Study methods improve grades more than memorization


Graphic by Justin Gwaltney

As a study method, flashcards actively engage students more than memorization according to Central Penn College, which moves learning into long term memory, providing students better retention for tests throughout the school year.

Usually, the biggest assignments that affect a student’s grades are tests, quizzes or finals. These assignments require students to remember what was taught over a certain section or period of time.

Some of these tests, like history or English, involve memorization and just knowing the information that is being taught. However, just memorizing the information is not actually helpful for being able to pass the test.

The most important part of learning new information is the ability to retain that information for longer periods of time than one rush memorization session. This is apparent when it comes to math and science, as the formulas students learn through the course of different math lessons will contribute to other math lessons, and being able to remember these formulas from past tests or quizzes will continue to help.

Such study methods, like using flashcards to remember vocabulary words or events in history, as well as completing practice problems to remember equations and formulas for math and science will work much better than just memorizing the words to pass the test.

When it comes to the end of the year, and finals have to be completed, with some of them being cumulative, a student who has used the correct study methods will have a better chance of retaining the material for the final.

I have had personal experience dealing with the challenges of only memorizing information for one test. When I only memorized the information for one test, I did not retain that information when it showed up on the cumulative final.

When it comes to the next test or quiz that needs to be completed, focus more on studying and retaining the information, and worry less on memorizing it in the moment just to get the easy A.