Do you want better grades ? Do you want study better ?
Obviously, everyone want those things. I’m just listing a 66 Tricks study better and Faster. Atleast, Pick one trick and apply it in your studies. It improves your studies little bit. So, Get into tricks.
This is simple technique yet effective one. The key thing here is, convert the concepts in your own words. Write out the information in your own words. It’s way better than highlighting. Because, when you write out things in your own words, you actively engaged in the learning process. So, Paraphrase the information rather than highlighting.
2: Pseudo Skimming
It is the balance between light reading and intense reading. Calnewport says, the longer the reading, the higher percentage of filler paragraphs. Instead of reading all the paragraphs, you should be selective. Read the first line and last line of each paragraph, it tells you what the paragraph about. When you reach important paragraph, stop and read in depth.
What Calnewport says about this ?
“The rhythm of pseudo-skimming is one of jogs and sprints. As you enter a new paragraph, you slow and read the first sentence. You ask: “what is this paragraph about?” If you get the sense that there is probably not much new meat here: abort! Jump to the start of the next paragraph, and ask the question again. Otherwise, stay the course, and actually read the damn thing.”
Visualize the information or concept is better way to convert the abstract information into concrete. Its gives you big picture of an idea. Make sure it’s clear ( what you visualize ) in your mind, otherwise you’ll forget.
4: Metaphors and Analogies
It’s the principle of elaboration which means adding the additional layer to the information. Ask yourself: What it relates to something I already know ?. And Compare that to what you’re currently learning. It makes you connect the information which is stored in the long term memory.
This is learned from Scott h Young. It’s a upgraded version of visualization. The main thing is adding the additional elements to the information. Connecting a more than one senses to the information. Visualize the information, Listen the sounds it produce, Touch that. Creating a emotional experience with it.
Scott h young wrote in his book,
” Visceralization is my word to describe imagining not only a mental picture, but
sounds, sensations and emotions. Often a mental image will work, but connecting an
idea to several senses and even emotional states can create a stronger link than a picture.”
It’s the simpler version of visualization. Take a paper and make a diagrams on what you’re learning. Chart out the information in paper. It also give a quick refresh before you writing an exam. It’s also helps to visualize an idea.
It’s a standard memory technique. It’s helps store the facts. Essentially, it is pick out the first word in the list of information and turn into a word or sentence. There is popular example which is VIBGYOR, It’s helps to remember the colours of the rainbow.
8: Link Method
It’s helpful to remember the list of words. First, List out the words or info. Second, Turn the word into simple mental picture. Third, Link it one by one ( Connect 1 and 2, 2 and 3, 3 and 4, and so on ). For example: To remember milk and carrot. I connect these two things by imagining that when I bite the carrot, milk comes out of it. Then, instead of eating the carrot, I’m drinking the milk from the carrot. Make the links in the way of bizarre. It should be weird, then only it’s easy to remember.
9: Mind Map
Put the major topic on center, chart out the subtopics from that and chart out the ideas from that. After you finished the process, this gives you whole picture of that particular topic. This video teaches you the basics of mind map.
10: All in One Mental Picture
This is more similar to link method, but there is a difference. Instead of link one by one, you put all images in one picture. Turn the words into images and put all those images in one big picture. So, your effort to recall is reduced. When you just recall that one big picture, it makes you remember all the words.
11: Memory Palace
This is one of the effective memory techniques. I’m decided to write one full article on memory palace. But, in short pick out the certain journey in your life and put the word turned images along the way ( certain locations on journey ) of journey. Then, your only job is just rehearse the journey, it makes you remember all the ideas.
12: Explain To 5 Year Old Child
Just explain the topic to imaginary 5 year old child. Why ? Because, when you explain the particular topic to a child, you should simplify the ideas. This simple exercise gives you a deep understanding of that topic.
Chunking creates mental neural pattern in your brain. When you practice something in repetitive manner, it’s strongly registered in your brain. So, it’s comes you automatically. This is the technique I learned from Barbara Oakley.
