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Be a Sponge and Absorb All That You’re Reading


How active are you when you read? Do you tend to highlight sections in the text to return to later? Or do you take notes on items you think will be important for what you’re learning? Some just keep re-reading their textbook for class until the words start to blur together, possibly not the best way to read for class.

Try instead taking a break from what you just read and testing yourself on it. A research study was conducted by a Purdue University professor on this method of absorbing information. They had some students read the sections multiple times, others had 5 minutes to read then had to write an essay then read the same passage and try to write a better essay. The last test is called retrieval practice or “testing effect”. According to this study those that used the retrieval practice retained 50% more information.

[Explore degrees in education, and get a working knowledge of 21st Century best practices and relevant national standards for educators.]

It doesn’t have to be a big undertaking to take a few minutes away from your reading to test yourself. Maybe use the section headers for quizzing yourself, or take a stab at that weeks assignment before handing it in after a few minutes of reading, then return to it after reading through the entire section.

[Related reading: DIY Education]

– By J. Mason