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Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  3,392 Ratings  ·  406 Reviews
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. Many common study habits and practice routines turn out to be counterproduc ...more
Published July 22nd 2014 by Dreamscape Media (first published April 14th 2014)
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Andreas The book is very practical and compares different methods of learning. It points out the most efficient ones so if you apply them you will become a…moreThe book is very practical and compares different methods of learning. It points out the most efficient ones so if you apply them you will become a faster learner. You will also get the confidence that in the long run the knowledge will stick no matter how counter intuitive it looks at first. You have to extract what is useful to you and integrate it into your personal learning process. There are no checklists or step-by-step explanations.

As a hands-on book that exactly teaches you how to improve I highly recommend Mark Channon's "The Memory Workbook". The focus is on memory and accelerated learning techniques. It has many exercises and encourages the reader to immediately practice what he has learnt. (less)
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Aug 22, 2014 Jeremy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If only I had known... So I'll let you in on the secret. EVERYTHING you need to know is contained in Chapter 8. The final chapter of the book, naturally. So skip to page 200 and save yourself a LOT of time wandering aimlessy through the groves of academe. Not that there isn't viable information in the preceding seven chapters, mind you, but it's a long slog of background before getting to the good stuff.

I suppose they had to do something to make it more than a pamphlet.

Trust me. Read Chapter 8
Sep 01, 2014 Patrik rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very convincing and readable book about how to better learn and, as an extension, how to better teach. Two psychologists and (thankfully) one writer present the latest research on learning and, in so doing, refutes some of our most popular learning techniques (such as 'practice, practice, practice' and my favorite 'read and reread'). At the end of the book, the following eight concrete techniques are offered:
1. Retrieving - practice retrieving new (and old) learning (self-quizzing).
2. Spacing
John Martindale
I am an audiobooks junkie and often soon after I finish a book, I go to the computer to write a review, but my mind feels completely void—it seems like I completely forget all I just heard, even the fascinating tidbits. All I feel left with is an impression concerning whether I liked the book or not. Since there is this mental blockage, most of the time I just don't write much of a review and consider those things I wanted to share, lost. Most of my life it has seemed the majority of what was im ...more
د.أمجد الجنباز
يتحدث الكتاب عن طرق الدراسة والتعلم التي تضمن الاحتفاظ على المعلومات وفهمها بأفضل شكل ممكن
الكتاب مبني علي الأبحاث والدراسات وأبحاث الدماغ، وليس ككتب الذاكرة والدراسة التجارية

الكتاب قمة في الروع، ويحوي معلومات صادمة عن طرق الدراسة. فالكثير من طرق الدراسة التي كنا نقوم بها ومقتنعين بها، تبين أنها سيئة جدا في الدراسة وعلى الذاكرة.
Elizabeth Theiss
Jun 12, 2014 Elizabeth Theiss rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the perspective of a professor with a good 20 years of experience, this book is a gem. The authors use research to demonstrate how students learn best and how teachers can structure courses to facilitate student learning. While I've read many books on teaching, few are as helpful as this one.

For example, frequent recall of recent information cements learning. Teachers can help by providing frequent low stakes quizzes that require students to utilize Bloom's taxonomy. The authors provide bas
Jul 26, 2015 Omar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
لا ينفرد الكتاب بمادته ولكنه يحتوي على مراجعة جيدة لآخر الأبحاث في مجال التعلم والذاكرة. مفيد جداً للطلاب للتعرف على الأساليب الأفضل في التعلم والتي تسندها الأبحاث والتعامل مع الصعوبات وكيف أن بعض طرقنا المعتادة في التعلم مثل إعادة القراءة والتلخيص هي طرق توهم بالتعلم أكثر من ما تفيد. في الفصل الأخير خلاصة مادة الكتاب وأمثلة توضيحية يمكن البدء به وقد يغنيك هذا الفصل عن باقي الكتاب .