In the interview between Scott h young and Barbara Oakley, she said:
“It’s unquestionably the idea of chunking. Chunking is a way of gainingprocedural fluency in whatever topic you’re trying to become an expert in. To explainthat, let’s take something simple like backing up a car. So when you first back up a carit’s so hard, do you look behind you? Do you look in the side mirror? Do you look in thefront mirror? It’s very difficult and you might be thinking, I will never be able to back upa car.But within a few days or a week or two, you begin to learn to back up the car. In fact,after a little bit, you can do it while you’re talking to your friends or listening to theradio. It’s super easy. So backing up a car has become one united neural chunk in yourmind so all you have to do is call that into your working memory. Because it’s onething, it doesn’t block out other parts of your working memory so you can actually doother things at the same time. “
“You want to take that homework problem or a key example problem in your textbookand see if you can work it cold. If you need to look at something for a hint, do that. Butthen try again. See if you can work it cold. Practice that for several days until itbecomes like backing up a car. After awhile you don’t really need to think about it. “
Summarizing the biggest topic is leads to better understanding. When you summarize, you extract the key points from the topic and made into a good flow, right. It’s like extracting a wheat from chaff. It’s also better than highlighting, in my opinion.
15: Practice Testing:
Test yourself repetitively is helps remembering capacity of yours. It’s easier to recall when you practice to recall the certain information. The key thing here is recalling the information without seeing the material and get the feedback. A team of cognitive and educational psychologists conduct experiments on top 10 commonly used learning techniques and they concluded, Practice testing is one of the effective learning techniques.
16: Distributed Practice
Its a method which you divides studies over time intervals rather than doing it one large chunk. Atleast, review the information monthly. Its an another effective technique, as scientists concluded. Its a good way to study better. This why cramming doesn’t work.
17: Pomodora Method
Set 25 minutes and study until that time completes. And, take a 5 minutes break. After the four time you complete, take a long break. You can overcome your procrastination by doing this. It’s makes you focus.
18: Distraction sheet
This can be combined with pomodora method. When you think something else during studying just note that in a paper. So, you don’t need think more on that. It’s lead to a healthy study time which means you’re much more focused on studying rather than other things.
Set a 60-90 minute blocks and start studying. Don’t do anything until the time completes. After you completed the task, you can do something else. Shut off every distractions both internal and external, then only focused on learning and studying. I’m also said about this in this post.
Tracking your day is important one. Then only, you can find where you time goes. With Timelogging, you can find more time to study. Start tracking your day, what you do most ? and what you do least ?. What doesn’t add value in your life ? eliminate those things and making it for studying.
It is useful storing the numbers in your head. Associate the letters into each number like 1- s, 2-t, 3-r etc., And when you trying to storing numbers. Using those letters and fill the vowels in between of those letters. It gives you a certain word, so you can recall the numbers by using this word.For example: If I want to store 923 in my head, I’m just look what words I associated with ( 9-m, 2-t, 3-r ) then I fill the vowels and it results MOTOR.
22: Body Association
It’s a simple one. Just associate the info to your body parts. It’s a kinda memory technique. Associate each words in your fingers of your hand. Associate and feel that’s the key thing.
23: Event Association
You’ve attend a lot of events in your life. I’m sure it gives you a lot of happy moments. Those are the long term memories. Associate the information to a certain event. Then its seems simpler. When you connect the ideas to any emotional experiences, it results greater recall. It’s what I found in my experiments.
24: Visual Mnemonics
I’m already said about mnemonics. What I do in visual mnemonics is just visualize the mnemonic and connect it into the topic. For example: RICE for the instructions for treating a sprain (Rest the injured area, Ice the sprain, Compress with a wrap or bandage, Elevate the injured area ). I’m just the visualize the bag of Rice and when I sprinkle the rice on the affected area. The pain is vanished.
25: Break Down
Its an another procrastination technique. Break down the study tasks into simpler components is makes you begins the task. For example: Study Maths is vague. Take out the materials, Review the formulas and concepts, List out problems, Practice. So, its easy for you to begin the task instead of procrastinating.
Its an universal one. Meditation boost your concentration. The simple form of meditation is close your focus and start focusing on your breathing pattern. When thoughts comes, let it flow. Don’t try to shut it down.
