Learning technique experience with retrieval practice

For the past few weeks, I have been working on implementing the retrieval practice learning strategy into my daily study habits. In my opinion the experiment has been a success and retrieval practice has improved my study habits for the better. I felt more confident going into my tests and I felt my studying was much more productive using this technique. I also enjoyed learning the material compared to before and have felt that my memory of the material has improved. I hope to implement retrieval practice even more into my studying in the future. In order to implement the learning strategy I have been adjusting my behaviors in order to improve my study habits using retrieval practice.

One of the behaviors I have implemented is leaving more time to study before a test, in order to have more time to do practice questions. This behavior has left me more time to prepare for my tests which has made me stress less the night before. I have also been able to get a full nights sleep before my test which has helped my brain learn the material better and helped me approach the test more energized and awake. Since I had more time to do practice questions the benefits of retrieval practice took full affect and when I did my evaluation I felt much more confident and had a better grasp of the material. In the future I think leaving even more time before an evaluation will highlight the benefits of retrieval practice even further.

The second behavior I implemented was creating practice tests to test my knowledge by both creating and completing the test. I found this technique to be really useful and was a much more innovative way of learning the information. In order to create challenging questions I needed to have a real understanding of the subject matter which helped me greatly when it came to the test. I can also keep the practice tests that I have made and use them to study for the exam. I tried to create questions that we harder then the homework so by the time I did the test I felt over prepared. I think this behavior was the most influential in improving my test scores and making my study habits more efficient.

The third behavior I changed to implement retrieval practice was taking a ten minute break every hour in order to not overwhelm myself. I felt that these breaks served me well and I was able to study for a long period of time without burning out. In the future I think taking less frequent longer breaks may help me more, like taking 20 minute breaks after an hour and a half. I think the longer breaks will be more effective and allow me to fully refresh before starting up on another round of studying. However in the end I think the breaks were definitely an improvement and allowed me to study for much longer periods of time.

Implementing retrieval practice definitely produces positive results and I think it would be wise to continue with it in the future. My marks on tests using retrieval practice were higher then my marks before, and I felt much more confident going into those tests. My sleep pattern also improved as I was no longer staying up so late trying to review material that I had already learned. This also helped to lower my stress level and allowed me to approach evaluation with a calmer head. Overall I think I was very successful in implementing the strategy and I hope to continue using it in the future. I believe with a few tweaks I can perfect the strategy and do even better on future evaluations.


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