Want to Achieve Better Grades? Stop Cramming and Put the Highlighter Away!

Online Study Sites Support Latest Research on Recommended Study Techniques
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* Cumming - Georgia - US

CUMMING, Ga. - May 8, 2013 - PRLog -- For years now, an item always found on a school supplies list is the beloved yellow highlighter. The reason? It’s the belief that highlighting material in textbooks helps one better retain information and ultimately test well. But according to Annie Murphy Paul, blogger and author of Origins and forthcoming book Brilliant:  The New Science of Smart, highlighting and underlining fall under the "worst" category regarding learning effectiveness.

With college acceptances now more challenging to earn, it's probably wise to investigate the best study practices available, and more importantly, how to learn and retain information. According to Paul, one of the best learning techniques is "distributed practice," which is basically an anecdote to the age-old strategy of cramming. Spreading out study sessions into intervals is much more effective in not only learning the material but retaining it.

Another effective technique is "practice testing." Says Paul, in her Time magazine article, "Highlighting is a Waste of Time: The Best and Worst Learning Techniques," taking practice tests over and over aids in future retrieval of information when one needs it, i.e. for a mid-term or final exam. And the use of flash cards is on her "best" list, too.

So where does one begin in putting these best practices to the test? There are a couple of excellent free resources that support Paul's research. Qwizzy’s World and Cram Stoppers are online test creation sites that were created by Atlanta mother of two, Julie Wilson, with the purpose of alleviating test taking anxiety. Both products encourage repetitive testing, preparedness, comprehensive learning and retention. While Qwizzy’s World (QW) is geared to Pre-K - 8th grade students, Cram Stoppers (CS) serves high school and college students.

Founded in 2008, QW and CS are being utilized by students around the country as effective study tools.Here's how they both work. A student creates his own quizzes using classroom materials. The simple act of creating questions aids in the retention process. And then repetitive quizzing further aids in the retrieval process. Quizzes can be "Buddyshared" between students and teachers, opening up group study opportunities. Other features include flash card generation, Just Logical (quizzing system that supplies the learner with instant feedback), and Just Keep Writing (program that offers basic steps in writing a paragraph).

CS, launched in 2010, offers the same features but is geared to older students. One of the additional features of CS is theCommunity Library. Members can view and take other high school or college students’ quizzes and can also contribute to the library.

New features on both sites include a calendar for tracking school, family, and personal events; vocabulary prep and SAT/ACT prep; and more in-depth “Buddysharing,” with the ability to create study groups for ease of sharing. Soon to debut is a new settingsoption, allowing users to turn certain features on and off, customizing their experience.

Research shared by Paul in her blog, The Brilliant Blog, found that college students who tested frequently throughout a course were much less anxious when taking the final test, and, in fact, performed better. So frequent practice testing not only improves retention, but it keeps students calm when it really matters!

In addition to QW and CS, Wilson is launching a study skills product for the 2013-2014 school year called iStudyForSuccess. One of the hallmarks of iStudyForSuccess is teaching students how to 'power down' and take advantage of no electronic interference when studying. This concept goes hand-in-hand with Paul's observations, noting that a common barrier for students trying to study is a barrage of distractions including email, the Internet, text messages and television, as well as disruptions caused by roommates and friends. This points further to the relevance of developing solid study habits and participating in frequent testing.

Thanks to the bevy of electronic devices now available, students can easily take advantage of free study tools like QW and CS, and create quizzes any time, any place. To learn more about QW, visit www.qwizzysworld.com. For more information on Cram Stoppers, visit www.cramstoppers.com. Contact Julie Wilson at Julie@iStudyforSuccess.com for information on the debut of iStudyforSuccess!

About Qwizzy’s World

Qwizzy’s World (QW) is a free online quiz creation site designed for students Pre-K - 8th grade, parents, teachers, and tutors. Designed to alleviate test-taking anxiety, build confidence, and train students to be prepared, QW allows custom quizzes to be crafted from public, private or home school classroom materials. Quizzes can be created in five formats — multiple choice, matching, fill-in-the-blank, true/false, open-ended — and stored for repeated and randomized quiz taking, anytime, anyplace. Instant scoring gives students immediate feedback, and progress can be watched via an Overall Performance Chart. Special features include Buddysharing, The Ultimate Quiz, Just Keep Writing, Just Logical, Flash Cards, and a Text Editor Tool Bar. Another unique feature is Knowledge Nook, which contains already-designed quizzes created by educators and displayed by grade level and subject. These are available to be taken and copied for a nominal fee. QW supports all subjects, including foreign languages. www.QwizzysWorld.com

About Cram Stoppers

Cram Stoppers is an online study site designed for high school and college students. Created to alleviate test taking anxiety and build confidence, Cram Stoppers allows students to craft custom quizzes from current classroom study materials. Quizzes can be created in five different formats — multiple choice, matching, fill-in-the-blank, true/false, open-ended — and are stored for repeated and randomized quiz taking. Instant scoring gives students immediate feedback, and progress can be watched via a Quiz Results Chart. Special features include Buddysharing, the Ultimate Quiz, Just Keep Writing, Just Logical and the Community Library. Founded by Atlanta business woman, Julie Wilson, in 2010, Cram Stoppers supports all subjects, including foreign language. www.CramStoppers.com

About Annie Murphy Paul

Annie Murphy Paul is a book author, magazine journalist, consultant and speaker who helps people understand how we learn and how we can do it better. A contributing writer for Time magazine, she writes a weekly column about learning for Time.com, and also blogs about learning at CNN.com, Forbes.com, MindShift.com, PsychologyToday.com and HuffingtonPost.com. She contributes to The New York Times Magazine, TheNew York Times Book Review, Slate, and O, The Oprah Magazine, among many other publications. For more information visit www.anniemurphypaul.com
Tags:Education, Study Skills, ACT, Sat, Cramming
Industry:Education, Family
Location:Cumming - Georgia - United States
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