Make It Stick Summary 2023 - Deepstash

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Make It Stick Summary

About Make It Stick Book

To most of us, learning something "the hard way" implies wasted time and effort. Good teaching, we believe, should be creatively tailored to the different learning styles of students and should use strategies that make learning easier. Make It Stick turns fashionable ideas like these on their head. Drawing on recent discoveries in cognitive psychology and other disciplines, the authors offer concrete techniques for becoming more productive learners.

Memory plays a central role in our ability to carry out complex cognitive tasks, such as applying knowledge to problems never before encountered and drawing inferences from facts already known. New insights into how memory is encoded, consolidated, and later retrieved have led to a better understanding of how we learn. Grappling with the impediments that make learning challenging leads both to more complex mastery and better retention of what was learned.

Many common study habits and practice routines turn out to be counterproductive. Underlining and highlighting, rereading, cramming, and single-minded repetition of new skills create the illusion of mastery, but gains fade quickly. More complex and durable learning come from self-testing, introducing certain difficulties in practice, waiting to re-study new material until a little forgetting has set in, and interleaving the practice of one skill or topic with another. Speaking most urgently to students, teachers, trainers, and athletes, Make It Stick will appeal to all those interested in the challenge of lifelong learning and self-improvement.

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Make It Stick by Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, Mark A. McDaniel

We all want to be sucessful in our lives. Learning is the single most important way to get ahead in life. This book helped me seeing learning in a whole new light.

Rethinking How We Learn

Rethinking How We Learn

Most people believe that we learn by rereading passages until we can say them with our eyes closed. Or that we are born with a certain set of skills and must utilize those skills in life but that is false. With the right practice and tools anyone can learn anything. Retrieval is the better way of learning the act of retrieval helps strengthen it.


Biggest Myth About Learning

Biggest Myth About Learning

The biggest myth about learning is that learning happens with you consistently do the same action or read the same passage over and over again. Science on the other hand states that learning happens when we try to get new knowledge out of our head


Learning Takes More Time Than Most People Think

Learning is not as quick as many people believe to learn something new you must go through a series of steps including

  1. Storing: This is the art of storing information in your short term memory
  2. Consolidation: learning over a long period of time typically overnight


The key takeaways include the importance of active recall ,spaced repetition and retrieval practice.The book emphasizes the need to move beyond passive studying and highlights techniques that enhance long term retention and understanding

Active Recall

Active Recall

Active recall is crucial for effective learning because it involves actively retrieving information from memory rather than passively reviewing material. This process strengthens neural connections, making it more likely for the information to be retained in the long term. By actively engaging with the material through practices like self-quizzing,using flashcards,summarizing without looking at notes, learners reinforce their understanding and enhance the recallability of information.


Spaced Repetition

Spaced Repetition

Spaced repetition is a learning technique that uses increasing intervals of time between review sessions to improve long-term retention.

It's like revisiting old material before you forget it completely! ๐Ÿง ๐Ÿ’ญ

Key Concepts:

  • Learning technique
  • Increasing intervals of time
  • Review sessions
  • Long-term retention


Retrieval Practice

Retrieval Practice

This note is about the use of retrieval practice as a study technique, which involves recalling information from memory instead of just reviewing it.

Benefits of retrieval practice include:

  • Increased retention
  • Better understanding
  • Improved long-term recall

๐Ÿง  Pro Tip: Don't just read your notes, practice recalling them!


Learning how to learn is a fundamental skill that I was not taught when I was younger and had to actively seek out and understand myself. Develop this meta skill and you'll be able to apply it to all parts of your life.

How to learn effectively and "Make It Stick"

Empirical research over the last decade shows that what we know today on how to learn is wrong.

The growing science of learningย shows that there are effective, evidence based strategies that are not intuitive which replace those ineffective techniques (which are widely accepted today due to theory, lore, intuition).ย 


The immutable elements of learning

To be useful, learning requires memory so its there when we need it.ย 

We need to keep learning and remembering all our lives.ย 

Learning is an acquired skill.


Learning is deeper and more durable when its effortful

If it is easy, it is here today, gone tomorrow - like writing in sand


"Make it Stick" delves into the science of successful learning, debunking myths and providing research-backed strategies for better retention. One key insight from the book is that overcoming learning difficulties enhances memory and understanding. This book can transform your approach to studying and mastering new skills, making learning more efficient and effective.

Learn How to Study Effectively

Learn How to Study Effectively

Understanding how to study effectively is crucial for mastering any subject.

  • Effective study methods include active recall, spaced repetition, and interleaved practice.
  • Simply re-reading or highlighting text is not as beneficial as engaging with the material actively.
  • Testing yourself on the material enhances retention and comprehension.

"The best way to get better at something is to practice deliberately and push yourself beyond your comfort zone." โ€” Anders Ericsson


Choose Complex Long-term Strategies

Choose Complex Long-term Strategies

Adopt complex and long-term learning strategies for deeper understanding.

  • Spaced repetition helps solidify knowledge by reviewing information over increasing intervals.
  • Interleaving different subjects or topics forces your brain to constantly switch gears, improving learning.
  • Elaborative interrogation involves asking 'why' questions to understand the material more deeply.

"Long-term consistency trumps short-term intensity." โ€” Bruce Lee


The More Difficulties, the Better the Results

The More Difficulties, the Better the Results

Struggling with learning materials can lead to better results.

  • Difficulty in recalling information strengthens memory and understanding.
  • Embrace challenges and mistakes as they promote deeper learning and retention.
  • Overcoming obstacles during learning rewires the brain for improved cognitive abilities.

"Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors." โ€” African Proverb


Some insights on how to learn better: some ways that are conventional are less effective than you think they are! we are also poor judges of assessing our own learning

Effortful Learning

It is important to embrace difficulties in the process of learning as it is these difficulties that cause the information to eventually become long-term memory. Eg. Simply rereading a textbook vs quizzing oneself difficult questions from the textbook.

This idea of generation and attempting(whether successfully or unsuccessfully) to find a solution helps to inform the brain of the gaps in knowledge and when the model solution is revealed, it sticks much better in the mind.


"Play like you practice and practice like you play"




-Analogy of baseball players that practiced hitting curveballs, then straight balls compared to baseball players that had interleaved practice. baseball player with interleaved practice may have performed poorly in practice but they performed much better in games

-we should interleave our practice to mix up our brains in order to help our brain improve its problem recognition, adaptability and flexibility


Qual uma das principais dicas do livro?

Apreendizado intervalado รฉ uma das melhores formas de se fixar um conhecimento no longo prazo.


Because memory is something super important in order to progress


The book explains how to remember effectively


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