How I ranked 1st at Cambridge University - The Essay Memorisation Framework | Summary and Q&A

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April 9, 2019
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Ali Abdaal
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How I ranked 1st at Cambridge University - The Essay Memorisation Framework

TL;DR

This video shares a comprehensive essay memorization framework that the speaker used to excel in their studies, combining active recall, spaced repetition, spider diagrams, and flashcards.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How does the creation stage of the framework work?

In the creation stage, the objective is to create first-class essay plans for all possible essay titles in the exam. This is done by scoping the subject, selecting essay titles, and planning the essays. Past papers and guidance from instructors can help in selecting essay titles.

Q: How does the memorization stage of the framework work?

The memorization stage involves three techniques: Anki flashcards, spider diagrams, and a retrospective revision timetable. Anki flashcards are used to memorize every paragraph of the essay plans, while spider diagrams help memorize the overall essay structure. The retrospective revision timetable ensures systematic spaced repetition.

Q: How does active recall help in the memorization stage?

Active recall involves actively retrieving information from memory, which strengthens memory retention. By actively recalling essay plans using flashcards and spider diagrams, the information becomes more deeply ingrained in the memory, making it easier to recall during the exam.

Q: How does spaced repetition contribute to effective memorization?

Spaced repetition involves reviewing information at increasing intervals over time. By using a retrospective revision timetable, the speaker systematically spaced out their revision sessions, reinforcing the memorized essay plans and ensuring long-term retention.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The framework consists of two stages: the creation stage, where essay plans are created for various potential essay titles, and the memorization stage, where these plans are committed to memory using active recall, spaced repetition, spider diagrams, and flashcards.

  • The creation stage involves scoping the subject, selecting essay titles, and planning the essays. The speaker suggests using past papers or consulting instructors for essay title selection.

  • The memorization stage involves using Anki flashcards to memorize essay paragraphs, creating spider diagrams to memorize essay structures, and using a retrospective revision timetable for systematic spaced repetition.

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