Massed and Distributed Practice for Studying

Stressed out the day before the test because you just don’t have enough time? Or, having trouble getting good grades on tests? Try this instead of your regular cramming the night before:

In preparation for a test, most students look over the material briefly a couple days before the test, but they don’t hit the books hard until the day before. Studies have shown that this is not beneficial to long term learning. There are two types of studying as dictated by memory research: Massed and distributed practice. Massed is short bursts of studying while distributed is spreading the studying out over time. This has been shown to help students remember more information down the line which will be helpful when the cumulative final comes around.

Study for short periods of time over the course of 3-5 days (or more) before your test–this will help you retain the most information long term.