The WSJ asks "What's the best way to study for a test?"

Posted by Sean Horgan on Aug 16, 2017 11:46:43 AM
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Sue Shellenbarger published an article today in The Wall Street Journal that touched on many of Firecracker's core values as a learning platform. Here are a few highights:

1. Students who excel at both classroom and standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT aren’t necessarily those who study longest. Instead, they study smart—planning ahead, quizzing themselves on the material and actively seeking out help when they don’t understand it.

2. High-achieving students take charge of their own learning and ask for help when they’re stuck.

3. Top students spend more time in retrieval practice...quizzing themselves or each other, which forces them to recall facts and concepts just as they must do on tests.

4. Retrieval practice often works best when students practice recalling the facts at intervals of a few minutes to several days, research shows.

5. Studying in general tends to be more productive when it’s done in short segments of 45 minutes or so rather than over several hours.

6. One participant’s plan, for example, called for doing practice problems repeatedly until he no longer needed his notes to solve them—a highly effective strategy.

Our platform was designed to integrate best practices from learning memory science with the highest quality knowledge needed for courses and licensing exams. We designed a single platform that supports both self-directed learners and school staff. Students can continuously assess their mastery while keeping up on retrieval practice. Faculty can easily provide their students with weekly formative assessments using our comprehensive bank of validated high-quality items. Learning specialists can quickly identify at-risk students by review student effort. Deans can measure the effectiveness of their programs relative to student performance across similar institutions. You can learn more about our platform here:

You can read the full article here:


Topics: Learning & Memory Science, Spaced Learning, Faculty, Learning Specialists, Deans

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Firecracker is an adaptive learning platform that uses amazing content coupled with spaced repetition to help medical students crush their exams. We offer programs for both individual students, and entire medical schools. If you'd like to learn more contact us at

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