What are some examples of metacognitive strategies?

What are some examples of metacognitive strategies?

Metacognition is the ability to think about one’s own thinking. The word meta means “beyond” and cognition means “thinking”. Therefore, metacognitive strategies contain how an individual thinks and regulates the same.

Some examples of metacognitive strategies are:


Self-questioning requires a person to take recurrent pauses during a particular task and check on one’s own behaviors. Individuals usually carry out self-questioning while completing the task and after completing the tasks in the form of self-reflection.

Such questioning is a way through which individuals can improve their performance in a particular task. Without this, individuals lack questioning themselves which would otherwise help to fill up some crucial gaps.

Some examples of self-questioning during a task might involve:

  • Did I miss out on something?
  • How can I do this task better the next time?
  • Am I looking at the task in the right way?


Meditation is known to be one of the most effective metacognitive strategies to help keep a person’s mind clear. Meditation helps to clear out the chaos that goes on in a person’s head due to internal and external affairs. It helps an individual to stay focused and calm during learning.

It is believed that meditation is carried out to become more aware of one’s own inner self and thought process.


The concept of self-reflection involves taking breaks to think about one’s task at hand. It involves consciously reflecting on the way an individual thinks to improve their task or performance.

A number of steps are involved in the self-reflection process which is as follows:

  • Planning a task
  • Attempting the task
  • Understanding how one performed the task
  • Coming up with the positives of the task with a focus on improving one weak point
  • Trying again and
  • Consciously self-reflecting

Once individual masters the skill of self-reflection reflecting upon one’s task can be done simultaneously while performing it helping a person to make quick adjustments to one’s thinking process.

Being aware of one’s strengths and weaknesses

The backbone of metacognitive strategies is the person’s ability to identify their weaknesses and strengths. One can do this by carrying out a general assessment of their weaknesses and strengths to achieve significant improvement.

One can carry out a genuine assessment by making a chart of four major sections which are:

  • Weaknesses: writing down what one thinks their weaknesses are.
  • Strengths: writing down what one perceives their strengths are.
  • Opportunities: identifying opportunities that helped to improve one’s cognitive skills over a period

Threats: identifying the potential trends that might act as barriers to improving one’s cognitive skills over a period.

Use of Mnemonics

Mnemonics can be looked at as a useful tool that one can use to improve their retention capacity. This might include various tools like forming associations, use of rhymes, patterns, and abbreviations.

Mnemonics Make it much easier to recall information by adding context to a fact.

Some important tools of mnemonics are:


Making rhymes out of a name helps to remember and recall the name much better the next time a person encounters it.


Forming associations particularly between familiar and unfamiliar entities makes it easier for individuals to remember information.

For example, remembering people with names shared by your family members are much easier to recall than those names that are completely unfamiliar.

Thinking aloud

One of the important sociocultural theories of education given by Lev Vygotsky indicates that new learners tend to think aloud before internalizing their thinking. The theory proposes that thinking aloud makes an individual think deep.

Thinking aloud not only helps people become more conscious about their cognitive processes but also helps other people identify areas that are going astray.

Active listening strategies

Active listening strategies are some ways that individuals ensure they are actively and attentively listening.

Some examples of active listening strategies involve:

  • Facing the speakers directly
  • Making eye contact
  • Asking questions
  • Acknowledging the speaker when required
  • Repeating and rephrasing what was said by the speaker.

Planning ahead

Planning about how an individual will take forward a task might be an important metacognitive strategy. It involves thinking about what a person is going to do to accomplish their task.

Planning ahead might involve making decisions about a few crucial elements such as:

Noting down the strategies one will adopt during the initiation of the task

Mapping out to various skills that one might need to use for completing a task appropriately

keeping in mind the mistakes that an individual made in the past and consciously reminding themselves not to do them again

keeping some additional tools at hand to help stay focused on the completion of the task such as making graphics.

What are metacognitive strategies?

Metacognitive strategies refer to the tools that one uses to monitor self-improvement and become a positive learner. It requires a person to control their thinking in ways that help them to meet their goals optimally.

What is metacognition?

Metacognition refers to “thinking about thinking”. It was a concept introduced by John Flavell. He referred to metacognition as the knowledge one holds about their own cognitive processes.

In addition to being aware of one’s own cognitive processes, a person can reflect on the task that one undertakes using the appropriate strategy.

Metacognition is a crucial component of positive learning. It involves principles of self-reflection, self-regulation, and being aware of one’s own strengths and weaknesses.


Metacognitive strategies help individuals to give a thought to their thinking process. This is essential for self-improvement. Considering its nature of being learned, practiced, and integrated into habits metacognitive strategies can be adopted by a varied population.

Holding metacognitive strategies is considered essential for the betterment of one’s productivity in various domains of one’s life as using metacognitive strategies actively helps people become efficient learns.

It helps people not only control their thoughts but also their behavior optimally.

Frequently asked questions


What is a metacognitive strategy?

Metacognitive procedures engage students to think about their own thinking.  Metacognitive exercises can incorporate arranging how to approach learning assignments, distinguishing appropriate procedures to complete an assignment, assessing progress, and observing comprehension.

What are the four types of metacognitive?


Perkins described 4 levels of metacognitive learners which are tactic, aware, strategic, and reflective. Tactic learners are those who are unaware of their cognitive knowledge. They do not process any particular strategies for learning and hardly acknowledge the information they already hold.  

What are metacognitive skills?

Metacognition is described as one’s awareness about their thought process or any relational elements. Possessing metacognitive skills indicates being well aware of one’s own thought process through various tools and measures which aim towards improved learning.

What are the three categories of metacognitive knowledge?

Flavell divided metacognitive knowledge into three sectors that are the knowledge of person variables, task variables, and strategy variables.

What are the types of metacognition?

Metacognition is broken down into three sectors that are metacognitive knowledge, metacognitive experience, and metacognitive strategies. All of these fall under the wide bracket of being in control of one’s thinking process using strategies such as organizing and monitoring.


13 Examples of Metacognitive Strategies