Handy Provides Tips on Reading and Retaining Academic Content Only Once

Generally, most students study by re-reading the textbooks as well as notes. But according to the research that was done by a number of psychologists, this method of re-reading the textbooks and notes is a terrible way of studying to retain information. According to Handy, using active learning tactics such as using flashcards, diagramming, or quizzing yourself is much more effective than reading the textbooks and notes again and again.

The Ways

Here are some effective ways to read and retain academic content only once:


  • Stop and think – It is mostly seen that when students just re-read the chapters of a textbook without understanding the reading material, they do not show any kind of improvement. Researchers have found that when a person reads anything for the first time, they try to extract a lot of information about the things they read. But when you read the same thing for the second or subsequent times, you generally sense in your subconscious mind that you already know the topic. However, don’t fall into this trap. Stop and think about the information carefully. Ask yourself whether you really understand the information instead of just trying to memorize it.
  • Quiz yourself – Another very effective tactic is to quiz yourself after reading and understanding the content of the topic. You should use the questions that are generally given at the back of the textbook of the chapter or you can also make up some questions on your own. Asking questions in this way helps in the understanding of the topic more deeply.
  • Try to relate new information with previous knowledge – You can also relate the principle given in the text of the chapter to something you already know. For better learning, it is very important to relate the new information to previous information that you already understand. So, instead of re-reading the content again and again and trying to memorize the content, it is always better to connect the new information to something that you already know. This will certainly help to remember the content of the topic for a long time.
  • Create diagrams and flowcharts – Another great strategy to retain academic content is to make diagrams and flowcharts, or other visual models. While drawing or making the flowchart, you should try to understand the concept of the topic and try to describe the various aspects of it. This type of creative learning generates an understanding of your own and is very effective as far as retention is concerned.
  • Use flashcards – Using flashcards is another great way of retaining academic content. Instead of re-reading the chapters of the textbook or spending time in making notes, it is better to keep a bunch of flashcards in the deck and use them whenever necessary. As per research, it is seen that keeping the correct item in the deck and getting it, again and again, is also a very useful strategy.   



According to Handy, it is easier to retain academic content by reading it only once if you love the subject. The right mentality and attitude can affect your learning in a great way. So, try to remain calm and sincere whenever must acquire new knowledge.