I recently studied for an assessment for a six-month class. The class provided great review materials but reviewing is not the same as learning. One of the tricks I learned from the online course Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects is closing your book after studying and writing down everything that you can remember. If you are a Duolingo fan, they encourage learners to do the same thing after a lesson.
So, I pulled out my index cards and wrote down all the key concepts for each of the 10 modules. Turns out I remembered a lot. However, passing the assessment required a greater level of detail. I reviewed and then tried to recall as much as I could.
And lo and behold, it worked! I could recall–with detail!–one of the sections that had been an ongoing struggle—finally!!
Here are the basics of recall practice:
Creating questions on the topic you are trying to learn. If you have study guide questions, you can use those!
Test yourself repeatedly on the questions.
By forcing yourself to recall the information, you ensure that you are actively learning it instead of passively reading it.
Here are some resources:
Learning How to Learn (free on Coursera)
A Mind for Numbers by Barbara Oakley (the course text for Learning How to Learn)
Powerful Teaching: Unleash the Science of Learning by Pooja Agarwal and Patrice Bain