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Study less study smart

One of those things I’m always fascinated about is how to study, and as such, I usually actively look for better ways to learn effectively.

In one of my adventures, I found the following;

Study break

When you’re ready to study and start to feel that moment you’re wasting your time. Note the time and write it down.

The typical time is 25-30 minutes -Women decided to study 6 hours a day from 6pm to midnight 5 times a week and failed every class. By the time she hit 6:30 she stopped studying effectively and the longer she studying the less reinforced it was.

Positive and negative reinforcement, once you passed 30 minutes you start to hate studying and get bored thus stopping the effectiveness.

It only takes 5 minutes to recharge. Study for 30 minutes then take a break for 5 minutes and do something you enjoy, listen to music have fun playing a game, enjoy something to reinforce positive vibes to studying.

Reward system

When you’re done studying always reward yourself with something big. Treat yourself to reinforce the memory.

Dedicated study area (Behavior Reinforcement)

Studying in the bedroom will make you get bored after a bit and make you sleepy wanting to sleep. Sirens calling you from bed to take a nap.

  • The primary function of the bedroom is to sleep.
  • The primary function of the dining table/kitchen is eating.
  • The primary function of the living room is social/tv/games
  • When asking you a direct question in a classroom setting you don’t raise your hand, you answer right away because of behavior training. If the teacher were to ask the whole class everyone would raise their hand but social cues with direct questions make you answer right away. Because we are behaviorally reinforced to do so without knowing it.

Take a lamp, write a sign on it that says Study lamp and use it only for studying; only when you turn it on. The moment you start to lose your edge while studying(5-10-20-25-30 minutes later), turn off your lamp get up and walk away. Break the material up into small chunks and reinforce it, create a study area.

Rote memorization vs. Active learning

The more active you are in your learning the more effective. That doesn’t mean to keep reading it over and over or saying it over and over; Rote Memorization. This is why you memorize and then forget later.

The way to learn efficiently;

Is it a concept or a fact? A fact is a discreet little piece of information. Sigmund Freud is the father of psychoanalysis – Fact

Understanding what psychoanalysis is is a concept.

Understanding the name of a bone is a fact. Understand what it does in the body is a concept.

If you know the concept you can always look up the fact after.

Concepts are what make you effective at studying. Can you put the concept in your own words? If you can’t then you don’t really understand it. It’s not meaningful to you.

Not making it meaningful is a struggle which is a waste of study time.

Study groups

Performance skyrockets in study groups. Can help each other with concepts. Learning tricks and tips etc.

Highlighting books (Recognition vs. Recollection)

When you highlight the lines in a book you don’t actually remember when you go back to your lines you only recognize it.

Remembering (Recollection)

You need to know the concept of the highlighted part of the book. If you can go back and reword it in your own concept and words. That’s when you will remember it and not just recognize it. Memorizing the line doesn’t help to learn.

Sleeping (REM Sleep)

You can undo your good studying by not sleeping well. There is evidence for this. If you don’t get REM it will not become permanent. Better sleep stores permanent memories.

Taking notes

Notes are vital; the first moment after class you should sit down on your notes and expand on everything you jotted down to give it depth and flush out the useless information.

If you wait till later on it’s guaranteed you will forget some of your notes/concepts attached to it.

Give yourself a heads up so you can recollect it and remember it by going over your notes right away. If you forget a concept or don’t understand it on one of your notes after class, ask someone in your class. Or even ask your teacher to go over it and give you more examples.

Active Recitation

The best way to learn is to teach someone. If you can’t teach someone, teach yourself in your mirror. It reinforces your learning. If the person you’re telling doesn’t understand the concept and they ask you and you don’t know then you don’t understand the concept and should try to learn it again.

To reinforce your learning, writing it out in your own words helps as well. 80% of your study time is best reciting and 20% reading.

Study from books (SQ3R = Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review)

Go through the chapter look at the pictures beforehand. Raise questions on what you are looking through and reading by surveying the chapter.

This will cause you to look for answers. Before reading a test, you should be reviewing first. If you study early and apply the above principles you will be reviewing and learning instead of cramming and trying to memorize.

Mnemonics (Acronyms, Coin Sayings, Interactive Images)

Easier than rote memorization and help more.

Sayings: Righty tightly lefty loosey

Interactive image is best of all

Protein 4 calories; Carbs 4 calories; Fat 9 calories;

Car-Bo-Hy-drates 4 syllables or Car, Cars have 4 wheels, Pro(tein) Car(bs) Pro-Car drivers ride 4 wheels Fat Cat has 9 lives

The weirder the image, the better the image.

I will be adding more to this later.

Credit: Denis Gervais

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  1. zee_Nabby

    Its a great piece! …Studying in the bedroom has always make me sleepy, I’d rather read in a library. Although the library is silent too, it could make someone sleep most times, buh the primary function of the library is to read, we’d be behaviorally reinforced to read instead of sleeping. Another thing is group discussion, it helps a lot!. The rewording of sentence in my own context and worlds also helps lot. For it to stick to your brain very well, I’d go for teaching someone which would make it clear and fresh in my brain. Thank you, I love this.

    • Degokay

      The problem with many libraries in Nigeria is that they weren’t really designed as a library. And I think that’s why you can easily sleep in one.

      I don’t go to the library to read my coursework, most times, it’s a place to research something else for me. Maybe that’s why I’m not bored or feeling sleepy.

      Rituals is actually part of reading, you can do that better by creating a reading zone for yourself. The reality about library is; you may even be tired before you get there. So, reading zone suffice.

      In my house in college, I have a study desk, once I’m on it, I’m only reading.

  2. Happy Zirra

    This is psychologically speaking ? and it works wonders for the cognitive domain. Kudos Tee?

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