Spaced Repetition

map of asia

Ok, so I happen to know the location of every non-island country in the world. I’m not great on the island nations, but I get 100% every time on quizzes like this one.

The interesting thing here (or, the thing that I’m writing about today, regardless of whether it’s interesting) is that a few weeks ago I did NOT know all this stuff. I also didn’t know, but do now, the names and locations of the major bones in the human body. And I know a lot more Microsoft Word keyboard shortcuts.

It’s all by using a system called “Spaced Repetition,” which is designed to put facts into your long-term memory.

The idea is that we forget things at a predictable rate, and the best time to refresh your memory about a fact is just before you forget it. Here’s basically how it works:

You learn a fact: The keyboard shortcut to Copy something is Command-C.

Ok, so the next day, using this system, you’re asked: “What’s the keyboard shortcut to copy something?” Do you remember it? How easily did you remember?

If you found it difficult to recall the answer, then you’ll need to be asked that question again soon. If you found it easy, then you can wait awhile before being asked that question.

Because the system attempts to only ask for facts that you’re about to forget, you only need to study for a few minutes a day. Literally, 5 minutes some days, 2 minutes other days. If you do that for a couple of weeks, those facts stick.

I downloaded a free app called Anki, but I mainly have been using Give it a try.

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