David Didau delivers engaging session to Year 11 and Sixth Form students
David Didau delivered informative and engaging sessions to groups of students in Year 11, 12 and 13 on strategies to best support students achieving highly in up coming examinations. These sessions were based on recent cognitive science research. David mentioned that most students read and highlight to revise but these are not the best study strategies! These strategies make students feel like they are learning but is in fact an illusion of knowledge.
David spoke about the following strategies to support effective study, these included:
Spaced or Distributed Practice - Ensuring you are reviewing information over a period of time where practice is broken up into a number of short sessions – over a longer period of time. Year 11 and 13 have 6 months until the exams so reviewing each topic every 3 weeks will ensure knowledge is retained in your long term memory.
Interleaving - switching between topics when studying, so instead of spending an hour studying History, you switch between a topic in History, Geography and Science and spend 20 minutes on each topic. This may feel harder than reading and highlighting but is much more effective.
Self-testing - Students who self test and quiz, perform better on examinations in comparison to students who read and highlight. David recommended making flash cards for all subjects with questions on and testing yourself every week, placing the flashcards into 3 piles, I know the answer, I am unsure of the answer and I don't know the answer. Students then review the answers after this process to see if they were correct. Repeat this process every you revise.
David also advised that humans are unable to multitask and having your phone on the desk or even in the room means that your brain will use some of its working memory to think about the phone and not what you are studying! This also applies to listening to music as well, your full attention will not be on what your study if music is playing in the background. David's advice was to have your phone in another room, study in silence and to take lots of small breaks in between studying topics.