Our brains control us. Brains make all the decisions, and all our actions depend on our brains. However, there is a lot more yet to be discovered about the brain. The brain has complex functions, most of which we don't know about. Some of its primary functions are- memorizing things (even the complex ones), doing calculations, creating associations and likewise. Our brain controls even our day-to-day actions like walking, talking, etc.
Some people are god-gifted. In comparison, the majority needs to train and polish their brain to achieve these skills. But have you ever thought, why is it important to train our brain? Well! A well-trained brain is critical in the field of learning. If your brain is not refreshed, it won't be able to work at an optimum level . It would become difficult to grasp things.
What is Active Recall?
Teachers generally ask students to revise and recall after completing a chapter. Active recalling is a much more advanced variant of the word "recall." It is the process of recalling a concept or a topic actively. Active recall refers to "matter of the mind," whereas recall could have different meanings. In general, anything that we learn is stored in short-term memory. It is easy to forget things when stored in short-term memory. But, if we practice active recall, the things stored in short-term memory move to long-term memory. Imagine turning the pages of your text book and before you move on to the next page, you try to remember the info on it.
This technique will help remember things for the long term. You will be able to retrieve things easily whenever needed. For example, at the time of giving the exam, test, or someone asking you a question.
Difference Between Review and Active Recalling
Review is a step you perform before recalling, or we can say it is the first step to recalling. For example- when a teacher asks you something, what do you mean by photosynthesis, for instance. You can not answer this question unless you don't have a proper understanding of photosynthesis. You first need to identify and think about what photosynthesis is related to, then plot your answer. You will have to search about photosynthesis and the process of how plants make their food. Reviewing is something you opt for when you are not able to remember something.
On the other hand, active recalling is remembering things without help from textbooks, materials, etc. It is retrieving things using the stored memory in your brain. Active recalling is tougher than reviewing because you don't have any notes to refer to. It is the reason why many people face difficulties in remembering stuff. If you cannot memorize or remember things without any help, then it's not active recalling. You may term it as reviewing.
Advantages of Active Recall
Active recalling has many benefits. Some of them are listed below:
- Active recalling helps to manage time better. During examinations, time management is critical.
- Active recalling helps in answering the questions in no time. With the help of active recall, you can remember things very well and can answer in very little time. You can solve known questions quickly, and you will have more time to give more challenging questions.
- Active recall helps to score better. It is evident that when you recall things correctly, it ultimately increases your score.
- Active recall raises your confidence. You feel more confident when things are on your side. Especially in examinations, you feel more confident when you can recall things. It boosts your morale.
Active recall is adequately done only when you have a better understanding of a subject. For this, you need to study the subject thoroughly. So that when you are stuck, you can recall it easily. You can do the following things to memorize things actively-
- Make a list of questions once you complete a topic.
- Make proper notes.
- Never keep questions and answer together.
- Form structured answers
- While recalling the answer, never peek into the book, notes or other resources.
- Look at the cheat sheet only when you are exhausted from calling answers.
Active recalling has many benefits when done in a proper and structured manner. Active recalling makes your brain sharper and boosts your self-confidence. You can refer to the previously mentioned points for better active learning and recalling process.