Students Overestimate Learning Abilities
A recent study by UCLA shows that students not only underestimate the power of continual study and repetitions, but that they tend to overestimate their knowledge of material.
A study was done with a large group of college students where they were shown a list of word pairs. They had to estimate how well they knew the material, and then how well they would test if they studied the material on a regular basis. A large percentage of the volunteers overestimated their abilities to take a test on the materials, and they underestimated the fact that they would do better on the test if given additional time and repeated exercise.
This goes to show that it is so important to study materials on a regular basis if you want faster recall and better recollection over time. The power of studying is far stronger than any college student would like to believe, and this study shows that even if they say they know the material, they may be grossly overestimating their own knowledge.