If you started reading this article, hoping to discover a universal remedy or THE one and only most effective method of learning – you will probably be disappointed. Because that one perfect method doesn’t exist. All People are different and so are their studying skills, for example some students tend to learn better at home others in the library. But there are a few techniques, tips and tricks developed by scientists, that seem to boost most everybody’s learning skills.
Check the basics – Sleep and healthy food
Before you start experimenting with different techniques be sure to check the basics: 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night, fresh and healthy food, a well ventilated work space free of distractions – you might consider blocking facebook.
Why not ask why?
In the following we will present a few learning techniques, that scientists have dubbed: effective.
Children do it – and you should, too: Ask why! Scientists have discovered, that an elaborative interrogation of facts will facilitate those learning skills. This technique comes as no surprise: We humans don’t like taking things for granted, we want to understand them, to comprehend the story behind the fact.
Always summarize and underline
Whenever you read something, summarize it in your own words. And be sure to write it down. You don’t have to finish a text in order to summarize it, depending on the difficulty level, you may even want to do so after each paragraph. Some students find highlighting keywords or core statements of each chapter helpful.
Again and again…
This might sound like a great bore, but it is more than useful: reread. Don’t forget, you’re studying not just reading for the fun of it. Always reread learned material the next day. So do plan ahead and start studying early enough, so you will have enough time to revise.
Once you’ve learned your material or feel comfortable with it, test yourself. You can do this by asking somebody to quiz you or by checking online for practice tests. But don’t cheat, it’s for your own good.
Some universities like the Wilhelm-Büchner-Universität, which has specialized in long-distance-learning, might even develop a personalized study concept with or for their students. Be sure to ask your counselor about such an option.
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