Why rote learning won’t help you to become a top scorer?

Aug 23, 2022

The enjoyment of learning something new is diminished by rote memorization. It forces us to simply memorise all of the information without applying any logic to it. The ultimate goal of education should be to develop the mind to seek answers. To question what is right or wrong. A rote learner will always jump to the answer by recall when presented with a simple multiplication problem, whereas a divergent thinker will arrive at the same answer through different methods.

Conceptual learning

Leadership qualities can only be taught to students when they can be independent to make their own decisions. How can someone who has always relied on facts fed into his head take 

his own decisions? How will he face difficult situations or react in an unknown environment? It's important for students to be able to draw conclusions from their learnings, and not just focus on repeating information.

Fact-based learning

Cramming large amounts of specific details and facts may quickly become a laborious task for many students. The question remains — are they actually learning something or simply memorising it to pass an exam?

Logic-based understanding

Students must use memory games and techniques to make the repetition stay put in their minds. There's no bridge between old and new concepts. In fact, knowledge-building is non-existent. Some students may find information retention difficult to master, whereas others will excel in this area.


It's important for students to undertake meaningful learning. By rote learning they simply use the power of their memory and cannot imagine creatively. 
Only through meaningful learning can a student hone their critical, and analytical skills. Real learning only happens when we put what we have learned to practice. 

Assessment based learning rather than rote learning

Educators should incorporate some rote learning with other teaching methods to help their students remember valuable information. Building a student's competency, depends on how well-versed he is with the subject matter. The use of reference books helps students put theoretical knowledge to practice. It helps them deal with a variety of questions, and prepares them well for exams along with developing his analytical abilities.

Disadvantages of rote learning

Some educators believe memorization limits students' options and doesn't promote questioning and thinking. More disadvantages associated with rote memorization include:

  • Easy loss of focus

  • No use of social skills during rote learning

  • Promotes short-term memory instead of long-term recall

  • It's repetitive and tedious. Students may lose interest after a time

  • It doesn't encourage students to grow, explore, and think out of the box

  • Critical thinking skills do not have the chance to develop with memorization

  • Social interaction is unlikely to occur between students because they'll be focused on memorization instead of working together.

  • Students lose the ability to think for themselves because they're accustomed to following instructions. They cannot build leadership skills.

  • Rote memorization does not promote critical thinking. Critical thinking skills could fall by the wayside if rote learning becomes your primary teaching method.

I'd like to make it clear that rote learning and meaningful learning are two sides of the same coin. They fill the knowledge gap. There are times when rote learning is the only way to learn, whether because of the nature of the subject or because it is the only way a student can learn. It is critical, however, to recognize that rote learning is not the most effective way to learn most things. True learning occurs through meaningful learning, in which the learner is taught to question, analyze, and arrive at a solution from a different perspective.

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