Am I remembering, or just recognising?

This is the second entry in the Lift Off series, a 30 day countdown to Cambridge International Exams by Launch Pakistan.

Recall versus recognition

Scenario 1. You have made beautiful notes. Everything is in order, and you have read everything multiple times. All you need to do is absorb.

Scenario 2. The crisis is hitting the fan. You have managed to steal someone else’s notes. You are trying to convert them into a magic pill that you can swallow in order to expedite the process.

In both scenarios, the crucial thing is, if I sat you down in a scary room with a blank piece of paper, how much would you really remember? In both scenarios, you need to start absorbing, fast, and you are more likely to do this if you quiz yourself than if you pore over your (or someone else’s) notes and textbooks, even for the (deceptive) easy parts.

Flashcards will bring you out of your comfort zone

Make flashcards. StudyBlue is a great resource for environmentally conscious human beings with ugly handwriting. It also has a handy app. StudyBlue will allow you to quiz yourself and will even generate scores!

Go shopping

If you’re a more write-by-hand, motor-memory-kinda-gal, make a trip to the ol’ Durrani & co. Chances are, you’ll find some new swanky stationery that just in from China. Develop materials that will allow you to quiz yourself, and for others to quiz you.


Flashcards force you to really think.

They make the hard parts easier. They make it stick, and allow you to learn most effectively.