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Concepts in parallel

Interleaving - studying related concepts or skills in parallel - improves your brain's ability to differentiate between concepts or skills. It helps you to really learn and gain an understanding at a deeper level.

Instead of focusing on one subject during a learning session, learn several subjects or skills in succession.

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Repeating anything over and over might not be the best way to master that task. If you practice a slightly different version, you will learn more and faster. For example, if you want to master a new presentation:

  • Rehearse the basic skill. 
  • Wait at ...

Learning and memory benefit from active involvement. When you add speaking to it, the content becomes more defined in long-term memory and more memorable.

Research shows that those who teach, speed up their learning and remember more.

Even just preparing to teach means that you will seek out key points and organize information into a coherent structure. 

Studying over a period of time is more effective than waiting until the last minute.

Distributed practice works because each time you try to remember something, the memory becomes harder to forget.

When you sleep, most of the consolidation process occurs.

In contrast, sleep deprivation can affect your ability to commit new data to memory and consolidate any short-term memories.

Regularly testing yourself will speed up learning. When you test yourself and answer incorrectly, you are more likely to recall the right answer after you look it up. You will also remember that you didn't remember.

According to research, regular exercise can improve memory recall.

Exercise also increases a protein (BDNF - brain-derived neurotrophic factor) that supports the function, growth, and survival of brain cells.

Most of us can type very fast, but research shows writing your notes by hand will allow you to learn more.

Taking notes by hand enhances both comprehension and retention.

When you have to learn something new, try to associate it with something you are already familiar with. Then you only have to learn where it differs. You'll also be able to apply greater context, which will help with memory storage and retrieval.

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This is an extremely effective way to speed up the learning process.

If you quiz yourself and answer incorrectly,  you are more likely to remember the right answer after you look it up and you'll also remember the fact you didn't remember.

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How Memories are Formed

  1. Create a memory. Our brain sends signals in a particular pattern associated with the event we're experiencing and creates connections between our neurons, called synapses.
  2. Consolidate that memory. It's the process of committing something to long-term memory so we c...

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