Spaced repetition is simply studying something again, just when you start to forget it and it becomes a little more difficult.
This means that you don't have to spend all your time working on your vocabulary and is more effective in the long run at remembering vocabulary.
Check out the video below for more information.
If you have not been studying as effectively as you could be, then you are not alone.
But you don't need to have some fancy software to use spaced repetition during your study timetable.
What we are going to do is show you a simple hack that you can use to study
- Grammar Rules.
- Topics (Usually this will be used with IELTS topics).
These activities are specifically or your long term memory.
This is only one part of our series that gives students a good foundation to study English effectively.
Check out the full series here.
- What are the different stages of learning English and what do I need to focus on?
- How to practice new English vocabulary so you never forget it.
- How to make personal flashcards
- Intensive Listening: How To learn vocabulary from YouTube
- Extensive Reading: How to understand words you don't know in English
- Intensive Reading: How to build the vocabulary you need to talk to your clients
The Forgetting Curve: How Quickly Do We Forget Something?
Look, this is the forgetting curve.
This is how quickly you forget something when you first learn it.
This is why revising vocabulary consistently is so important.
Student Question: "Do I need to study the same vocabulary every day?"
No, this is over working.
Thankfully this is not the most efficient way to remember English vocabulary.
That's where the spacing effect comes in.
Check out the image below to see what happens to your memory when introducing spaced repetition.
Did you know that one of the best ways to help your learning is if you make it a little difficult(How We Learn)?
Not too difficult, but a little bit of a challenge, that added difficulty adds a boost to your learning power (Fluent Forever).
Spaced reparation is simply knowing how long to wait until the vocabulary becomes a little more challenging.
As you can see this helps with remembering long term vocabulary easily.
What this also means that you can limit your time practicing vocabulary and focus on different active learning activities.
Spaced repetition is not the only study techniques you need to be combining to learn English effective, check out all our study guides here.
Our brains loose new information very quickly, unless we regularly revise and practice what we learn.
This does not mean we need to practice everyday, in fact this is a waste of time.
Our brains are most effective at remembering something in the long term when we make it a little challenging to learn.
The best way to make it a little challenging is to practice what you learn just when you start to forget it.
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What Is The Easiest Ways To Use Spaced Repetition?
Don't worry I found a pity easy method for how to use Spaced Repetition to remember you vocabulary.
Make several different piles of flashcards...
- The red one is the cards you will be practicing everyday.
- The yellow is every other day.
- The green is every week
- Blue is every Month
- Black is every two months
This is just an example, study the red cards everyday, until you can remember the English Word or Phrase easily (be honest with yourself).
Once you can remember the flashcard easily you can put it in the above pile (practice every other day).
This way you can be adding a constant stream of new vocabulary every day, without getting overwhelmed by too much vocabulary.
Spaced repetition does not have to be too complicated.
Practice new vocabulary everyday until you can recall the vocabulary quite easily.
Once you can remember the new word start studying this vocabulary less and less (this then commits it to long term memory).
If you ever make a mistake or it takes you too long to remember the vocabulary you are studying then put it back into the study everyday section.
How Do I Use Spaced Repetition To Study For A Test?
The example that I gave you above is best used if you are learning the language for the long term.
However if you need to practice for a test, then depending on how the date of the test, then these are what I would recommend. (How We Learn)
When to practice for a test
Time To Test.
First Study Gap
If you have a test in a week, practice the words and phrases you want every one to two days.
If it's in a month then it's the same words in a week, three months it's every two weeks and so on.
How Do I Use Spaced Repetition For Practicing Grammar And IELTS?
Honestly, you will probably need a few different things to study for your IELTS exam.
New vocabulary is quite easy, just head to our article for how to make better flashcards, to get a step by step guide for how to make better flashcards and combine these two articles.
Grammar rules can be studied in the same way, however, this method is only recommended for the Second Stage Of Learning English.
Studying IELTS Topics Is A Little Different!
First you need a break down of the Topic you are studying... The best place I have found for this is TheTestTaker.com
The infographics are a great place to start from.
Ideally, you should be studying IELTS over a long period, so one topic should take you around one week, and then revised over a series of a few weeks.
However, this should then be studied throughout the week, actively, in different ways, to solidify understanding and generate a more complete understanding of the topics.
Practicing what you are studying in English is essential to remember what you are learning.
But you don't need to be practicing the same vocabulary everyday.
It's a lot easier and more effective to use a spaced repetition system for your flashcards and topics for an IELTS test.
If you need any help with knowing what and how to study on different days, then check out our study guides.
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