Debunking learning myths with data: Test your knowledge

Every day thousands of learners use the Cerego platform at school and at work to help them learn faster and retain information longer. Today, our dataset includes 1 billion interactions drawn from over 1.5 million learners and is the biggest of its kind outside of academia.

Through these interactions, we've learned an enormous amount about the intricacies of "how" people learn—from the best time of day to study to the easiest subjects to learn, to the length of time it takes to master a concept and more. And because we’re dedicated to helping students and employees learn more effectively, we’ve collected the most interesting key insights on learning—and forgetting—and published them all in our first “This Is How We Learn” report.

To test your knowledge on learning and get a sneak peek of the report findings, take the quiz below. You may be surprised by some of the answers.


: How much more (or less) do you learn from studying on mobile than on a desktop computer?

     a) 5x more                    b) 2x more                    c) 3x less

Answer: Data shows that mobile users learn 2x more than desktop users. Learning on mobile allows us to engage with content in quicker, more frequent review sessions, which is far more effective than multi-hour cramming sessions. Mobile also helps employees and students study when they can, making training more accessible. When we use our phones for more than games and social media, it can be a pretty powerful tool.


: What percent of training do we retain 24 hours after we are presented it?

     a) 70%                    b) 30%                    c) 50%

Answer: Turns out, on average we remember only 30% of training after 24 hours of having first learned it. That means 70% of training is lost after just a day. Even more eye-opening is the fact that up to 90% of what we read or listen to is gone from our memory in a matter of days.


: What is the optimal amount of time per day you need to review a concept for it to stick?

     a) 20-22 minutes                    b) 10-12 minutes                    c) 3-5 minutes

Answer: Contrary to popular belief, shorter study sessions actually lead to more effective learning. Reviewing material 3-5 minutes per day can lead to dramatic improvements in long-term retention.


: What is the best time of day to learn?

     a) 7-8am                    b) 8-9pm                    c) 4-5pm

Answer: Though it may not feel like it, evenings bring the best results for learning efficiency. The magic hour for learning is 8-9 pm. However, that’s not to be confused with accuracy, or when you’re answering questions correctly. People are generally most accurate in the mornings, between 7-8 am when their brains are fresh. They’re least accurate in the evenings, which means they’re challenging their brains and learning at the highest potential. That’s great news if you’re feeling discouraged the night before an exam.


: What is the average length of time needed to master a subject?

     a) 2 weeks                    b) 56 days                    c) 255 days

Answer: Remember the advice that learning is more effective when spaced out. It takes an average of 56 days to master a subject. It’s not 56 days of consistent studying though. To master a course, you’ll need to study 15.5 hours, but using the “little and often” principle means that we should keep review sessions for a subject limited to 16.5 minutes per day. 

So, how did you do? Did some of the answers surprise you? If you’re interested in learning more about how we learn, you can download the full report here. We’re constantly striving to make learning possible for anyone, so we hope this teaches you a few new tricks and helps you learn, for the long term.

To learn more about how Cerego works, contact us.