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Leitner System


Studying for a test is the process of moving information from your short-term memory to your long-term memory. Scientific research has demonstrated that flashcards are the best way to accomplish this task. The fundamental principle of long-term memories is that they need to be relearned occasionally in order to survive.

A German scientist named Sebastian Leitner discovered that flashcards were amazing tools for this process of relearning. The system he developed, known as the Leitner system, is as helpful now as when it was invented. Indeed, because it is based on the way the human memory actually works, the Leitner system will be a benefit to students forever.

Leitner noted that flashcards were a great way to learn new information, but he wanted to make the process even easier. His research indicated that a great deal of time was being wasted in going over material that was already learned.

In order to make learning as time-efficient as possible, Leitner developed the following system. He separated a cardboard box into various compartments, and placed all of the flashcards one of the middle compartments. Each of the cards had a question on one side and the answer on the other. Leitner then went through the cards: if he got the answer right, the card moved forward a compartment; if he got the answer wrong, the card moved back a compartment. Soon, Leitner had divided all of the cards into two categories: those he knew, and those he did not. He could then go back and study only those cards that gave him trouble, without wasting time going over information he had already learned. As he learned that troublesome information, he moved the cards ahead.

It is easy to see how the Leitner system for learning with flashcards can save you time and stress as you prepare for an examination. With the help of a comprehensive set of flashcards, you can put the Leitner system to work for you on your next exam. You'll find that it gives you the most learning over the least amount of time!

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