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Spoon-Feeding Your Long-Term Memory

September 1, 2018

Written by Clay Smith

Test to Learn

Sounds strange, but you actually learn from taking a test.  It does something in the brain called retrieval practice.  Once thought to be a skill only possessed by the Labrador retriever, retrieval practice is something you can do too!  No jumping into an icy cold pond for a dead duck.  No, this retrieval practice is much easier.  Testing forces your brain to retrace its steps and work to retrieve the memory you made when you first learned the information.  And it locks it in long-term memory much better than just re-reading the material again.  So if you want to remember what you read with minimal effort, you’ve come to the right place.  Think of it as spoon-feeding your long-term memory!

Enough already…where is this quiz you speak of?


So…last week, I switched (after posting) from Polldaddy to Google Classroom, which left much to be desired.  This week should be better.

By the way, people learn best when they get information little by little.  If you only get one email with all the articles on the weekend, you might want to switch to get an article a day.  Just click the “Update Your Email” button at the bottom of any JournalFeed email and change it to the top (blank) setting where it says, “Leave this blank to get all content each weekday.”

Also, if you didn’t see the book review on ALiEM of make it stick: The Science of Successful Learning, take a look.