Study strategy: Master easy stuff first
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Study strategy: Master easy stuff first

When organizing your training plans, make sure learners tackle the easiest information first.

Memory researchers say putting the easy stuff up front is the most efficient learning strategy. Students who use this approach end up doing better on tests than those who don’t.

This prioritization process seems to have three benefits:

  • It creates quick victories that build momentum. The early momentum gives learners a running start for tackling tougher concepts.
  • It builds a minimum base of learning. So if the learning gets interrupted, learners don’t have to start over from scratch. They’ll already have achieved some mastery.
  • The task of prioritizing is valuable in and of itself. The process repeatedly activates memory retrieval, which boosts the likelihood of remembering later.

As a trainer, help learners create an easy-first study strategy.

For example, say: “What do you think will be the easiest part of this to master? Work on that part first, then move on to the more challenging
material.”

Schwartz, B., et al. (2011). Four principles of memory improvement: A guide to improving learning efficiency. The International Journal of Creativity & Problem Solving, 21(1), 7-15.

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