Could your child study smarter?

The most effective study technique might not be what you expected.

Annie Murphy Paul is an expert on the science of learning. She says your hard-working child may not be working smart.

Video transcript

“A lot of students, and even a lot of parents and teachers, don’t really make a distinction between working hard and working smart, and a kid who puts in hours and hours of study time may be doing that studying very inefficiently, and not end up learning or remembering that material very well at all. The way most students study is by re-reading, and highlighting and underlining their text books and notes, and the science of learning suggests that that’s one of the least efficient and effective ways to study. So what students should be doing instead is putting away their textbooks, and their notes, and recalling that information from memory. One sort of old-school technique that is really well supported by the evidence is flash cards, because it works on that same principle that you are withholding information from yourself — you’re not reading it over, it’s not right in front of you. You have to call it up from your own mind, and the more you can generate the information yourself, rather than just passively reading it over, the better you’ll remember that material when test time comes.”

Check out Paul’s other insights and tips!

About the author