We know how important knowledge is and learning is a continuous process throughout our entire lives. You don’t just learn to pass tests or exams; you learn to enrich your overall knowledge. But how many of us have the technique to learn simply and efficiently and to use certain techniques to minimize the effort and help us learn more?
Do you think you already have a learning technique? Check the following list and see if the one you use is here or if there are any others that work for you.
You can use this method to create explanations regarding the ‘why’ stated facts are true. You focus on ‘why’ questions and not on the ‘what’ ones. For example, after reading a text, you should ask yourself why does x = y and you will use the answers to form your notes. This is a simple method that can be applied by anyone
This technique is good for abstract learning, and it implies explaining how you understand the problem and give reasons for your choice. This method is effective both with children and older students. Self-explanation means thinking out loud as you work on a problem, asking questions, finding answers, trying different solution paths, identify changes in your approach and commenting on mistakes. You explain to yourself what you are thinking and doing.
This method is perfect when you have to learn for a written exam. It implies summarizing every page of text that you read and write down a few short lines about the main ideas that you want to remember from that text.
The keyword mnemonic
Mnemonic means memorizing information by associating words with other word-associations. It is useful in a variety of situations, such as memorizing people’s names, learning a foreign language, remembering scientific terms, etc. For example, if there is a list that you have to learn, you can create another word using the first letter of each of the lists’ elements or create a memorable phrase.
Creating clear visual images while you are reading a text is another effective way of memorizing. This technique is more effective when students listen to a text rather than read it.
Have you ever asked yourself if it would be better to do your studying in large or small chunks? Studies have shown that the optimal level of distributing the learning sessions is 10-20% of the time that you need to remember something. For example, if you want to remember something that you have learned for a year, you should study at least each month and if you want to remember it for five years, you should study every six to twelve months.
Although rereading has proved to be less effective compared to other methods, scientists have found that rereading immediately after reading is more efficient than summarizing or outlining.
Have you ever wondered why the amount of studying dramatically increases right before the exam? This is because you fall in what it is called the procrastination scallop, cramming all or most of the knowledge right before the exam. This is because you did not find a learning technique that will suit you and which to use successfully. You can start by spacing learning over time, dividing the amount of information into smaller or larger parts and setting a time frame. If you know exactly how much you have to learn each day or week, and which method works for you, you will see the improvements in a short time.