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Re-reading is inefficient. Here are 8 tips for studying smarter.

Make connections

Relate new information to prior information for better learning.

During a second reading, try to connect new information to something you already know.

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Re-reading is inefficient. Here are 8 tips for studying smarter.

Re-reading is inefficient. Here are 8 tips for studying smarter.

https://www.vox.com/2014/6/24/5824192/study-smarter-learn-better-8-tips-from-memory-researchers

vox.com

8

Key Ideas

Re-reading doesn't help

Don't just re-read your notes. When you first read, you extract a lot of information, but when you do it the second time, you read with a sense of 'I know this, I know this.'

This gives you the illusion that you know the material very well, when in fact there are gaps.

Ask lots of questions

Read once and then quiz yourself. Retrieving that information is what actually produces more robust learning and memory.

Even if you get the answers wrong, you'll still have an idea of what you don't know. This helps guide your studying more effectively.

Use visual models

Draw out the information in a visual form: diagrams, visual models or flowcharts.

Anything that creates active learning, that engages you and helps you generate understanding on your own, is very effective in retention. 

Use flashcards

The key to using them is re-testing yourself on the ones you got right.

Encountering the correct item again is useful. You might want to practice the incorrect items a little more, but repeated exposure to the ones you get right is important too.

Space out your studying

Don't cram. Research shows this isn't good for long term memory. It may allow you to do okay on that test the next day, but you won't retain as much information in the long turn.

The better idea is to space repetition.

Mixing up lessons

Mixing lessons and examples produces much better learning that can be transferred into the real world.

You're going to have to figure out the method you need to use for specific situations. And you can't learn how to do that unless you have experience dealing with a mix of different types of problems, and diagnosing which requires which type of approach.

There's no such thing as a "math person"

This related to the 2 types of mindsets: fixed and growth.

  • Fixed mindset: It states that you have a certain amount of talent for a topic.
  • Growth mindset: It says that learning involves using effective strategies, putting aside time to do the work, and engaging in the process, all of which help you gradually increase your capacity for a topic.

EXPLORE MORE AROUND THESE TOPICS:

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

"Learning is deeper and more durable when it's effortful... Learning that's easy is like writing in sand, here today and gone tomorrow."

 -  Make It Stick: The Science Of Suc...

Bring it back from memory

Retrieval is so effective is that it strengthens the neural pathways associated with a given concept.

When you're attempting to recall an idea, method, or technique from memory, you're retrieving. Flash cards are a great example: They force you to recall an idea from memory, unlike a technique like highlighting where you're not burning anything into your brain. 

Connect new ideas

... to what you already know.

When you try to put a new idea into your own words, you're elaborating.

For example, if you're in physics class and trying to understand heat transfer, try to tie the concept into your real-life experiences, say, by imagining how a warm cup of coffee disperses heat into your hands.

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Note-taking: a powerful tool for learning
  • Notes extend your memories: writing can be seen as an external enhancement of your brain, allowing you to think more complicated thoughts and solve harder problems.
  • Not...
Figure out your purpose

Ask yourself why are you reading:

  • What am I trying to remember? 
  • How am I going to use this information? (e.g. on a test, cited in an essay, etc.)
  • What do I plan to do with the notes later? Will you be studying off of them extensively? Or maybe you’re just taking notes to stay focused, and it’s highly unlikely you’ll look through them after?
Strategies for note-taking
  • Jot notes in the margin. These aren’t particularly searchable, but they allow you to reiterate the main idea.
  • Keep a small notepad on the side, take breaks each section to jot down the main ideas. 
  • Create flashcards. In the rarer situations where memorization of details is important, then a simple strategy can be to just create flashcards while you take notes. 

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Practice makes perfect

Whether you’re learning to play the saxophone or studying a foreign language, practice, or repetition, makes perfect.

Repetition increases the myelin, or fatty coating, around the axioms tha...

Spaced repetition

Spacing out the repetition, rather than cramming it into one session, is more effective. To use this learning technique:

  • Start by establishing a manageable study schedule. 
  • Choose a method for storing and organizing information. 
  • Don’t forget to test yourself periodically. Tracking your progress will boost your motivation to continue.
Take time for reflection

In addition to solidifying what we’ve already learned, reflection also helps spark new ideas. And it usually happens when you're not working.

Our most creative ideas don't come when we're consciously focused on the problem. but when we're interacting with people, gaining experiences and letting our minds make connections.

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