Deliberate Effort

Learning Matters #19 Deliberate effort

When revising, it is tempting to focus on the things you know and can do well, rather than the things you struggle with. But this means you neglect the key areas and do not move forward with improving your knowledge and understanding.

Cognitive science tells us that it’s far more satisfying to revise what we know, since this triggers a rewarding sense of familiarity, rather than focus on our weaknesses. Revision shouldn’t be for reassuring yourself about what you know, it needs to be the deliberate effort to identify what you don’t.

So, challenge yourself  to make a deliberate effort to work on the things you don’t know. Start simple and break it down to the basics. You can use a template like the one below

Key things to remember -

  • pace your practice out rather than cram it all together
  • practise retrieving information rather than recognising it
  • reorganise what you’re trying to learn in a variety of ways


All of this will help you retain more in your long term memory.

Learning matters. It’s why we’re here and we are here to help. Freebie Friday returns this week. Keep an eye out in the Plaza for our latest resource to help you bring your A game!


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