Ever had to study for one of those big tests that’s literally months away but there’s just so much material that you HAVE to start now? Spaced repetition is the answer: it helps engrain all the information into long-term memory, so you won’t have to keep learning the same thing repeatedly; you only will need to learn it once! Sounds too good to be true; right? Let’s dive right into why using spaced repetition will level up your studying game.

What is Spaced Repetition?

Spaced Repetition System (SRS) is a learning technique that involves reviewing information at gradually increasing intervals. The spaced repetition system is based on the principle that we tend to forget information quickly if we don't review it but that we can gradually increase what we remember by constantly reviewing it at spaced intervals, such as every hour, every day, every other day, and so on and so on. Every time that you get a question wrong, you will need to start the cycle over again so it can permanently remain in your memory.

The spaced repetition system can be used to learn various things, including language vocabulary, academic subjects, and skills. It is a particularly effective technique for learning new vocabulary, grammar, and facts since many rules and definitions must be committed to memory for them to be the most effective. 

Spaced repetition is a powerful tool that can help you to learn more effectively and efficiently. Here are just a few ways that spaced repetition can help you greatly:

  • Improved memory: Spaced repetition helps to move information from your short-term memory to your long-term memory, making it easier to remember and recall later on.

  • Faster learning: Spaced repetition helps you to learn new information more quickly and efficiently.

  • Better retention: Spaced repetition helps you to retain information for longer periods of time.

  • Reduced cramming: Spaced repetition eliminates the need to cram for exams or presentations.

How To Use Spaced Repetition

There are many different ways to use spaced repetition. One common method is to use flashcards. To create flashcards, simply write down the information you want to learn on one side of the card and the answer on the other. Then, review your flashcards at spaced intervals, starting with frequent reviews and gradually spacing out the reviews as you become more familiar with the information. 

However, this can be time-consuming, and no one is keeping you accountable for reminding you to review. It’s too easy to forget! That is why using a spaced repetition app or website is key for spaced repetition to give you optimal results. 

Knowt has a flashcard study mode called spaced repetition where you can customize it if you choose - you select the day of your exam or test, how often you would like the intervals for the spaced repetition to be (such as the questions to keep getting right to be every 4 days, your hardest questions every day, etc) and then the question types you would like. And bam! That’s all you have to do. Now, just review the questions at the required intervals and you’ll be spitting out definitions in no time. 

Anki vs. Knowt Spaced Repetition

Similar to Anki, Knowt’s spaced repetition feature uses a carefully designed SRS algorithm based on the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve that aims to help you retain information over a longer period of time. However, as someone who has tested out both sites, I would say Knowt makes up for many of the shortcomings of Anki.

On Anki, there’s a lot of manual input for customization which isn’t super intuitive. In like that on Knowt you can input a test date (even if it’s an estimate) and it automatically creates the optimal spacing intervals to ensure you learn all the cards in time for that exam.

Anki’s user interface is also really hard to navigate in my experience. It looks pretty archaic with a lot of grey boxes and confusing input boxes. Knowt’s overall interface to make flashcards and study them is a lot more friendly and pleasant, which is pretty important considering how many hours I spend staring at my flashcards. 

The biggest difference between the two sites for me, however, was the variety of study modes offered. Both Anki and Knowt let you study flashcards for free, however Anki only has spaced repetition while Knowt has spaced repetition, learn mode, flashcard mode, practice test mode and an interactive matching game. So, if you’re someone who prefers to pick different study modes depending on your exam dates or your mood that day, Knowt is definitely the way to go there.

Spaced Repetition Tips 

  • Choose the right material to review. Not all information is created equal. Some information is more difficult to learn than others. When choosing material to review, start with the most important information and the most difficult information.

  • Review at spaced intervals. The key to spaced repetition is to review information at gradually increasing intervals. This helps to move information from your short-term memory to your long-term memory.

  • Be consistent. The more consistent you are with your spaced repetition reviews, the better your results will be. Try to schedule time for spaced repetition reviews every day, even if it's just for a few minutes.

Here are some additional tips for using spaced repetition:

  • Use active recall. When you review information, try to actively recall it rather than simply passively reading it. For example, you could try to answer questions about the information or to explain the information in your own words.

  • Use mnemonic devices. Mnemonic devices are memory aids that can help you to remember information. For example, you could use a song, a rhyme, or a visual image to help you remember a piece of information.

  • Take breaks. It's important to take breaks when you're using spaced repetition. This will help to prevent you from getting burned out. Try to take a break every 20-30 minutes of study.

Final Thoughts

If you're looking for a way to improve your learning, spaced repetition is a great place to start. It's a simple but effective technique that can help you to achieve your learning goals more easily.

Spaced repetition is a powerful tool that can help you to learn more effectively and efficiently. By following the tips above, you can get the most out of spaced repetition and achieve your learning goals.

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