Daily Archives: July 2, 2013

Getting Better: Practice EVERY Day

Okay, I wrote that title knowing that the chances of anyone studying math or English or psychology or physics every day is unlikely. Even Stephen King, that most prolific of authors, only writes six days a week (but that does include holidays).

Still, the point is that consistent, focused practice done regularly is more effective than ‘cramming’ before a test or an assignment’s due date:

  • Repetition is the key to putting material into long-term memory. (Although I can’t say much else in Spanish, I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to conjugate the verb ‘hablar’ long after every other memory has faded. We practiced that verb every day in my junior year of high school.)
  • When you keep up with assignments on a daily basis, you know immediately when you’re having trouble and can get help with that particular problem.
  • By focusing on a small chunk of material at a time, you both master it and then have a foundation for the next chunk of material coming up.

Shinichi Suzuki, music education pioneer, said, “Practice on the days that you eat.” There are worst ideas.