The Right Time to Study: Spaced Repetition Helps You Study Better

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At Boundless, we constantly work to improve learning through technology. Helping students study more effectively is one of our key goals — and the Boundless Learning Technology in our premium textbooks helps students understand and remember concepts better, so they’re better prepared for class and lifelong learning. Spaced repetition is a core component of our learning technology.


This is the second in a two part series about the science behind Boundless Learning Technology. Read part one, which focuses on active recall.


What is spaced repetition?

Spaced repetition shows that there is an ideal time to practice what you’ve learned to best remember the information. Our learning tech knows this, and optimizes student studying to match up with this ideal timing.

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The research behind the technique

Spaced repetition is a learning technique based on the knowledge that there is an optimal time to practice what you’ve learned. If you’re asked to asked to recall information and answer poorly, then you should review that information again sooner rather than later. On the flip side, if you answer well then you know you can wait a little longer to review again. The right time to review a concept is the moment you’re most likely to forget it — and Boundless can help you time it just right.

B. Price Kerfoot, a professor at Harvard Medical School, used a version of spaced repetition in his own “spaced education” that employed repetition and testing techniques to improve learning. This method, he said, was better than the typical cramming and “purging” many students did before exams. He noted,

“When you present and repeat information over intervals of time [as opposed to ‘binges’], you can increase the uptake of knowledge. And it’s encoded in ways that cause it to be preferentially retained.”

Boundless takes the best ideas behind spaced repetition and testing to fuel our learning technology.

How does Boundless use spaced repetition?

Boundless tests your knowledge of individual concepts in our textbooks and collects data about your memory, how you respond, and where you are weak. Spaced repetition is using throughout our flashcards, which allow users to rank the difficulty of each concept as they go along. With this information and spaced repetition algorithms, we can pull the flashcard up again during a study session when it will be best remembered.

Plus, Boundless flashcards are available on any device – so students can study in the library or on the bus headed to class.

Give it a try!

Spaced repetition is used throughout Boundless premium textbooks. Sign up for an account today to start learning more effectively.


This is the second in a two part series about the science behind Boundless Learning Technology. Read part one, which focuses on active recall.