How to Use Spaced Repetition to Remember What You’ve Learned

Do you have a knack of forgetting things after an interval of time? Do you forget things you learn? Well, I know the answer will be yes. So, this happens with almost all of us that we sometimes forget the things we learn or memorize after a certain while. In today’s world with a busy schedule, we have to remember a lot of things, and at times it becomes difficult for us to keep them in our memory for a relatively long time. This forgetfulness has become a habit of many people. What if I say that I have a way to solve the problem of Forgetfulness. So, here in this article, we will provide you with the best method to solve the problem of forgetfulness.

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What Is Spaced Repetition?

Suppose we learn something new, and we only remember a fraction of it and the rest is forgotten. Studies show that a student forgets 90% of what he/she studies in a class of 30 days. This forgetfulness generally starts within a few hours of the first class. The only way to sharpen your memory to retain things for a more extended period is through spaced repetition. Spaced repetition is a process where when you learn certain new things, and you repeat the memorizing of those things after an interval of time. Suppose you learn a new chapter, you again repeat it the next day and then after a long duration say one week and then again you repeat the memorizing after an even longer duration, say one month. And this Process of recalling what you learnt after a time gap is called spaced repetition.

When you try to learn or review something after a day, then after a week and again after a more extended period, you remember more of it. This spaced repetition can help you increase your power of remembrance. If you want the spaced repetition to work, you have to recall what you have learnt before not just open the book and start learning again.

Spaced repetition is an advanced learning technique which is used to when a learner has to remember many things at a time. Spaced repetition uses flashcards to help a person learn and memorize faster.

If you think repeated learning of the same stuff is a waste of time, then you are wrong. If repeatedly recall what you have learnt at an increased interval of time, you may retain more of what you have learnt. It will also help you increase your retaining power.

Spaced repetition works when you recall at an increased interval. Suppose if you learn something new, recall after one day then after one week and then after one month. But if you recall after one day but I don’t recall again after one week then you will forget everything that you have learnt. The repeated recalling and the long intervals may seem quite unsettling. But you need not worry because you can decide how many times you want to recall. And you can even change the interval between the recalls as suitable for you.

Spaced Repetition In Daily Life

We use spaced repetition in our day to day works such as we remember the phone numbers of the people we call regularly. We remember our bank account number, which is almost ten to eleven digits. We remember our grocery list easily. We remember the password of our phones. This all is because of spaced repetition.

Have you ever thought about how some people, including yourself, can recall certain numbers such as bank account numbers or mobile phone numbers very easily and quickly even though you haven’t used them for a long while. This is because of spaced repetition. We might be unaware of it, but we use spaced repetition when we login into our social media accounts or call someone. Even though we don’t use them for a longer duration still, our brain retains those passwords and numbers because of spaced repetition.

How Spaced Repetition Works

No one till date exactly knows how spaced repetition works, but there are certain factors that prove that spaced repetition is useful, and those factors are:

  • Learning and Forgetting are Linked Together: When we learn something new and recall it just when we are at the verge of forgetting it, our brain forces our memory to recall the things again and add new details to it. This is the reason why practice papers and teaching others help the students in remembering more what they have learnt.
  • Our Brains Give More Importance To Repeated Information: This is a very general thing, If we recall something on a regular basis we will remember it for a longer duration than things which we learn or see only once. Despite the fact that any information be it easy or difficult, we always recall the information that we need on a regular basis. This is because of spaced repetition, and our brains give importance to that information which we recall almost daily.

Steps Involved In Spaced Repetition

An effective spaced repetition has the following steps involved in it:

  • Review The Notes: Make sure you review your notes within 20-24 hours of the initial learning. During this recall process, try not to look into the notes. Instead, try to recall what you have learnt. Always keep in mind that you have to recall the notes and not re-read them.
  • Recall For The First Time: After you have successfully reviewed the notes, try recalling them for the first time. During this recall process, try not to look to the notes. Try recalling the notes while walking, sitting or before going to sleep.
  • Recall The Notes Again: After the first recall, keep on recalling the notes again and again at an interval of 24-36 hours. This time the recalls won’t have to be lengthy ones a short and brief recall will do.
  • Study The Notes All Over Again: Once you are done with the above steps, wait for time to pass. Again after a week or two, take the notes out and study them entirely all over again. During this, try to observe how much of the notes you can recall.

So, these are the steps that once can follow for an effective spaced repetition.

Uses of Spaced Repetition

Spaced Repetitio can be used in our day to day life. We can use spaced repetition in studies, or while practising pronunciation, we can also use spaced repetition in increasing our vocabulary. Here I have mentioned some of the most important applications of spaced repetition;

  • Pronunciation Practice: One can use spaced repetition while practising to correct his/her pronunciation. While practising pronunciation, one can add words to his/her list and try recalling them at increased intervals. When you practise the words in your list for 2-3 times at irregular intervals, you will observe that you can pronounce almost 90% of the words in your list and that too with 95% accuracy.
  • Vocabulary: Increasing vocabulary in English is challenging. It is considered more difficult than correcting pronunciation. But with the help of effective spaced repetition, one can easily increase his/her vocabulary.
  • Reading: We can also adopt spaced repetition while reading novels or storybooks. I adopt spaced repetition while reading books. What I usually do is when I read a book, I highlight stuff that I like. Then next, I would go through the lines that I have highlighted for 2-3 times at an interval of 2-3 days. This helps me retain my favourite lines more quickly.

If used correctly, spaced repetition can be of great help. An effective spaced repetition can help you retain your favourite lines from a book or your study materials and much other stuff.


As we read in the above article, how spaced repetition can be beneficial in our daily life. Spaced repetition technique is a boon for humankind. It helps us to increase our memorizing power, and it also helps us in retaining most of the stuff that we read. At last, I would like to say that with the help of spaced repetition, we can do many things such as increase our vocabulary, correct our pronunciation and most importantly increase our remembering power.

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