Get a free audiobook

Make It Stick

The Science of Successful Learning
Written by: Peter C. Brown
Narrated by: Qarie Marshall
Length: 8 hrs and 34 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (91 ratings)

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

To most of us, learning something "the hard way" implies wasted time and effort. Good teaching, we believe, should be creatively tailored to the different learning styles of students and should use strategies that make learning easier.

Make It Stick turns fashionable ideas like these on their head. Many common study habits and practice routines turn out to be counterproductive. Underlining and highlighting, rereading, cramming, and single-minded repetition of new skills create the illusion of mastery, but gains fade quickly. More complex and learning come from self-testing, introducing certain difficulties in practice, waiting to re-study new material until a little forgetting has set in, and interleaving the practice of one skill or topic with another. Speaking most urgently to students, teachers, trainers, and athletes, Make It Stick will appeal to all those interested in the challenge of lifelong learning and self-improvement.

©2014 Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, and Mark A. McDaniel (P)2014 Dreamscape Media, LLC
What members say
Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    66
  • 4 Stars
    19
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    51
  • 4 Stars
    19
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    50
  • 4 Stars
    19
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A great tool for an educator!

The most efficient learning is counter-intuitive, demands effort, and is the opposite of general practices. If you care at all about how to learn efficiently, this is your book. I work in music education and this will change how I teach and practice. If you're a student, this is a must-read. If you're an educator, this is a great read. If you're a life long learner, this will have some great tools.

If you just want the tips, you can go to the last chapter. But the book is designed with the method used IN the book, so if you skip it, you're missing the first example of how it's used.

Sometimes it can feel like a chapter or tow meander or repeat, but it's kind of deliberate to help you remember. Also, summaries towards the end of the chapters wouldn't have been bad either.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Absolute must listen!

anyone engaged in learning or education needs to listen to this book. I am a medical student and this will hone my learning skills which will hopefully translate to saving more lives in the future.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I wish I wish I had this knowledge when I was in college

The best book in the world. I can’t believe how much my brain has improved since listening to this book and using the techniques. My retention has improved by %200. Unbelievable!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good science, bad journalism

I can't help but think that Peter Brown wrote this book more specifically for soccer moms rather than the general audience. Make no mistake; science in this book is pretty legit. It's the storytelling department this book fails in. There's too much unnecessary information presented in each case example ("blonde ambition" lol) which makes the chapters seem bloated.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

students and teachers should listen to this

Students and teachers should listen to this. It will change how we learn and how we teach for learning.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent book!

I greatly appreciated both the scientific studies and practical principles outlined in this book. A fantastic read. I will be implementing some of the strategies, both as a learner and as a teacher, ASAP.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • turtle
  • 2015-04-24

Excellent Resource for Students and Teachers

I listen to and read a lot of nonfiction books in order to learn new skills and hone the ones I have. I'm used to self-help books being about 20% fact and 80% opinion. However, Make It Stick turned that trend on its head. It uses tons of studies, and bases the arguments and recommendations on those instead of cherry-picking facts to suit an opinion. I really appreciated the empirical evidence; it makes it a lot easier to trust the conclusion. I'm planning on assigning this book to my students every semester from here on out.

56 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lee Ann Dodson
  • 2014-10-31

Such a great read I didn't want to stop driving

What did you love best about Make It Stick?

I began listening to this book while I was driving from Northern Florida to Asheville, NC... It was so engaging that the ten hour drive flew by. The book was formatted in such a way that the concepts about learning and retaining information were integral to its own flow. In essence, it practiced what it preached.

What did you like best about this story?

The authors research regarding how we actually learn, as opposed to the way we have been taught to learn was based on years of careful research and presented in a manner which was entertaining as well as very informative. I have recommended it to every person I know who is either a student, or a teacher, or a life long learner like myself.

What about Qarie Marshall’s performance did you like?

The funny thing is I don't remember the 'performance' at all. That is a good thing. If the narrator is noticeable for one reason or another, I find that distracting and it destroys the flow of listening and learning in a seamless fashion. It was therefore excellent.

146 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ANDRÉ
  • 2014-11-22

FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO KNOW HOW TO LEARN

Make it Stick, I think, is the best book that teaches how to learn-- the strategies, what really, really works, not only empirical data, but the researches, the scientific data. Do you think that reading all over again is a good plan to ace tests? Think again. There is so much good information that in the middle of the book I had to buy the written version. But don't be mistaken, the audible version delivers it all.
Make it stick is a must! Everybody who wants to increase brain power, that has a limited time to study, has to listen/read it.
Excellent book!

