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    How to Combine Active Recall and Spaced Repetition to Study for the Boards

    Studying for board exams can feel overwhelming with the vast amount of information you need to remember. Using effective study techniques can make a significant difference in how well you retain and understand the material. Two powerful methods are active recall and spaced repetition. In this article, we'll explain what these techniques are, give examples of how to use them, and show you how to combine them to successfully prepare for your board exam.

    What is Active Recall?

    Active recall, also known as active retrieval, is a learning technique that involves actively stimulating your memory during the learning process. Rather than passively reading or highlighting text, active recall requires you to generate an answer to a question from memory. This process strengthens neural connections and enhances long-term retention of information.

    Examples of Active Recall

    1. Flashcards: Write questions on one side of a flashcard and answers on the other. Test yourself using the flashcards by attempting to answer the question before flipping to check the answer.
    2. Practice Questions: Use practice questions or past exam questions to test your knowledge. Try to answer without looking at notes or textbooks. Med-Challenger provides blueprint based question banks that allow you to test your knowledge first and review answers and detailed explanations later. 
    3. Self-Quizzing: After reading a section of your textbook or notes, close the book and write down everything you remember about the topic.
    4. Teaching: Explain a concept to someone else. This forces you to retrieve and organize your knowledge, ensuring you understand the material.

    What is Spaced Repetition?

    Spaced repetition is a learning technique that involves reviewing information at increasing intervals over time to exploit the psychological spacing effect. This method helps enhance long-term memory retention and is particularly effective for studying large amounts of information, such as for board exams.

    Example of Spaced Repetition

    1. Initial Review: Study the material today.
    2. First Interval: Review the material tomorrow.
    3. Second Interval: Review the study material again in three days.
    4. Third Interval: Review it again a week, and so on, increasing the time between each interval. Med-Challenger's Board Review courses provide an easy way to track what material you covered and when.

    Combining Active Recall and Spaced Repetition

    Combining these two techniques can make your study sessions more effective by enhancing memory retention and the understanding of concepts. Here’s how you can do it:

    Create a Study Plan:

    • Identify Key Topics: Break down the exam blueprint into manageable sections.
    • Initial Learning: Use active recall methods to learn new material. 

    Schedule Reviews:

    • Daily Reviews: Review questions and concepts every day. Focus on the ones you find most difficult. Med-Challenger's Board Exam Simulators with adaptive learning ensure you are presented with the topics you need to review most.
    • Weekly Reviews: Revisit each topic at least once a week, using active recall methods such as self-quizzing and teaching.
    • Monthly Reviews: Schedule comprehensive reviews of all topics monthly. Use practice tests to simulate the exam environment.

    Adjust Based on Performance:

    • Track Progress: Keep track of which concepts or topics you struggle with and need more frequent review.
    • Modify Intervals: Based on your performance, adjust the intervals for spaced repetition. Review difficult topics more frequently and easier topics less frequently.

    Consistent Practice:

    • Stay Consistent: Stick to your schedule and make adjustments as necessary. Consistency is key to making spaced repetition and active recall work effectively.
    • Incorporate Variety: Use a mix of different active recall methods to keep your study sessions engaging and comprehensive.

    Using active recall and spaced repetition together can improve your memory retention and make your study sessions more effective. These techniques help ensure that you’re not just cramming for your board exams but truly understanding and remembering the material. Med-Challenger integrates seamlessly with these study methods. Implement these strategies today to boost your confidence and performance on the board exam.