How to Use Active Recall for Long-Term Retention

Active recall is a learning technique that involves retrieving information from memory without cues.

  1. You generate answers to questions about the material from memory.
  2. This self-testing forces information into long-term memory storage.
  3. The act of recalling information strengthens the memory traces in your brain.

The benefits of using active recall include:

Long-term retention
Regular self-testing helps commit information to long-term memory.
Deeper understanding
Having to recall information reveals gaps in your knowledge.

To use active recall:

  1. Create questions about the material you want to remember.
  2. Cover up the answers and generate your own answers from memory.
  3. Check your answers and identify areas of confusion.
  4. Repeat the process over time with increasing intervals.
  5. Use flashcards, quizzes or study groups to test yourself.

In summary, active recall is a powerful learning technique that can boost long-term retention and understanding.

By generating answers to questions from memory, without cues, you force information into long-term storage and strengthen the connections in your brain.