how to learn better

September 18, 2014 § Leave a comment

Most of my life I have employed inefficient and unproductive learning methods. I read the textbook (which takes me hours), make flash cards, take notes, and do everything that most people assume is effective. The only problem is this is time consuming and, ultimately, a complete waste of time.

Borrowing advice from Scott Young and his Learn More Study Less program and Peter C. Brown et. al.’s book, Make it StickI’ve revamped my studying techniques. Being my first semester of a rigorous research oriented masters degree, it’s about time I learn to study properly.

TECHNIQUES

  1. Only cover information once. If your textbook is just a repeat of the lecture, ignore it or speed read the required chapters.
  2. Employe metaphors, visualization, and diagrams.
  3. Cover information once. Then do practice problems, flash cards, or quiz and recall depending upon the nature of the content.
  4. After following #3, if you need to re-read it should be very selective – i.e. pinpoint areas of weakness or insufficient understanding and cover that material again.
  5. Use the Feynman Technique.
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