Stop studying! What you’re doing right now might be a waste of time. Read over your notes, review the class material, highlight things – repetition, repetition, repetition.
These study tactics have been drilled into you for years but the science is very clear, certain study techniques are more beneficial than others. So instead of you spending hours and hours trying to search for the right answer, I’ve written this article so you can develop a significant advantage over the rest of your class, your friends and your peers.
Here’s 2 methods to study effectively. Another 3 methods will be covered in Part 2
1. Memory Palaces
Did you know there are people out there so good at remembering things that they compete in tournaments of learning and they are known as memory athletes in an annual contest called the world memory championships? They were given 20 minutes to remember a list of 72 random words and on average, they scored nearly 71 out of the 72 random words. By contrast an untrained control group could only manage 36 out of the 72 random words.
Another example Akira Haraguchi at 69 years old recited 111,700 digits of pi from memory at a public event near Tokyo. For 16 hours he kept going and going and going. Imagine the power of having a memory like that. I want you to imagine yourself as one of them, not just a student or a teenager or a grad, but as a memory Athlete. You’re going to become someone with such power over your mind that you can recall pages of notes equations formulas that you need without the endless hours of beating information into your head.
But how? Do you need an innate gift? Can you learn it? Well, actually you already have. Picture where the spoons are kept in your kitchen, the socks in your room, the color of your toothbrush. These memory athletes use an ancient Greek technique called memory palaces, and once you master this technique you too are going to dramatically improve your ability to study effectively and finally open up your dormant reserves of memory.
The idea is simple, you walk through an environment like your house and you place objects in specific places. Then you match the things you want to learn with those objects. So when you’re trying to remember that information, perhaps the notes you took that day in class, you don’t just think back to your notes. You think of where those notes are in your house, which object did you attach it to? What’s the color and you reapply this until it becomes crystal clear in your mind.
This technique maps new information onto something that your brain has already evolved to do extremely well by recall imagery in specific locations.
2. Feynman Technique / Protege Effect
The second technique known as the protege effect, also known as teaching someone what you want to learn. A 2007 study looked at how teaching someone impact a person’s learning. Students in this study who were also teachers to younger students scored higher on tests than pupils who were learning only for their own sake.
Why? Researchers found that when you choose to teach someone else, you have to work harder to understand the material in order to recall it more accurately and apply it more effectively, which is something known as depth of processing.
Physicist Robert Feynman created a mental model called the Feynman technique. This technique has 4 steps to it;
#1 – Write the name of a concept on a top of a blank page that you want to learn. #2 – Write down an explanation of the concept as if you’re teaching a new student. #3 – Identify what’s missing. Go back and relearn.
#4 – Review everything make sure you’re avoiding using complicated language and try to simplify everything on the page as much as possible.
This technique forces you to deconstruct and then reconstruct ideas. To use this method and learn how to study effectively, identify first what do you want to learn and then try to imagine you’re explaining it to a five-year-old. You may get your private tutor to give you some tips on this method.
I hope you find these 2 methods effective for your study. The second part will be covered later.