تُعنى هذه الأساليب بالتعلم بشكل عام سواء كان تعلم مادة دراسية أو تعلم مهارة كالمهارات البدنية، وتتعلق باستخدام الذ
May 14, 2014 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my new favorite book on learning. The writing is approachable rather than academic, and the content is completely research-based. If you want to learn how to be a better learner, or to help others learn how to be better learners, this is a must-read. A cognitive psychologist friend introduced me to it by gleefully saying, "I have been replaced by a book." Indeed. This is the best book on the science of learning I have ever encountered. I would give it 6 stars if I could.
Morgan Blackledge
Feb 15, 2015 Morgan Blackledge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What's the first thing you (and everyone else) does when you're trying to learn a subject or text? Odds are good you read, highlight sections and then re-read the text. We all do that because it feels like we're learning.

If this is you, than according to researchers who split test different learning strategies and compare results, you're wasting your precious time and energy and there's a much more effective way to learn. It's more difficult, but it's way more effective and takes way less time.
Ali S.
Aug 13, 2016 Ali S. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
make it stick

قرات الكتاب وانا غير متاكد مما ساجده فيه , بعد ان رايته بالصدفة
الكتاب يتحدث عن التعلم و كيف يعمل العقل و علم النفس التعليمي ويتناول مواضيع اخرى متفرقة لكن ذات صلة
المهم انني دهشت عند قراتي له ولم اكن اتوقع هذا الكم من المعلومات المفيدة و المدعمة بدراسات وبحوث تثبت صحتها وهذا ليس كل شيء بل ان الكتاب يكسر في كثير من صفحاته ما نعرفه عن التعلم والدراسة ونعتبره من المسلمات ؟!!! وهذا الامر ينطبق على الدول الاوروبية ايضا فهناك الكثير من الابحاث الجديدة في هذا المجال التي كسرت المعلومات
A really interesting book making the case for non-traditional and often counter-intuitive learning techniques such as continuous testing vs. repetition, spacing and interleaving tasks requiring different efforts rather than sequential practice (i.e. complete mastery before moving onto the next level). The book promotes the concept that easier is not better in learning (i.e. effortful recall produces long lasting results) and analyses the evidence for the scientifically unproven but heavily marke ...more
Marc Lais
A very interesting subject that is covered thoroughly in this book. Unfortunately, I don't think the authors had enough novel ideas to fill 200 pages. This resulted initially in a lot of repeated information (sometimes almost verbatim), and later in the book losing focus and wandering all over the place. The two paragraph conclusion read like it had been written by a high schooler who suddenly realized she had met the word count requirement. Make it Stick would make an awesome TED Talk or a 3 pa ...more
370.1523 BRO
CD 370.1523 BRO

Similar book "How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens" which focus on history instead of giving practice tips

Ideas I learn most useful:
1. Learn more by testing than re-reading; re-reading create illusion of mastery.
2. Spacing and interleaving are more useful than sequential learning and mass practices.
3. Growth mindset is extremely important not only in learning, but in everything. Setback and mistakes are only ways to success. Do not a
Jun 02, 2014 Samantha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A superbly wonderful guide if you want to learn better in a more efficient manner. Mainly, it talks about how you need to slow down and digest the information, think and comprehend the material every so often, but most importantly, you need to quiz yourself in order to better remember the subject matter. Memory retrieval and interleaved learning is what will make you succeed, among other techniques.

For example, a typical student would read the required text and pen highlight the important ideas.

The first part is a gold mine of cognitive psychology wisdom, then it sort of tapers off toward the end (at least for me). The book covers what science has to tell us about learning in general and it is good. And it is owing to this book that I'm resuming my old practice of writing book reviews (retrieval & elaboration) to better retain what I read.

Some concepts that will prove particularly useful in my own learning and teaching include:

1) Desirable difficulty: how the right amount of
Alex Strick van Linschoten
In 'Make it Stick', the authors explain how to study, how to learn things for long-term retention, and how to tweak the school experience to encourage retention. The authors strive to make examples practical and applicable. Spaced-repetition software is never mentioned in the book -- in fact technology really isn't the focus -- but it's possible to read it as a love letter to Anki. (This would have been five stars but for it being slightly too long.)

