Learning Techniques That Actually Work

If you’ve returned to college and need learning techniques that actually work, these research-based strategies are key to a more effective academic experience.

Content by Meilee D. Bridges, Design by Adam Cohen

Need more study tips?

ReUp Success Coaches are here to listen and help you brainstorm learning strategies tailored to your individual needs. Your support team is available by phone, text, or email. Would you like guidance on achieving success—both inside and outside the classroom?

Text Version

Learning Techniques That Actually Work

Space it out (aka spacing)

Review materials and notes a day or two after class meets, not right after. Spread your studying out over shorter sessions across multiple days before an exam.

Switch it up (aka interleaving)

Mix up the topics or strategies you’re learning. Instead of studying AAA, BBB, and CCC in blocks, try approaching it as ABC, CAB, and BCA.

Bring it back (aka retrieval)

Put away your reading and notes. Write down or say aloud as much detail as you can from memory. Verify what you recalled against your class materials.

Draw it out (aka dual coding)

Study the diagrams, timelines, and flow charts in your materials. Create and label your own to clarify specific parts of the concepts you’re trying to learn.

Nail it down (aka concrete examples)

Illustrate abstract concepts with concrete examples to explain a topic. Consult your professor, TA, or peer tutor to make sure you’re on the right track.

Flesh it out (aka elaboration)

Ask questions about course topics. Look for answers as you’re reading or taking notes. Connect concepts with other classes, current events, daily life, and memories.


Need more study tips?

ReUp Success Coaches are here to listen and help you brainstorm learning strategies tailored to your individual needs. Your support team is available by phone, text, or email. Would you like guidance on achieving success—both inside and outside the classroom?