Studying for a test you have in school the next day and trying to complete a board in your favourite video game seem like to very different things. It seems, however, that the best strategy for approaching both tasks is the same.
Practice makes perfect.
— The SAT Program (@OfficialSAT) January 23, 2017
Studying For A Test
When studying for exams, most students report that they reread material and study their notes. The exam will test certain information and the textbook and your notes contain that information, so studying them seems pretty obvious. Oddly enough, though, re-reading material is far from the best way to prepare for a test.
A plethora of studies, such as those done by Karpicke & Blunt and Roediger, Agarwal, McDaniel, & McDermott, displayed that practicing information retrieval and recall, in a manner similar to how one will be tested, most improves students retention of the information. Put simply, if a student needs to study for a test, he or she should study by taking tests on the content that will be tested. There is a reason that SAT prep places encourage students to take practice test rather than spending hours studying random bits of information.
Completing A Board
When facing difficulties in a game players often turn to the internet for help. They Google their situation and look for a walkthrough, tips and tricks, and anything else that may help them advance. After pages and pages of reading how best to kill an enemy or dodge an obstacle players feel ready to once again face whatever challenge stalled their progression.
However, even after all of their research, players fail to make any progress. Why is that? Well, while the player may have learned how to overcome an issue, they have not practiced implementing what they learned. The best way for a player to beat a board is to keep playing it! Having information is great, but if the player cannot translate the knowledge into game play, it’s not very helpful.
— Nazi Jokes (@NaziJokes11) April 14, 2016
Practice makes perfect, even in video games.