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8. Avoid Cramming Information

8. Avoid Cramming Information

In 2015, Nigel Richards won the World French Scrabble Championships. The remarkable thing is he did not speak French. Despite the 386,000 French words approved by Scrabble, Richards could win by committing these words to memory. This is a perfect example of ultralearning.

To become highly effective, you will need to commit important information to memory. Don't commit things to memory in one burst. Avoid cramming and space out your memorization sessions so you can remember the information long-term. So, make the time a few days per week to memorize the information. 


775 reads


2. Develop an Optimal Learning Strategy

2. Develop an Optimal Learning Strategy

Meta-learning should always be the start of your ultralearning journey. Meta-learning is the process of learning how to learn effectively. To start implementing meta-learning, you must first establish how information is structured in your chosen field. This means you should avoid just absorbing r...


2.48K reads

3. Establishing How You Are Going to Learn

The best way to establish how you will learn is by researching others who have already acquired a similar skill. Their approach can be used as a benchmark. You can then replicate their methods and techniques with your own un...


1.67K reads

The next type of feedback is informational feedback. Informational feedback involves highlighting problem areas and isolating mistakes based on the moment you receive the feedback. For example, when an audience member walks out of your speech.

The final and most effective form of feedback i...


719 reads

Spaced repetition is potentially the most effective technique to learn information. Test your knowledge of discrete chunks of information in a randomized way. If you can easily remember a topic, you can push it further back in your revision schedule. On the other hand, you should revise the topic...


740 reads

<p>The best way to tackle auto...

The best way to tackle autopilot is to use interleaving. Interleaving is the act of breaking a project into several short and regularly-spaced sessions.

Finally, monitor your attention and arousal levels and decide on which task to tackle based on these levels. For example, if you feel inte...


1.39K reads

<p>To hone your directness, yo...

To hone your directness, you need to start learning things by doing. Young also calls this approach project-based learning. Situating your learning directly in your target environment means you skip the challenge of transferring your skills. Arguably, the most effective way to adopt project-based...


1.04K reads

The following are retrieval approaches you can use to improve your learning:

  1. Test yourself or challenge yourself to write down everything you can remember. 
  2. Avoid taking notes while reading. Instead, pose questions that will prompt you to retrieve the information.
  3. Set y...


909 reads

10. Experimentation Is What Makes You a Genius

10. Experimentation Is What Makes You a Genius

Young uses Vincent Van Gogh as an example for this final principle. Van Gogh was an art school dropout who was consistently described as an unremarkable painter. Today, he is considered one of the greatest artists ever to live. He achieved this success through consistent experimentation. His dist...


802 reads

<p>Scott Young offers three ap...

Scott Young offers three approaches to help you identify your optimal learning strategy:

  1. Create a Metalearning Map

These maps should break your topic down into 3 categories:

1.1 - Concepts:


2.05K reads

<p> The Pomodoro technique is ...

 The Pomodoro technique is potentially the most effective way to use timers like this. With this technique, you need to set a timer for 20 minutes. After these 20 minutes, you can take a five-minute break. After the break, set another timer for 20 minutes and repeat.

After using these techn...


1.36K reads

2. Push yourself into challenging learning experiences that can lead to a deeper grasp of the subject. So, never run away from challenges or take shortcuts. Always choose the more extended solution to a problem. 

3. Do not give up when things become difficult. Instead, implement a struggle ...


754 reads

9. Knowledge Supplies Intuition

9. Knowledge Supplies Intuition

Having a deep understanding of a topic enables you to develop intuitions filled with connections and patterns. If you can accelerate your knowledge of a topic, you can become highly impactful through your intuition. Young provides several ways to speed up your acquisition of the knowledge require...


828 reads

The issue with reviewing is also the same reason it is such a popular technique. When we review content, we often understand and recognize the content. So, we assume we have learned that concept. This is a passive approach to learning and is a faulty judgment of learning. Although the recall is o...


817 reads

Eventually, Barone released Stardew Valley. The game sold over three million copies in its 2016 release year. This monumental sales rate placed him on Forbes’ 30 under 30 list. So, ultralearning can help you stay competitive within the professional world. 


2.64K reads

1. Ultralearners Are Quick Learners

Ultralearners are people who can learn and acquire new skills in a short time frame. These people must be aggressive and strategic with their learning approaches. An example of this is Eric Barone. Eric was a theater usher who decided to create his own computer game. He was a recent IT graduate w...


2.97K reads

<p>2. <strong><u>Use the Map t...

2. Use the Map to Identify Challenges

After establishing your meta-learning map, you must identify which aspects of learning might prove challenging. After noting these challenges, you should brainstorm techniques to overcome them. These techniques often require you ...


1.86K reads

5. The Direct-Then-Drill Approach

5. The Direct-Then-Drill Approach

Elite athletes, piano prodigies, and successful ultralearners all perfect their techniques to maintain their competitive edge. Start practicing a skill by adopting what Young calls the direct-then-drill approach. Start with a direct approach to your skills, so you can identify the areas you need ...


1.12K reads

4. Learning Helps Make Your Journey More Direct

4. Learning Helps Make Your Journey More Direct

Formal education provides knowledge related to an indirect path between your learning context and the target environment. For example, we learn French in a classroom, rather than asking a French person for directions. So, it is unsurprising that we struggle to apply our French schooling in the re...


1.17K reads

The first approach you can adopt to experiment is copying and then creating. Emulate someone else’s work, and then use this to test your own ideas. One way to improve the efficiency of your experimentation is to set limits on your creativity. Working within strict limits can force you to try a pr...


867 reads

6. Improve Retrieval Rates Through Testing

6. Improve Retrieval Rates Through Testing

Testing yourself is often an effective way to improve your ability to retrieve a skill. Young offers two methods to improve retrieval rates. Firstly, you can review your learning materials. Specifically, go back over the materials you used when you first studied this topic. The alternative to rec...


878 reads

3. Identify a Clear Focus

3. Identify a Clear Focus

Sharpening your knife is Young’s analogy for refining your focus. One of the most effective modern approaches to sharpen your knife is removing electronic temptations. For example, switch off your email notifications and stop binge-watching Netflix.

The first challenge to refining your focu...


1.41K reads

<p>To optimize your drilling, ...

To optimize your drilling, apply yourself to a rate-determining step. In ultralearning, this is the step that unlocks the next level of knowledge. Identify these steps and then adopt one of the following approaches: First, you can time-slice by isolating one step & repeating it until perfection. ...


923 reads

7. Outcome, Informational and Corrective Feedback

7. Outcome, Informational and Corrective Feedback

Even if you believe you excel in a field, you still need to accept feedback to continue progressing and improving. Almost all feedback is valuable, but some feedback is more helpful than others. Firstly, Young considers outcome feedback. This is the most basic form of feedback and involves determ...


849 reads




Book summaries mostly ...

Ultralearning is a strategy for aggressive, self-directed learning. Self-directed means you can take back control, rather than wait to pay for expensive tuition and tutors. Aggressive means that instead of spending years at something without getting great, your limited time and effort are always directed towards what works.

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