Some key things I learnt:

- testing recall help
Nathan Moore
Jan 16, 2016 Nathan Moore rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves to learn, especially those who struggled in school.
I've read some great books on learning and skill development this year. I've been looking for a book on the subject of learning with a special emphasis on memory and long term retention and this book fit the bill. I read it after reading the Talent Code, which focuses on developing fine motor skills and I've also recently read Outliers which argues that mastery comes from long hours (about 10,000) of focused practice.

In Make it Stick, Brown and others argue that most of the study habits of Ameri
Nov 22, 2016 Gabriel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology, science
The good thing about this book is that you realize basically everything you do in studying is not good and effective. And everything that I personally run away from is actually good and beneficial, like tests and self-quizzing. The main argument of the book is that empirical research shows in order to put knowledge into our long term memory and mastering something, much more effort is required and if we are doing things that are easy, we are actually not doing it in the right way. There are some ...more
عبدالرحمن عقاب
كتاب جميل ومهم، وعرضه سلس وشيق.
يعرض لأهم تلك التقنيات التعلمية التي تزيد من فعاليات التعلم وجعله بإذن الله أكثر رسوخا وإتقانا ونفعا.
قدر الله أن أقرأ هذا الكتاب بعد كتاب how to learn والذي بدوره يكون أكثر فائدة حين يقرأ بعد هذا الكتاب، ﻷنه يعرض الدراسات والنقاش العلمي الدائر وراء كل نقطة مما اشتمل عليه هذا الكتاب، فيصير توسعا وتفصيلاً وتعمقا .
مما تثبت هذه العلوم (تعلم كيف نتعلم) الكثير من الخلط والغلط في مفاهيم التعلم التي نشأ عليها المتعلمون وأهاليهم والمعلمون أيضا.
كم أتمنى لو قرأ الآباء والمع
Aug 20, 2015 Matthew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an absolutely fantastic and essential book, and I would recommend it to anyone who considers themselves to be a lifelong learner or wants to become one. Like the title indicates, this is a book about the science of how we learn, what are the best strategies to learn effectively and what methods can we use to improve cognition/intelligence. In addition to that, this book provides up-to-date research on similar and related topics in cognitive psychology and neuroscience, specifically, mind ...more
Aug 13, 2015 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about how we (don't) learn. The authors are academics, and they back up their often counter-intuitive assertions with empirical data. A few of their insights stuck out as particularly important:

(1) Test yourself.

Our metacognitive skills aren't great: often, when we think we're learning, we're not; and when we think we're struggling, not picking anything up, we're in fact developing durable understanding.

This disconnect causes us to favor study strategies that fail to produce resul
Dec 14, 2016 Mal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is essential reading for lifelong learners.
It explains the flaws and illusions of rote/repetitive learning, and draws upon a body of learning research to make the case for mindful learning. I had many important revelations whilst reading the book, especially with regard to what I have been doing wrong while learning or studying so far. The information on how to use the 'memory palace' strategy is neat. I had no clue that BBC Sherlock's concept of a mind palace had a basis in real life
Jul 13, 2015 J rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I had one book to go into teaching, this would be it. The strategies and explanations are logical and make so much sense.

Having re-read this book for a second time - this time removed from teaching, I must say, these are the key strategies and ideas that benefit any student, of any kind in any setting.

Ironically, what is even more compelling is how these strategies are so universal. But even this makes sense. Why? Because it taps into how Humans learn. If you can take in what the authors ar
Vidya Balakrishnan
The only thought that was running through my head while reading this book was ' I wish I had known of these concepts when I was in school'. This book offers some great tips on how to master concepts. Everyone misunderstands desirable difficulty as inability or incompetence, the authors explain that learning something new is tough but desirable since your brain is made to think. Along the same lines is the concept of effortful learning. These techniques help you understand your strong points and ...more
Jan 13, 2016 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is available at the Nashua Public Library.

I had a number or false starts with this book and have now committed myself to reading it this month. Becoming a more effective learner is important to me.

Today, I read the first chapter, Learning is Misunderstood at the Riverwalk Coffee Shop and thought I would do a little experiment (which is in keeping with the spirit of the book). Once home, I tried to recall everything that I read earlier.

