Design principle 2:

→ Limit drills to crucial need-to-know information

Focus on information that people really need to remember. Use drills to anchor crucial knowledge. Check below to find out how it’s done!


Try to limit your drills to information that really matters. Avoid unnecessary information, include only crucial knowledge that people really need to remember to be able to do their job well or ace an exam. All other information will only be a distraction from the important material. Such a waste!


In the part about design principle 1, we already mentioned microlearning. It means that you should ideally cut learning material up into small chunks, enabling students or employees to learn more often at short intervals by giving them short drills to do. This will help anchor the learning material.

But there’s another benefit to microlearning. It also forces you to separate inessentials from important information, reducing the learning material to information that learners really have to retain. This helps prevent an overload of the brain’s cognitive capacity. Stick to crucial information that people really need to know, and include as few minor details as possible. Need-to-know only!


On the right, you can see an example of need-to-know information. The six steps of CPR is crucial knowledge. The number of AED’s in the Netherlands is less important. Try to distinguish as much as possible between main and side issues.

10 drill design principles

With the 10 drill design principles, we help you on your way to designing the perfect drills. These tips will help you create the best questions based on educational design principles and ensure an effective learning process and well-anchored knowledge. Click on one of the other 9 design principles for more information and clear examples per design principle.

Workshop drill design

Rather have a personal explanation of how to make the perfect drill? We provide drill design workshops and refresher courses for (future) instructional drill designers. Fill in this form and we will contact you.

Need support?

Don’t have the time or resources to make good drills yourself? Find out how we can help!

  • Training: training your employees to become Certified Instructional Drill Designers.
  • Drill design: you can also opt to outsource parts of the drill design process to us.
  • Drill review: one of our educational specialists will help you by reviewing your drill content.
  • Bulk input: entering large volumes of content.
  • Communications: we would be happy to help you with internal communications on implementing the Drillster method.
  • Customization: integration into an LMS or learning portal: “Drillster inside” your trusted environment.

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