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

252 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jim Fuqua
  • 2014-12-15

Science vs Anecdotal Evidence

Math became quite advanced in the 1600s. Medicine could barely claim a scientific basis until the 1900s. Education? Education is just starting to get there.

The flip flops between "phonics" being the best method to teach reading and "whole language" being the best method to teach reading go back at least to the 1850s because education establishments depended on anecdotal and not rigorous scientific evidence to establish policy. There have been at least four flip flops regarding reading instruction because science was not used to resolve the issue. Many scientific arguments have been made on the subject but not enough large scale controlled studies.

This book is not about reading instruction. It is about the use of the scientific method to resolve the effectiveness of competing alternative methods of instruction.

Some of the discoveries disclosed by scientific inquiry discussed in this book are diametrically opposite to today's teaching methods and many are quite counter intuitive.

I won't go into detail about the content of this book, but one research project discussed in the book demonstrated how little we know.

Take two groups of students and allow one group to use computer monitors that display crisp and clear instructional material. The second group gets the same material, but the monitors are sub-standard and the images are blurred but readable with difficulty.

Who learns more? The answer? Experiments demonstrated that the students using the poor equipment learned more and retained significantly more. Why? They had to struggle. Unbelieveable, but apparently true.

I think about that when I struggle with some of the more confusingly worded Khan Academy problems. You learn from a struggle and not from spoon feeding.

This book is not about anecdotal evidence to support educational theories. It is about what has been proven to work in rigorous scientific studies. It was written by educational researchers at universities and not classroom teachers who often hold diametrically opposite views about what works. Take fifty classroom teachers and you may have twenty different opinions on how best to teach any given thing.

Our big companies such as Google and Amazon use small scale "A/B tests" on a large number of issues daily. They use the results to scientifically tailor the services they deliver to the public.

Primary and Secondary educational establishments run by governmental entities deal more in tradition. There is a trend toward "evidence based" instruction, but often the "evidence" was not scientifically generated with control groups and the examination of alternative methods.

This is a wonderful book. Perhaps there will be a day when every educational manager will take it's message to heart and adopt methods that can withstand rigorous scientific examination.



Jim Fuqua

143 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • K. Parker
  • 2015-02-23

High-quality and high impact ideas

Terrific book about important research and results for optimal learning. Contains very practical ideas for implementation as well. Highly recommended

34 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • joel
  • 2014-11-24

Amazing Book!

What did you love best about Make It Stick?

Good mix of theory a practical tips!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Make It Stick?

Learning by mistakes and Blooms Taxonomy.

Any additional comments?

This is probably the most important book I have ever read. I would highly recommend this book to law students or any other student for that matter.

46 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Guilherme
  • 2015-06-19

Good key conceps but a lot of useless content

I think the author decided to use all the opportunities possible to hammer a few key conceps into the readers / listeners heads.
I get it, you have to self test regularly and review the material in regular intervals and before the lecture. Just don't waste eight hours saying the same thing and using case studies to fill lines on a book.
This book could easily be reduced to 4 hours. Three stars for beating around the bush but good book otherwise

67 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Frank Logue
  • 2014-09-14

Life Hacks for effective learning

If you could sum up Make It Stick in three words, what would they be?

Science-based learning

Any additional comments?

Want to learn some "life hacks" that help you better learn on any topic that interests you? This is your book.

The problem is that basic advice on how to study works using your short term memory, without giving you long term retention. This highly interesting book will teaches the science behind why that is true and shows scientifically verified methods to learn more effectively. Beyond just rote memorization, these techniques help with higher cognitive function as well.

They teach
1) the value of testing (including or perhaps especially self testing),
2) the boost given in "interleaving" different but related topics on a regular basis,
3) the reason why having to generate your own answers to questions before starting to study a topic opens your mind more fully to the material, and more.

Two cognitive scientists work with the hard science, but they teamed with a gifted storyteller to get the points across in this easy to read book that can transform how you learn. This is a truly great book that should change how we teach and how we learn.

74 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • John J. Floro
  • 2015-05-26

Great info!

This book does a great job of explaining which practices work best for learning, which practices do not, and the why behind them. Highly recommend.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Elizabeth
  • 2015-04-10

Need to know information!

So many helpful points! I now know I can pass my certification test. We should be taught HOW to study in school as children and teenagers. I was studying all wrong & without confidence. No matter what age we can keep our brains going by intentional recall. A little long & repetitive, could have been condensed. But it was a big eye opener for me.

16 people found this helpful