Many established study methods grew out of old research and stuffy pedagogical theories, so when a new one crops up on social media it’s worth checking out—if only to gauge whether a modernized approach can pay dividends. For a few months, a study technique dubbed the “2, 3, 5, 7” method (or usually just “2357”) has been floating around TikTok and Instagram.
What’s interesting about this method is that while it is new, it is also a modification of one of those older, time-tested techniques. More on that below, as well as what you need to know to use 2357 for your next study session.
What is the 2357 study method?
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When using the 2357 technique, you revise your notes and study materials over and over again, following a set schedule. In simplest terms, you revise your initial set of notes on day one, take a second look on day two and day three, then revisit them on day five and day seven. Each time you revise, you should identify and expand upon key facts that you need to remember. (If you usually take notes by hand, digitizing them can serve as your first revision.)
By the time you have completed that final revision on day seven, the content should be easy to retrieve from your memory without minimal effort.
Why the 2357 method works
This study method is effective because it combines elements of a few tried-and-true techniques. including spaced repetition, an established way to combat the so-called “forgetting curve” by increasing the amount of time between your study sessions until the information enters your long-term memory. This TikTok-beloved hack also employs elements of distributed practice, which operates on a similar theory.
Studying via 2357 will work best if you slowly start weaning yourself off your notes and materials as you go, which forces you to practice active recall as you progress through the latter days of the cycle. On the fifth and seventh days, try blurting—or writing down everything you can remember about the topic without referencing any materials—instead of just revising your notes again.
If you reach day seven and find you’re still struggling to remember certain facets of the material, shift your focus to study only those facts. At this point, you can combine techniques—try the Leitner method, which uses flashcards instead of note revision to hammer home concepts studied via spaced repetition.