Interleaving effect – the better way to learn

Use THIS method if you want to memorize better❗️

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If you’re learning to play an instrument or taking up a new sport, you are faced with a series of skills or concepts to learn. 🎾🎸


☝️The age-old answer is: 

practice one skill at a time. And this is how all your study books in school are made. Learning researchers call this “blocking,” and because it is commonsensical and easy to schedule, blocking is dominant in schools and other training programs. (A young tennis player practices the forehand before the backhand.)


❗️✅ Whereas BLOCKING involves practicing one skill at a time before the next (for example, “skill A” before “skill B” and so on, forming the pattern “AAABBBCCC”), in INTERLEAVING one mixes, or interleaves, practice on several related skills together (forming for example the pattern “ABCABCABC”). For instance, a tennis player alternates practice between forehands, backhands, and volleys. 🎾


➡️ So why is this so great for your memory?


🤓 ✅ INTERLEAVING improves the brain’s ability to tell apart, or discriminate, between concepts. With BLOCKING, once you know what solution to use, the hard part is over. 


With INTERLEAVING, each practice attempt is different from the last, so the same responses don’t work. Instead, your brain must continuously focus on searching for different solutions.


So the correct solution changes from one practice attempt to the next. As a result, your brain is continually engaged at retrieving different responses and bringing them into short-term memory.


➡️ How do you use this to prepare efficiently for tests now?


When we mix up our study materials, we start to notice both the similarities and differences among the things we’re learning, and this can give us a better and deeper understanding of the material. So mix up new and old chapters in your textbook and notes when studying!




Because learning is “more difficult” when using the interleaving effect ABCABCABC, you might not see as much progress in the beginning as you would usually do when using the blocking method AAABBBCCC.


But don’t get discouraged❗️


🤓 It’s important to remember that easy doesn’t necessarily equal effective when it comes to learning, and just because you’re not seeing immediate results, doesn’t mean you’re not progressing


✅ My tip for your test preparation is:


Mix in old material with new material. Mix up the order and return to it repeatedly. 


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