How to remember what you read, step two

Step two: Test yourself soon after reading

Trying to recall something does more to create a solid memory than taking a note does.

When you’ve finished an article or book chapter, stop reading. Go get a blank sheet of paper. Ask yourself to recall the most important thing you just read. Write it down.

It’s the effort to recall something that makes future recollection easier. The effort to recall is more powerful than repeating the item the way you memorized your multiplication tables. Rote repetition is helpful. So is note-taking. But self-testing is more effective than both, and less time-consuming.

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