Use Distributed Learning
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Knowing when and where to study is a beneficial habit to develop. The learning strategy of distributed learning encourages you to space out your learning rather than studying everything in one setting.

Think about it this way: Is it better to brush your teeth a little bit each day, or only for an hour on Sunday? It is pretty obvious that brushing your teeth every day is better than once a week. Learning is the same way. Similarly, you might be able to get through an exam by studying for long hours just before the exam, but it’s doubtful that you will effectively remember what you’ve studied.

Here is another example: If you only engaged in the gospel on Sunday, would you have sufficient power to resist Satan’s temptations the rest of the week? Could you become like God if you only practiced living the gospel one day a week? Once a week is certainly better than nothing, but it’s not enough to incorporate the gospel into your daily life to become more like God.

Tip: Apply Your Learning

If you don’t apply your learning in your everyday life, you won’t fully benefit from it. Distributed learning helps you to apply your learning into your life by spacing it out.

The principle of distributed learning is pretty simple, but there is also a biological reason for why it works. As you learned in the previous section, if you wait to allow your brain to forget just the right amount of information before you review your notes, it strengthens your learning because your brain has to work harder to retrieve the memory. Additionally, when you review the things you have learned, you add new information and make more connections to things that you have previously studied.

So how much time should you wait before you review the material? Here are some general guidelines:

  • Do an initial review a few hours after you have learned something.
  • Sleep on it and review it the next day.
  • After two to three days, review the material again.
  • To maintain the knowledge, review it every other week.
  • To incorporate the knowledge into your daily life, find ways to practice it daily.

Ponder and Record

As you review and reflect on the material above, please consider the following questions and record some of your thoughts in your Learning Journal:

  • When have you been guilty of cramming? Why did you procrastinate your learning? What was the effect of cramming or procrastinating?
  • How could you create a schedule to make sure you space out your learning?