Here it goes:

This book is evidence based on lear
Mark Bao
Apr 03, 2016 Mark Bao rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Worth reading for everyone who wants to learn better and understand the key ideas that educational psych has found about learning. When I started reading this book back in July last year, the key concepts behind it (detailed in the first half of the book) had a huge impact on how I approached learning. The key idea behind it is that learning, conceptually and neurologically, should be effortful. When you experience difficulty recalling some piece of knowledge, that difficulty is a signal that me ...more
Allegra Green
Feb 19, 2016 Allegra Green rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found a lot of helpful information in Chapters 1-5 on how to better learn course material and prepare for tests, basically how best to remember a lot of information. The authors cite large research studies, leading me to believe their methods are helpful and I'd like to try them out! Unfortunately I didn't find much in this book that is applicable to practical skills like learning how to dance or drive a car, it was mostly focused on academic learning.

One of the most poignant discoveries for m
John Mundy
May 18, 2016 John Mundy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teachers, students, parents
*apologies for perfunctory review, mostly this is for my later review.

This was an excellent book. Loads of anecdotes, yet it was connected to research. It explained to me why I did much better in general remembering things I studied in high school textbooks better than my college readings.

The key points to me were the importance of self quizzing versus re-reading. Interleaving different kinds of tasks for example practicing throwing bean bags at something closer and further than the contest dist
Filipe Ronzani
Feb 09, 2016 Filipe Ronzani rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Leitura extremamente agradável, com muita coisa interessante e útil, o autor explana sobre princípios de aprendizagem embasados cientificamente de maneira simples e didática, alternando entre exemplos dos princípios na prática e como foi a metodologia para chegar em tal conclusão.

Alguns pontos que eu achei interessante (na verdade tenho mais de 60 anotações no kobo, mas estas são as mais "essenciais" ):
- O aprendizado é mais profundo e durável quando é adquirido com esforço;
- Tentar resolver um
Magnus Itland
Dec 26, 2014 Magnus Itland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Students and teachers
I bought this book after I finished A Mind for Numbers. There is considerable overlap in content between the two books, but great difference in style. Make it Stick does not practice what it preaches to the same degree. It is unexciting to look at ... actually, it looks rather boring at first glance. I suppose you could praise it by saying that it looks more serious. No drawings of zombies, no boxes, no questions at the end of the chapters.

It is actually a fairly easy read for an adult, though.
Aug 11, 2016 Jay rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Nice and wide-ranging book on how best to learn. The authors provide copious descriptions of learning research and plenty of real-life stories as examples. There are a few “what you know is wrong” moments, but not an overwhelming number of those. I found this a good non-fiction book to listen to the audio. Until you got to the wrap-up chapter. At that point, while I understood it, I didn’t remember it as well as I would like to. That’s where having a cheat-sheet describing the learning strategie ...more
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Bryn Mawr School ...: Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning 1 3 Jul 06, 2016 05:03PM  
  • How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching
  • The Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching the Practice of Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning
  • How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens
  • Building a Better Teacher: How Teaching Works (and How to Teach It to Everyone)
  • Why Don't Students Like School?: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom
  • How College Works
  • Engaging Ideas: The Professor's Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning in the Classroom
  • Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions
  • Making Thinking Visible
  • What the Best College Teachers Do
  • The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance
  • Zig Zag: The Surprising Path to Greater Creativity
  • The Addictive Brain
  • How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School
  • Real Education: Four Simple Truths for Bringing America's Schools Back to Reality
  • Mindstorms: Children, Computers, And Powerful Ideas
  • A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra)
  • Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology Out of Your College Classroom Will Improve Student Learning

Share This Book

“Trying to solve a problem before being taught the solution leads to better learning, even when errors are made in the attempt.” 6 likes
“Practice that’s spaced out, interleaved with other learning, and varied produces better mastery, longer retention, and more versatility. But these benefits come at a price: when practice is spaced, interleaved, and varied, it requires more effort. You feel the increased effort, but not the benefits the effort produces. Learning feels slower from this kind of practice, and you don’t get the rapid improvements and affirmations you’re accustomed to seeing from massed practice.” 4 likes
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