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Six Strategies for Effective Learning

September 19, 2023

Here is a brief overview of the six scientifically proven strategies for effective learning from the Learning Scientists. Do you want to learn about these strategies and how to apply them when you're studying? Attend a STRIDE Workshop or book an appointment with a Peer Success Facilitator!

Spaced Practice

No cramming! Spread your study time across the week, month, and semester. Create a study plan or a specific schedule that includes allocated study time for each course every week. Keep reviewing older material as you check new material as well.


Don’t study from chapters 1 through 10 in order; mix it up! Study topics in different orders, forcing your brain to review and recall information harder. This is how you know your brain is actively studying. Make connections between the topics you are learning as well.


Elaborate on a specific topic or concept with as many details as possible. For example, elaborate on chapter 5 by explaining everything you know about chapter 5 and how chapter 5 relates to the other chapters, your lectures, other courses, or your previous knowledge of the topic mentioned, etc.

Concrete Examples

Find a concrete or understandable example for an abstract idea (such as definitions, general concepts, metaphors, etc.). These examples can be found in lectures, textbooks, from your professor or classmates, or made up yourself. If you find examples online, ensure the example is correct with your professor.

Dual Coding

Combine words and visuals. Combine diagrams and flowcharts with paragraph explanations, combine definitions with pictures, etc. Also, compare the visuals found in course materials to the associated words.

Retrieval Practice

Test yourself! You must practice recalling information, as that is what you will be expected to do on a test or exam. Practice tests, flashcards, testing each other in study groups, etc., are all great ways to practice recalling information. Make sure to put all your notes away when you are testing yourself, as this will let you know what you have mastered and need to work on.