The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Professor says memorization worst strategy for reviewing

By Jayln Sneed/reporter

Vince Lembo, SE Campus psychology professor, presented several tips on how students can study more successfully at Effective Study Strategies Sept. 9 in the North Ballroom, part of SE’s Learning Skills Week.

Students learned how to break ineffective study habits. Lembo told the 43 students who attended that reading is a skill, not a study strategy. He also explained why encoding information is more beneficial than memorizing, how elaboration is important and why flash cards are an efficient way to study.

“Memorization is the worst strategy ever used,” Lembo said. “When you just memorize the information, you’re just memorizing the information. You don’t actually know the material.”

Lembo discussed the benefits of encoding information and why that is a better strategy for students than repeating the same information over and over again.

“When you encode information, you have spent actual time getting it into memory,” he said. “Encoding is the No. 1 error students make when they make low grades on their tests.”
Lembo elaborated on why reading is a skill and not a study strategy.

“Reading a book to study for a test is not going to work,” he said. “A student should never have the book open the night before an exam.”

Kassandra Aguirre, one of Lembo’s students, said she was shocked when she heard that from her teacher.
“In high school, I always read the textbooks,” she said.

SE student Priscilla Gutierrez said that while she learned a lot, she was also surprised to learn that she had studied the wrong way for a long time.

“I’ve been doing my flash cards wrong,” she said.

Lembo pointed out three major points that students need to know for using flash cards. One was to always use 3-by-5-inch flash cards. Second, students should see more white space on the card than ink. His third point was when it comes to definitions, students should use as few words as possible.

“Writing less on the flash cards was an important thing to know,” Gutierrez said. “The points about the flash cards stood out to me the most.”

Lembo described the environment that students should be in while studying. Where studying takes place affects how beneficial the outcome will be, he said. The place where a student studies should look more like a classroom, he suggested. A bedroom with the television on and a cellphone nearby wouldn’t be the best environment.

“All electronic devices should be shut down,” he said. “Studying for 50 minutes and then rewarding yourself with free time for 10 minutes is an effective study habit.”

Jasmine Vazquez, who attended the speech for her marketing class, said that this strategy was one that she had not considered before.

“The whole idea on studying for 50 minutes and taking a break for 10 is what I found to be most effective,” she said.

Lembo made it clear why he presented the speech and what he wanted students to gain from the experience.

“Students haven’t been taught how to study,” he said. “Most professors assume that they already know how. I want students to walk away with specific techniques on how to study better. This will help them improve their grades.”

Lembo said the information shared during the speech wasn’t only for college students.

“These strategies can be used by adults anywhere,” he said. “Teenagers and those in junior high can also use them. People can apply them in many different areas, such as at home or on the job. I use these strategies in my everyday life and find them helpful.”

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