Is less review better?

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#1 14 July, 2017 - 11:56
Joined: 10 months 2 weeks ago

Is less review better?

To improve accuracy I used to do two reviews of the words I learned. Lately I started doing only one. At first this lowered my accuracy. But I still think it is better to do only only one. Here is why.

With enough review every locus will be recalled. With only one review only the loci that have properly placed images will stick. I mean with good interactions etc. So one review forces me to use proper technique. Thus wIth only one review I will get better feedback on which loci I messed up. Because I will go blank on the sloppy loci. So I think in time my technique will improve faster if I do very little review.

So the basic idea is that I will try to improve accuracy by better technique and not by more reviews. Am I on the right track here?

14 July, 2017 - 13:36
Joined: 4 years 8 months ago

Your thought process definitely has a great deal of merit, in my opinion.

That said, I think there is more to consider. You don't mention how long you wish to retain the info. Temporarily? Permanently?

If you want to retain the information temporarily only, it is very possible one review may be enough. If you want to retain the info for a longer time, I would expect that a few reviews may be needed. Even so, the underlying principle you are bringing up still applies.

When you are trying to move something into long term memory, (I believe) the optimal plan is to wait until the memory is just beginning to deteriorate. Retrieving and relearning at this strategic moment helps consolidate the memory and lock it in to long term memory. As I understand it, retrieving more frequently than this can actually be counterproductive as it keeps you from reaching this strategically desirable state. You might like to read the book, Make It Stick [] to get a clearer idea about this topic.

Anyway, your approach brings an additional element into play, which I like very much. Deliberately reducing the amount of retrieval practice in order to force oneself to optimize one's encoding technique. I have never thought about it before, but there is a line between essential retrieval practice to consolidate learning and excessive practice to compensate for bad technique.

I wish I had thought of that decades ago when I first started practicing mnemonics.

To answer your question, I definitely think you are on the right track, but you will need to experiment to see what is the optimal minimum number of reviews.

14 July, 2017 - 15:14
Joined: 10 months 2 weeks ago

The goal is not permanent storage. I want to memorize temporarily. Similar to competitions, memory league etc. Thanks for the comment.

14 July, 2017 - 18:12
Joined: 5 years 9 months ago

It varies. Some top athletes review and some go through one time. You just have to stick with one for a while and compare it to the results of the other way. There isn't a clear winner to which way is better or not. It comes down to what you prefer and how much you practice.

17 July, 2017 - 05:00
Joined: 10 months 2 weeks ago

Thanks, I tried practising with and without review. I am not good at memorizing without review yet, so the results are not very good. But still I think it is a good practice. It gets you out of your comfort zone. It forces me to approach loci in a different way. To early to tell which method will win at the moment.

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