Learn it – Say it Out Loud!

2017 – 2018 Scholarship Entry – Test Preparation Essay
Test Preparation Inc. Scholarship

Michelle Chou
Montreal, Quebec

My best study method might not be the most common way to conventional studying. I don’t go to the library and bury myself in books or cram the night before the exam. Instead, I talk to myself. That may seem weird or a bit like a sign of mental distress, but I promise it works wonders. Talking out loud can help with memory retention, summarizing information and making connections with the test material.

When I need to learn certain material, especially if it includes theory that requires memorization, I talk out loud to remember the information. When I’m reading, I’ll repeat the information out loud and try to make sense of what I’m saying. Additionally, while I’m talking out loud, I’ll often reword the definition or sentence in a way that I understand. Doing this, I find that
it becomes clear in my mind what material I know and conversely what I need to improve on.

Many people study by just reading the material and thinking they understand it fully. But its until you close your books and try to explain the information to yourself, that you realize the areas you need to focus on. This is similar to the method of explaining or teaching something to your friends, which helps increase your overall understanding. It has been proven that talking out loud to yourself can actually increase memory retention and the words spoken out loud would be remembered more than the ones read silently.

Talking out loud to myself when I study is also beneficial for summarizing information.  Some course subjects I take have a hefty amount of information to remember, hence it is useful for me to talk to myself regarding the most essential key points to take away. It’s almost like I’m
having a conversation with myself, explaining what the different concepts are. Not only that, talking to myself allows me to make connections to the material I’m studying about. When I’m repeating things out loud, sometimes I’ll say things that make me wonder “why?” or “does that
really make sense?” It permits me to second guess what I’m saying rather than just blindly memorizing the information. If I find out from these questions that something is confusing, I’ll stop and take the time to learn more about the concept. Talking out loud assists with making
links and associations to the information; the process of explaining an idea to ourselves lets us see the existing connections and relationships.

In all, when somebody asks me how I approach studying, it can be a bit unusual to explain that I talk to myself; however, this is the method that I learn and retain information best. Talking out loud slows our thinking down, and with slowed thoughts we are able to be more deliberate
in the kind of information we are absorbing. Next time you are having a hard time studying, I urge you to leave the library, find a place where you are able to talk out loud and try this method. It works more than you could imagine.

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Date Published: Wednesday, July 18th, 2018
Date Modified: Thursday, July 4th, 2019

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