.

    Doing spaced revision at regular intervals can help beat the Curve of forgetting.

    What is the Curve of Forgetting?
    What is the Curve of Forgetting?


    What is spaced repetition?

    Like every hero, spaced repetition (our story's hero) also has an origin story. Spaced revision originated from the Leitner method, which was put forth by Sebastian Leitner. 

    The initial concept of spaced revision proposed that flash cards would be reviewed at increasing intervals. 

    Spaced repetition essentially means spacing out multiple revisions of a particular topic from the time you first heard it (maybe in class) till the exams.

    Implementing spaced repetition helps to ensure that your memory is able to retain information gathered a long time ago. 


    What is spaced repetition?
    What is spaced repetition?

    What is the Leitner method?

    The Leitner method is a flashcards system, wherein, you divide, for example, a whole chapter into questions which are written into flashcards. 

    These flashcards are placed in 3 boxes. During the first revision, you should go through the flashcards and try to recall the solution on your own. 

    If you remember the answer correctly, the flashcard gets "promoted" from box 1 to box 2. If you get it wrong, the flashcard remains in box 1. 


    Steps in Leitner method of flashcards
    Steps in Leitner method of flashcards


    Similarly, at the next revision interval, when you go through the flashcards in box 2, the correct answers get "promoted" to box 3, while the wrong answers get "demoted" to box 1. 

    Any correct answers from box 1 get promoted to box 2. 

    Steps in Leitner method of flashcards
    Steps in Leitner method of flashcards

    The flashcards in box 1, which are the incorrect answers will be revisited frequently, while the flashcards in box 3 need to be revised maybe only once more before the exams. 


    Summary of Leitner method
    Summary of Leitner method


    How to do Spaced Repetition?

    Though spaced repetition is mostly done via the flashcards system, another good way to revise is through active recall. 

    Active recall simply means reading a question and forcing your brain to remember the answer. Flashcards are of course a method of active recall.

    The method I use for spaced repetition is answering mock tests. I am a Chartered Accountancy student, and ICAI (our Institute) gives out 2 sets of mock test papers before each exam. 

    I either attempt that or I use the mock tests provided by a website called CA Test Series. They correct the answer sheets also, so I am not self-correcting my answers and I know exactly where I stand. 


    How to do Spaced repetition
    How to do Spaced repetition


    Which are the best intervals to do spaced repetition?

    The most optimal intervals (as per studies) are known to be 1 day, 7 days, 16 days and 35 days. 

    Chartered Accountancy students, however, tend to start studying at least 3 months before the exam. So the intervals I follow are - 

    1. the day on which I learnt
    2. 1 day after date 1
    3. 1 week from date 2 
    4. 1 month from date 3
    5. 1 month from date 4

    Every revision does not have to be in-depth, detailed studying. You only need to skim through the material quicky and check to see if you can remember most of the things.  

    Best intervals for doing spaced repetition
    Best intervals for doing spaced repetition


    Best apps for doing Spaced Repetition

    Though some would argue ANKI is the best for spaced repetition through flashcards, I would not recommend it because I don't follow flashcards system myself (I sometimes do make physical flashcards though!) 

    In terms of spaced repetition apps, I prefer the ones which remind me of when my next revision is due. My recommendations for this are - 
    • ReminDO
    • Space
    • Review

    Best apps for doing spaced repetition
    Best apps for doing spaced repetition


    Spaced Repetition Planner PRINTABLE

    I did make a spaced repetition printable, which you can avail by clicking here. Of course, you can always make it yourself and it is not necessary to get this printable. I just wanted a cute version of the planner :) 

    This PDF can be printed out or used digitally. 

    Spaced Repetition printable
    Spaced Repetition printable


    Don't forget to follow me on my Instagram, where I put up bite sized informative posts from time-to-time, and my YouTube channel, for study and stationery related content. 

    Please let me know if you have any queries in the comments below!
    Keep creating! Keep planning! 💞


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