What is the most efficient method learning multiple academic topics in parallel with each other. I propose, for a small number of different things (say 4), the best method is to cycle the topics, over the course of 4 days, i.e. topic 1,2,3,4,1... on days 1,2,3,4,5... respectively and working full days on each topic.

I am just wondering in terms of cognitive effectiveness is this the best strategy? Would changing up the topic every half day be more effective? I would tend to think that switching every half day could improve brains ability to work (reduced 'boredom') but maybe as the 2 topics would be inherently different it could hinder information retention for the first subject.

Does anyone know of any studies done which could relate to this or have any ideas themselves?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ It is on topic, but could you please rephrase it to be more generalizable? Also, you risk attracting close votes due to this question being formulated as 'self-help', which is a close reason on this site. $\endgroup$
    – Steven Jeuris
    Dec 22, 2014 at 23:15

1 Answer 1


By one of Tony Buzone's memory book, I would say the right way is to memorize a topic/data, then do a 10 minute break. After 10 minutes, repeat it again. Then, Repeat it the next day, the next month and then the next half a year. That should put the topic in your memory in the long term.

However, it also depends on what kind of data there is in each topic. If the data is too similar with each topic, it will be too hard to memorize all topics at once without being confused and without mixing up facts. Other factors that you didnt mention are the volume of material in each topic.

Lastly, order of topics is not important. You may reverse the order of the topics to devote your mental effort to the hardest topic as being hte first...

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to cogsci.SE! You make a lot of assumptions in this question--it would be very useful to readers to back them up with citations to more information in peer-reviewed literature. Why 10 minutes? How much non-similarity between data types is enough? What evidence is there that order is not important? Etc. $\endgroup$
    – Krysta
    Dec 24, 2014 at 17:28

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