27: Ask Why ?
Children are always asking questions. Like that, start asking question on what you’re studying, Ask why is leads to exploring new ideas. It’s a good sign of deep understanding. When you ask question, it makes your brain curiosity. Curiosity kills the boredom. So, studying seems a good experience rather than boring one.
28: Make it Quick
Its not a new technique. It;s just triggers your brain to recalling the ideas. In my early days, When teacher ask me question, I’m repetitively telling myself “make it quick, dinesh”. Answers flow out of my brain. It’s not a magical one. Bu,t it works me. I hope it works you well.
29: Hints & Cues
If you closely investigate the questions, it may reveals you some of the hints and cues to remember the answers. Try to find that.
30: Relate to Giant Picture
Take any picture such as car or lion. Try to relate the ideas you’re currently learning to the parts of the picture. When you relate everything to the one picture, its become easier to recall. It’s also boost your understanding as well as your creativity.
31: Teach to Your Friends
If you’re friend ask any help related to studies. Go and help them, explain them. When you explain something to your friends, its boost your understanding also. You may find some of the holes and errors along the way. So, you can seal those misunderstandings
32: Review Before Going to Sleep
Review the learned materials before going to sleep. It helps to move the information from short term memory to long term memory. When you sleep, it rehearses the information you consumed.
33: Focus On Rewards
Think about what you get if you studied completely. Feel the achievements and embrace that. What you get if you done ?. Then focus on that and imagine with it whenever you feel boring. This keeps you focused. It unlocks the Reward Bias.
34: Practice Exams
Take the old exam papers and practice with that. Duplicate the exam conditions. How much time they give ? Set that as a time limit. And start writing a exam, discipline yourself. After you finished, correcting the paper yourself or give it to your teacher. Feedback is really important.
35: Drink water
Have a water bottle with you and drink intermittently. It zaps your energy and refresh your brain. In an article UC Davis, how does water affect your brain:
- Your brain is about 75% water. When your brain is functioning on a full reserve of water, you will be able to think faster, be more focused, and experience greater clarity and creativity.
- Water is also essential for delivering nutrients to the brain and for removing toxins. When the brain is fully hydrated, the exchange of nutrients and toxins will be more efficient—thus ensuring better concentration and mental alertness.
36: Put it on Calendar
If you’ve any important events or exams, put it immediately on calendar. So, you don’t forget. It makes you always updated. Make it is a habit. It shows how much time you have for studying.
37: Fudge Ratio
We bad at predicting how much time is needed to complete the certain task. This is called planning fallacy. Steve Pavlina found the solution for that:
1: Write down a list of tasks you need to do
2: Put an “off-the-cuff” time estimates on each one
3: As you finish tasks, write down the actual amount of time they took
4: Divide the actual task time by your estimate to get your Fudge ratio
After you find your fudge ratio. Multiply your normal time estimation with your fudge ratio. It gives more or less accurate time estimation
38: Don’t Break the Chain
Create a habits related to your studies and stick with it. For example: Daily Reviewing the learned materials. And don’t miss that at any cost. Do that everyday. In short, Don’t Break the Chain.
39: Flow Notes
It’s created by Scott h young. You can use this method when it comes to concept based classes. It’s opposite of linear notetaking. Instead of writing the notes in bulleted forms, you should made it into a web of connection. Put the topic and branching out related information on that. If you want more, I suggest this article.
40: Eat your Frogs First
Do the hardest task in the morning. You’re mind is being fresh when morning. Use your resources wisely. Don’t waste it for meaningless activities such as checking facebook and chatting.
Do exercise daily. It keeps your body and brain healthy. It encouraging the production of growth factors – chemicals that affect the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, it upgrades overall brain performance. Try this: Exercise before studying
42: Find Purpose
I’m also mention in this article. Ask yourself: Why you studying this subject ? How it helps me in my life ? It makes your brain curious and thirsty. It helps you to learn faster and better
43: Don’t Hesitate to Ask Help
If you’ve any doubts, clear that immediately. Don’t procrastinate. If you’re shy to ask questions when you’re in class. Meet your teacher privately and clear your doubts.
