Want to be a scholar, class topper & stand out from crowd. How to study more effectively and smart? Then read these 15 ways to learn faster now.
Humans are the most intelligent living beings on the planet Earth. We all know this fact. Within the human race, there is a virtual race between the brightest minds. Hence, humans developed a system of education and studies which helps the young ones to build the necessary skills required for advanced innovative ideas.
Civilized urban societies in every corner of the world have education systems which want children to read, analyse and develop intelligence. Not every person is the same; humans are highly diverse. Yet, the basic building blocks are unchanged. A lot depends on the techniques of application.
You might have compared yourself with your peers who outperform you at the academics. You might have also witnessed a few people around you with an excellent memory and recognition power. If you wonder how these people manage to do recall information and why you’re unable to replicate, then you’re at the right page.
How to Study More Effectively and Smart?
We bring you the best 15 ways to learn faster and ultimately how to study more effectively and smart. The tips and techniques shared here work for every regular person.
Diverging means of acquiring the same information
The most common source of information for a school going kid is her textbook. With the emergence of internet and penetration among younger kids, the online world too has become a vast source of information.
Your body has five important senses through which you acquire data as you read by seeing through eyes; your ears help you in listening etc. The brain simply processes the data and gains knowledge.
What if you provide data to the brain by various means. For example, reading a novel is wearisome for some people but watching a movie based on the same story is interesting. You use your ears and eyes both when you watch a video while when you read, you rely on your eyes only.
Therefore, if you acquire the same information from different mediums and sources, it is likely that you’ll remember it for long. Don’t depend on a single reference.
Study multiple subjects in a day
Assume that you’re a week before your terminal examinations. You have six subjects to study. You have two options, either you study one subject a day, or you study every subject for limited hours a day.
Research suggests that studying more than one subject a day results in better memory. The first reason is, a few chapters of some subjects are interrelated such mathematics and science, languages and many more. It helps in memorizing some topics.
The second reason is, reading multiple subjects keeps our brain active. Our brain tends to stay active for new activities, and when things become redundant, it starts getting dull.
Hence, prepare your study schedule in such a way that you study more than one subject in a day.
Revise and Review
The most crucial step in learning fast is revising what you have already studied. Revision should not include rereading each and every word. Follow the following steps to revise efficiently:
- Keep a pencil in hand while reading
- Read the complete paragraph in one go.
- Underline the highlights of the paragraph and crucial information with the help of the pencil.
- Reread only the underlined part again.
- Now encircle important keywords which can help you in retaining the rest of the information.
- Reread the encircled keywords and express the related information in your own words.
And now you know how to review/revise a set of paragraph or information efficiently. It not only saves time but attaches specific keywords with the complete information.
Earphones, mobile phone, laptop, books and notepads on one table look good only when you use one of them at once. It has become a misunderstanding among teenagers that doing multiple jobs at once saves their time and makes them look ‘cool’.
In reality, it doesn’t save time. Even if you save 5-10 minutes with the help of multi-tasking, you’ll have to compromise with the quality. Ultimately you spend more time to get the quality right.
Studying requires attention and concentration. Don’t divide your focus while studying. Take one task at a time, perform the task with dedication and don’t compromise with the quality of the result.
Multi-tasking is effective when the results are not quality oriented. Studies already require a high level of attention. Listening to songs while studying, watching a video or talking to a friend inhibit your brain’s ability to remember.
Strategize learning methods
The tip number #1 talks about various means of information sources and use of different mediums. This tip discusses how to manipulate information into a form which is easier to memorize.
Mnemonics are one of such tool which makes learning easier especially when the order of entities is vital. For example, Raging Martians Invaded Venus Using X-Ray Guns to memorize electromagnetic radio spectrum from low frequency to high-frequency waves (Radio waves, Microwaves, Infrared, Visible light, Ultraviolet, X-rays, Gamma rays).
Similarly, to memorize numerical values or comparative statistics, it’s better to organize data in the form of charts or graphs. The pictorial structure of data is more comfortable to interpret and learn.
Tables can also be used to simplify data presentation.
Write down your worries
Your brain is vulnerable to negative thoughts. It falls prey to anything imaginative worse case circumstances. You are always advised to think positively for good results. You keep reminding yourself to believe in the positive direction, but your brain is automatically tuned to think negative.
The prime reason is fear of failure and worries that have made their houses in your neural network. How to get rid of them?
Write down all your worries on a piece of paper before you start studying. Don’t keep them inside your head. Make space for new and valuable information. Note down the consequences of all worse scenarios.
Research says that this activity helps a student in focusing while learning without spending time on the undesired result.
