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10 Ways to Be a Better Learner
In today’s society how well you learn something is just as important as how quickly you learn something. In every single way our society has become fast paced, as there is little to no time to actually sit down and properly learn. We expect to have the answers to questions drilled into our heads faster than the time it takes to actually write them down.
Here are the top ten ways to be a better learner.
1. Find a learning style that works best for you
To put it simply there are 3 key factors that people use to learn. Auditory, or sound, works best for those who listen. For those who are auditory learners simply sitting in a lecture hall and listening to the teacher helps you to learn faster. Or perhaps you’re a visual learner, who learns best by watching someone else do it.
If you aren’t either of those types of learners than you are probably a physical learner, someone who learns best by doing what you are asked. However if you are unsure there are many sources for online tests you can take to determine this.
2. Take time to train your brain to accept new information
To gain an efficient study habit you need to constantly train your brain. Training will help you to improve your focus, and let you complete tasks. Try creating a private space for learning, as well as a specific time of day to focus on your studies.
Your body craves movement, and momentum. A small amount of light exercise each day will help you focus later on. If you want to learn faster try taking an hour out of your day to perform some yoga, or walk on a treadmill.
4. Always put down notes
It has been scientifically proven that taking notes helps you remember information. Whenever you do choose to take notes you should take them on information you will have trouble processing or remembering on your own. Notes will also give you a nicely set framework for the information that had been covered.
5. Don’t just read your text book
Reading a textbook has been proven to be the least effective study method in the world. You will have a much easier time taking in the information by reading examples that illustrate the problem and solution, or by simply using Google to search for the information.
6. Keep study time short, but intense
Your mind will easily start to wander if you lock yourself in a room and try to binge for an entire day causing your study time to become counterproductive. Instead take a little bit of time out of each day where you only focus on study. Sit in a room, free of distractions, and start to study the way that works best for you. Intense study time should be kept to a minimum of 30 minutes, and should never last more than 2 hours.
7. Don’t assume that highlighting anything will help you
For some this is probably the most popular method of study in the world, as it makes people think that they are separating important information from information that isn’t. However doing this usually results in partial reading, and actually causes you to miss the cause or effect of what you may highlight.
For example, you can highlight a point that states “A doctor must always avoid cutting an artery”, however you may not read why they must avoid the artery, and what would happen if they do so.
8. Make the best out of a lecture
We know you want to leave, we know that your teachers suck. But you have to be there, and you have to learn the information, even if you completely understand it and the only reason you’re still there is because one guy wasn’t paying any attention and because of him you have to sit through the lecture on repeat once again. However, during this time you should make sure to ask questions, gather insight, and look up information in your textbooks.
9. Put information down on paper
This is how your brain was originally trained to take information down when you first started school as a child, and is therefore the most effective way. Yes, laptops and tablets are much more Eco-friendly and convenient than notebooks. However your brain wasn’t trained to process what you type as efficiently.
10. Experiment with different methods
Although you may know what learning style helps you the most you may want to experiment with other styles because sometimes you’ll need a combination in order to help you learn better. For example you may be a physical learner, however it may be difficult for you to learn without an auditory example such as someone reading the directions for you.