Write down all your thoughts related to the subject before you start studying that. It makes your brain ready for studying.
45: Essential List
List out the important formulas and concepts. It helps when you’re studying and before the exams. If you put all important things in one paper, it easy to review before going to write an exam.
46: Smart Breaks
Take breaks is good thing. But, you should aware of what type of breaks you’re taking. Don’t do any interesting things like playing games. Instead drink water or take a small walk.
Pick any topic on your subject and debate about that with your friends. It triggers your brain for thinking. It’s also improves your critical thinking.
Generation is an attempt to answer a question or solve a problem before being shown the answer or the solution. It exercises your brain and kindle your creativity. After your receive the feedback, you’re more likely remember that in future.
49: Dive into Google
Start searching about the topic you’re studying in google. It gives you lot of results and information. Read those things, it gives you an enormous links to the topic. So, you can remember that in more than one way.
50: Feedback Loop
It’s a useful concept in learning. It means, applying a knowledge or skills and getting a information about where you can improve. If you continuously doing this, it improves your mastery.
Elon musk said:
“I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better. I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself “
51: Growth Mindset
The opposite of growth mindset is fixed mindset. Fixed mindset people believes their skills and talents is fixed or unchangeable. But, Growth mindset believes their skills or talent can be improved through learning and practice. Install the Growth mindset in your mind.
52: Learn In Multiple ways
Learn the information more than one way. Read that, watch that in youtube, debate with your friends etc., If you consumed the same information in multiple ways, is registered in your brain strongly.
53: Create Flashcards
It’s useful for learning facts. It’s having the principle of active recalling. You can use traditional flashcards or software. I recommend Anki.
54: Scrambled Practice
It’s helpful when learning math. The key there is do the practice in scrambled manner i.e First do the first type problems and second type problems and come to the first type problem. If you’ve the ability to do this, that means your proficiency is increased
55: Change Place
When you’re studying, change your place intermittently. It’s the tactic derived from the principle of desirable difficulties. It gives some sort of difficulties but it’s effective.
56: Monitor Yourself
Assessing yourself consistently. How much you learned ? How much you remember ? What you forget most of the times ? When you monitoring yourself consistently, you can improve yourself. You doesn’t need special tutor.
57: Avoid Multitasking
Focus on only one task at a time. Otherwise, you’ll study time become wasted. In the book ” A Mind For Numbers “, Barbara Oakley said:
” Students who interrupt their work constantly not only don’t learn as deeply, but also aren’t able to transfer what little they do learn as easily to other topics “
When you practiced a specific skill, you reached the mastery at some point. But that doesn’t mean you should stop to practice. Practice beyond that is good way to retain the skill
59: Take a Role
When you learning math, think like a mathematician. When you learning philosophy, think like a philosopher. It’s a simple way to trick your brain for get into studying.
60: 1-3-7-21 Method
It’s a review method. Review the learned materials after the one day, third, seven, twenty one. Review the information in this basis, to move the information to long term memory.
61: Write Down Worries
Everyone have worries before an exam. Write down all the worries before an exam. It cleans your brain from the dust.
62: Focus On Process
Focus on the process rather than product. Barbara oakley said,
” Process means the flow of time and the habits and actions associated with that flow of time – as in,” I’m going to spend twenty minutes working”. Product is an outcome- for example, a homework assignment that you need to finish.”
63: Be Organized
Keep your notes organized. It reduce your worries. It doesn’t increase your learning proficiency but It helps in some way.
64: Take Note by Hand
Some peoples like to write notes by hand. And, others like to do in laptop. When you writing, it keeps your brain on. Even research says, take notes by hand is better than typing.
65: Do Work Daily
Daily, do the some form of work related to your studies. Atleast, 30 minutes. When you do the schoolwork daily, it keeps you motivated. So, don’t miss a day.
66: Apply Information
You should apply information you’ve learned in your life. So, you don’t forget at any cost. It becomes part of your life. Study for grades is good but you should use it in your life.