The more you practice recalling a piece of information or retrieving it from memory, the more likely you are to remember it later on. This psychological finding explains why it’s so much more effective to study with flashcards or by taking a practice test than it is to look over your notes until you feel like you know them. Getting feedback enhances the effect further. Quizlet’s study tools are designed to help you maximize the benefits of retrieval practice. Keep practicing retrieval, even after you get a question right the first time!
Learning science on retrieval
The question types on Quizlet were carefully designed to help you study effectively and efficiently. When you answer written questions from memory (instead of copying over answers), this requires effortful retrieval or “recall”, which really helps you learn. Multiple choice questions are designed to get you through more questions in less time, with the added bonus of helping you learn the incorrect answer choices. If you study with flashcards or multiple choice questions, make sure to try to recall the right answer before you look at the solution!
Learning is most effective when you get more instructional support early on, but gradually have less and less until the guidance is “faded” completely — and you’re doing all the work on your own. Quizlet provides this progression by moving you from easier multiple choice questions to more challenging written questions when you study with Quizlet Learn. When you start studying, you might get multiple choice answers correct by process of elimination, or simply by recognizing the right answer, without practicing recall like you do with written questions.
Learning science on guidance fading
Quizlet’s Learning Assistant helps you start strong when you launch a study session, by helping you set a learning goal for yourself. Self-reflection before studying can help you get the most out of your time on Quizlet, in some cases increasing test scores by an average of one third of a letter grade. The key is to be as explicit as possible about your learning goals, and keep them top of mind as you make progress!
Do you test yourself after studying, to see how ready you are for an upcoming exam? That extra retrieval practice is great, but, intuitively, taking a quick pretest before you even start studying is also a powerful way to learn better, even if you get every question in the pretest wrong. Rather than re-reading your notes or textbook, start your studying with a pretest, by using Quizlet’s Test, or through the new pretest that Learning Assistant launches before you start studying with Learn.
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