Students fear they’re not retaining knowledge

Imagine you’re sitting at your desk at your new office job. You’ve prepared for this moment since you started college. 

You log in to your computer and look at an email your boss sent you with a list of tasks for the day. You’re excited to get started until you come across one word in the email that just isn’t clicking. 

You can remember what class you heard the term and you know it was on a test, but you can’t remember what it means. 

According to Edutopiq, roughly 56% of what people learn is lost in an hour, 66% is lost after a day and 75% is lost after six days.

Many students already feel nervous to get out of school and begin their career. The added pressure of trying to remember everything you learned can be stressful. 

According to a study done by McGraw Hill, 4 in 10 students feel well-prepared for their careers after college. 

The study also reported that less than half of the students felt they’d gained the critical skills they needed to go into the workplace.

Steven Burnside, the VAPA technical director, said that students will most likely forget some things they learned. However, he said they should not feel stressed because if you enjoy what you are learning and want to use it for your career, you will remember a lot more than you think. 

 “A lot of what I remember pertains to what I do for a living,” Burnside said. “So, I remember a lot of terms and processes that I learned for theatre since I work in theatre.”

According to Twig Tasks, this is common. The more someone is interested in a topic, the more likely they are to retain the information. 

However, with the stress of college and the fast-paced learning environment, many students do not have time to focus on what they’re interested in or do not have time to reinforce information in general. 

Jeremy Bell, the coordinator of special educations programs, said to help with this, students should use application to reinforce knowledge. 

One example is if you learn a new word in class, try to work it into your everyday vocabulary. 

While this isn’t possible for students in all majors, Bell recommended some other methods that can be beneficial when studying. 

“We [all] use different strategies, but […] writing stuff down, highlighting and constantly reading helps [students] learn,” Bell said. 

Noor Farhat, a medical laboratory science major, said she uses active recall because, “Based off psychology and research, active recall is the best way to retain what you learn.” 

According to Learning Course Online, active recall is a learning principle and study method that trains the brain to remember and retrieve information.