The Power of Spaced Repetition in Learning and Practicing Programming

Alessio Frateily

Hatched by Alessio Frateily

Jul 25, 2023

3 min read


The Power of Spaced Repetition in Learning and Practicing Programming


Learning and practicing programming can be a challenging endeavor. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced developer, retaining and recalling information is crucial for long-term success. In this article, we will explore the concept of spaced repetition and its application in programming education. Additionally, we will discuss how practicing with personalized practice packs and utilizing the spaced repetition technique can significantly enhance your learning experience.

Understanding Spaced Repetition:

Spaced repetition is a learning technique that leverages the spacing effect, which suggests that study sessions are more effective when they are spaced out over time. This technique involves reintroducing concepts at intervals based on how well you are retaining the information. Instead of cramming a ton of concepts at once, resurfacing topics over time has been proven to be more effective in the long run. This concept was first discovered by German psychologist Dr. Ebbinghaus and has since been widely adopted in various learning domains.

The Forgetting Curve and Active Recall:

The forgetting curve illustrates how our memory of newly learned information declines over time if not reinforced. However, with the use of spaced repetition and active recall, we can interrupt this forgetting process at the right time and retain knowledge for a longer duration. Active recall refers to actively retrieving information from memory rather than passively reviewing it. By engaging in practice sessions that require active recall, we reinforce the neural connections associated with the information, making it easier to recall in the future.

Implementing Spaced Repetition in Programming Education:

To implement spaced repetition effectively in programming education, various tools and techniques have been developed. One such technique is the Leitner system, where flashcards are ordered based on the learner's performance. If a concept is answered correctly, it is moved back in the deck to be seen less often. Conversely, if a concept is answered incorrectly, it is brought to the front for more frequent review. This algorithmic approach ensures that learners focus on areas that require additional practice, maximizing their learning efficiency.

Personalized Practice Packs:

In recent years, online learning platforms like Codecademy have taken spaced repetition a step further by offering personalized practice packs. These practice packs utilize learner data and the spaced repetition technique to algorithmically determine what concepts need to be practiced and when. By curating practice questions based on individual progress, learners can reinforce their understanding of specific topics. This personalized approach saves time by integrating practice seamlessly into the learning journey, ultimately promoting long-term retention.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace spaced repetition: Incorporate spaced repetition into your learning routine by reviewing previously learned concepts at regular intervals. By spacing out your practice sessions, you can reinforce your understanding and improve long-term retention.
  • 2. Utilize active recall: Instead of relying solely on passive learning methods, actively engage in recalling information from memory. This can be done through various techniques such as flashcards, quizzes, or explaining concepts to others. Regularly practicing active recall will strengthen your neural connections and enhance your ability to recall information.
  • 3. Leverage personalized practice packs: Take advantage of online learning platforms that offer personalized practice packs. These packs are tailored to your individual progress and focus on areas that require additional practice. By incorporating these practice sessions into your learning journey, you can reinforce your knowledge and solidify your understanding of programming concepts.


Spaced repetition is a powerful technique that can significantly enhance your learning and practicing of programming. By leveraging the spacing effect and incorporating active recall, you can improve long-term retention and recall of information. Furthermore, the availability of personalized practice packs on online learning platforms allows for a tailored learning experience, saving time and maximizing learning efficiency. By embracing spaced repetition and utilizing personalized practice packs, you can accelerate your programming journey and become a more proficient developer.

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