The world is changing so fast, so it is important to keep your knowledge up to date. In such a situation, it is important to know how to learn: to remember information quickly and for a long time, spending as little effort as possible. We have collected 10 tips to make your studies more productive.
Our brain is very skilled at recognizing the important and the unimportant. If the information we receive does not get the right portion of attention or does not evoke a strong emotional response, it goes to the shelf “not particularly necessary” and is quickly forgotten. To prevent this from happening, it’s worth concentrating as much as possible on meaningful knowledge. Thoughtfully read a useful book, focus on what the lecturer says, turn off your smartphone, do not get distracted. Then you’re more likely to remember what was being talked about.
You can put all your energy into not forgetting the information you need, and still, some of it will inevitably slip away, all at once. The more time passes, the less you remember, and in the end, only the brightest and most important moments remain in your head. But if you make notes, you can always refer to them and quickly refresh your knowledge. Also, when you write down, you get the same information a second time and therefore remember even better.
Some university professors require you to take notes, but this technique works great for any type of information. You can take notes from books, textbooks, webinars, etc. Then even after a while, you won’t have to reread them or revise them in search of a single point.
Say “No” to Multitasking
People have always been attracted to the image of Julius Caesar, able to simultaneously do many things, and almost every second CV multitasking stands out as an advantage. Despite this, often the effectiveness of such work is nothing more than a myth.
If you are trying to switch between preparing for an exam, reading a book, chatting with a friend, and watching videos, you will spend more time and effort switching activities than studying or relaxing. It’s much better to concentrate on one thing at a time, finish it, and only then move on to another. This is the only way you can get to the heart of the task and complete it well.
Make a plan
Most schoolchildren and students begin to study just before exams or tests. Sometimes it is a forced necessity, but we can’t speak about the effectiveness of classes in this case. If you want to remember the information you need, it is worth making a study schedule with a certain number of hours and deadlines. When you need to finish the task by a certain deadline, it allows you to study the subject more thoroughly and remember everything you need better. If you are studying for yourself, a plan will help you get started seriously and give you extra motivation.
To study productively, you need to give yourself a break. Sometimes there is no time at all to learn a lot of information, but even then, small pauses that allow your brain to switch for a while will be more useful than continuous cramming. Otherwise, you will quickly become tired and, no matter how much effort you spend, you won’t be able to memorize even the simplest things.
Do not limit your study time to just listening to lectures and doing your homework. If you have questions, do not hesitate to ask them, express your point of view, and participate in discussions. This, on the one hand, will help you learn the material better and, on the other hand, will allow you to learn more about the subject. When students are interested in the subject, teachers love it, and your activity will likely inspire them to explore the issues that interest you further, going beyond the course and the standard textbook information.
Determine the best channel for obtaining information
There are several ways to get information, and each person’s channel suits him or her differently. Some people learn better by listening to a lecturer, others by reading texts on a topic. And even though we don’t usually choose how we learn, it is worth being aware of our peculiarities. For example, if you perceive information easier visually, you can write down a lecture, thus converting it into a text format. If you are a better listener, discuss the article you read with friends or find an audio version of the book. It is very important to determine which channel is right for you in order to understand the study material as well as possible. After all, students often have to get paper help if they could not understand the topic on their own.
It’s not enough to learn everything well once to retain your knowledge forever. Information that we don’t use, over time, goes from active memory to passive memory, from which it is not so easy to get. So if you don’t want to lose your grip, don’t just memorize, but use the new knowledge in practice. Even if they are purely theoretical, you can have discussions with colleagues and fellow students, revise notes, read or even write articles on your topic, etc.
In the past, studies for a person ended with graduation. Now it is necessary to constantly acquire new knowledge. However, if you put a little effort into it, studying can be turned from a difficult task into an enjoyable and truly rewarding experience.