Quizzing and mocks
‘Ask’ and ‘answer’. Formulate questions from the paragraph that you read and answer yourself after reading the section. There are many ways in which information can be asked.
One word answer questions are highly productive. First, your brain puts an effort in the formulation of all permutations and combinations of possible problems from the article. Then it has to exercise more to find out the correct answer of all the questions.
In this way, you revise the same piece of information in different ways. Similarly, mock tests are beneficial before the final examination.
You should prepare a question bank while studying. Using the same question bank, you should write down an examination like question paper for yourself. Solve the question paper as if you are solving in the real examination hall and help yourself in learning more.
Read out loud
Reading is a common activity. You keep your eyes open for most of the part of your day. Throughout the day you see a lot of text and your brain processes that text. This repeated activity by brain makes it realize that not every information that is put in front of your eyes is essential.
It reads and ignores. Similarly, while reading a chapter silently for long hours, our brain starts skipping a few words, and we lose our flow. As mentioned in tip #1, the involvement of more senses in activity helps your brain in focusing on the subject.
Therefore, read out loud. Let your brain synchronize what your eyes see and what your ears hear. This will help you in connecting the data and concentrating effectively.
Goals, Breaks and Stoppages
Every time you sit to study, study with a plan. Make small goals that together make a larger achievement. For example, 10 pages/hour or 2 chapters/day. Your aims should be feasible and achievable.
You can take help of timers to watch your progress if your goals are hour dependent. In this way, you won’t be wasting your time in any activity which is not useful like checking your phone, again and again, scrolling through your social media feed etc.
A goal should be followed by a break as a reward. It is entirely up to you how you’d want to utilize this break time. Make sure that a break doesn’t convert into a full stop. Hence, a break should not last more than 10 minutes.
You understand your need better. Therefore you may tweak values of goals and break time.
Process v/s outcome – Set your priorities
Everyone knows that Bill Gates is a billionaire but not everyone is aware of his hard working days. The ‘result’ is a one-day achievement for the world who judges your around it. Your real success lies in what you learn throughout your journey of learning.
Whether you want to learn to score high in your examination or you want to read to make yourself better at something. When you are a result oriented person, you forget the value of what you read and try to figure out how to topple your competitors. Such a scenario may not always be good for a learner. What if there are only two people to compete? The less bad person would win (other words for the best person).
Forget about the result. Think about the process. Live in the present. Learn what is in front of you. Challenge your understanding of the concepts, not your mark sheet. Consistency is the key to all successes. You must be consistent with your efforts without worrying about the outcome.
Health and Hygiene
“A healthy mind resides in a healthy body.”
Learning requires command over your brain. A human brain is the most active organ as it works even when you think you’re relaxing. Hence, to master such a typical machine of nature, you’ve to be capable.
Drink 8 glasses of water every day, keep yourself hydrated. Eat a balanced diet. Don’t rely too much on junk food and make yourself lousy. Exercise regularly.
The pro-tip to learn faster. Help other learn, and you’ll help yourself in learning faster. First, you have to prepare before teaching your peers. Second, you have to answer the queries and doubts of your peers. This helps you in understanding a topic from different dimensions.
A teacher is master of her subject. She knows everything about the subject because she has repeatedly taught the same topics to the different pupil. Teaching is undoubtedly one of the best ways to learn quickly.
Tip number #9 discussed breaks. Study naps are like breaks but with a tweak. It doesn’t allow you to do anything.
Studying is a very boring task especially when you have to study for long hours, and you have to grasp a lot of information in a short time.
Read an article, when you feel tired close your eyes, put your head down on the table and sleep. It won’t last long as the position is not very comfortable. Wake up after a short nap. Recollect what you had already read and what you were thinking before nap.
Researchers say that such recollected information lasts in the brain for several months. Be cautious that you don’t end up sleeping for 8 hours on your table.
Train your brain to listen to you or else it will make you do what it wants. Body and mind together seek comfort every second. Ask your brain to run one kilometer or sit in one place.
It’ll choose to sit. That’s how it works. Even if you are overweight and you need to lose calories. Hence, it becomes very vital that you talk to your brain. Meditate.
Squeeze out a few minutes to tame your brain and make it listen to you. Work on your senses, your stimuli and your thoughts by giving some time specifically to your brain.
Don’t make your learning experience a tedious job. Change your environment frequently. Not too often like twice an hour but twice or thrice a month.
Things to remember – our mind is susceptible. A new place should be relatively fresh for brain not entirely new like another room in your house. There should minimal objects to tweak your concentration.
All these tips help you in making your learning experience a journey where you not only learn things quickly but also satisfactorily. Learning is a slow process, don’t expect results overnight. Believe in the process and forget the outcome.