The Science of Stile X: Spaced repetition

Spaced repetition is the third evidence-based learning strategy we’re exploring in the Science of Stile X blog series!

The Science of Stile X: Spaced repetition

By Kat Gentry, Special Projects Lead at Stile Education

What is spaced repetition?

Spaced repetition involves breaking the study up into several short sessions over a more extended period of time. It is the opposite of cramming. Spaced repetition is also known as spacing, spaced practice or distributed practice.

How does spaced repetition work?

Imagine you have two students, both with three hours to study over the two weeks before a test. One student spaces their study out into thirty-minute chunks over six days. The other student spends three hours the night before the test cramming all the information into their brain. The next day, both students might perform to a similar standard on the test. But in a week, a month or a year, the student who spaced out their study will remember wildly more knowledge than the crammer.

Keppel, G. (1964). Facilitation in short- and long-term retention of paired associates following distributed practice in learning. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 3(2): 91-111.


  • Studying science for twenty minutes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights
  • Revisiting concepts you learned in Term 1 throughout the year


  • Spending two hours cramming the night before a test

How Stile X embeds spaced repetition:

  • Stile X gives students multiple, varying exposures to the same content. Students can space out when they complete each section of a topic, for example. completing the “Revise” lesson in the first week, the “Play section” the week after, and the “Quiz” section a month after.
  • Students can set aside 5-10 minutes of class time once a fortnight for students to do flashcards or quizzes on the Stile X app from previous units

Dive into the research

Want to learn more about Stile X?

Read the next blog in the Science of Stile X series: Elaboration here or find out more about Stile X here.