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The Perfect Studying Routine | Scott H Young

The best routine for studying

The best routine for studying

It is often unhelpful to hear that the perfect routine is the one you can stick to to help you reach your goals. As everyone is different in personality, constraints, and preferences, the ideal method will differ.

Instead of outlining an exact routine, look at the essential parts of a routine, and season them as you desire.

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The Perfect Studying Routine | Scott H Young

The Perfect Studying Routine | Scott H Young

https://www.scotthyoung.com/blog/2020/06/30/perfect-studying-routine/

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Key Ideas

The best routine for studying

It is often unhelpful to hear that the perfect routine is the one you can stick to to help you reach your goals. As everyone is different in personality, constraints, and preferences, the ideal method will differ.

Instead of outlining an exact routine, look at the essential parts of a routine, and season them as you desire.

The ingredient of the perfect studying routine

  1. Instructions can be in the form of lessons, books, or tutoring. They are useful to avoid wasting time with trial-and-error.
  2. Retrieval involves deliberately remembering the knowledge, not just passively reviewing it.
  3. Spacing is repeated reviews, spread out over time. It forms part of a regular routine where you cover old knowledge along with new.
  4. Understanding. The goal of learning is for ideas to make sense. Explain the concept to yourself. When you get stuck, find a textbook or teacher to help you.
  5. Feedback. You don't have to get feedback from other people. When you can get accurate feedback that doesn't need another person, go there first.

Fixing your current studying routine

To perfect your studying routine, look at your current routine, and see what's missing. For example:

  • An amateur painter will grow faster if they add instruction to their existing knowledge.
  • Learning history by reading a lot: Why not write an essay or converse with other history buffs?
  • You work correctly through a course, but don't space your learning: A ten-minute pop-quiz on previous topics can help you remember and save hours later.

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When to Study
When to Study

Studying time is more efficient if it is spread out over many sessions throughout the semester, with a little extra right before the exam.

Cover each piece of info five times from when you fi...

What and How to Study

Testing yourself, so you have to retrieve the information from memory, works much better than repeatedly reviewing the information, or creating a concept map (mind map).

After the first time learning the material, spend the subsequent studying to recalling the information, solving a problem or explaining the idea without glancing at the source.

What Kinds of Practice to Do
For a particular exam, use the following:
  • Mock tests and exams that are identical in style and form.
  • Redo problems from assignments, textbook questions or quizzes.
  • Generate your own questions or writing prompts based on the material.

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Practice loops

Practice loops are useful as a concept to think about learning any skill. A practice loop is an activity or group of activities you repeat over and over again while learning somet...

Loops and drills

Many loops aren’t straightforward repetitions. You may never write the same essay twice. The loop isn't writing a particular essay, but the overall process for writing essays.

In the same way, each thing you learn may have more than one loop. Drills are smaller loops to focus on smaller parts of the bigger loop.

Designing Your Practice Loop

Step one involves figuring out what your loops are. These are the activities you repeat over and over when learning something.

Next, analyze the loop for different parts to see whether you can make improvements. It will result in faster learning.

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Learning is not the same as studying
Learning is not the same as studying

You might not study at all. However, learning underpins your life.

In relationships, you need to understand your partner and know how to communicate. At work, you prof...

Only putting in time does not lead to mastery

Doing something every day doesn't guarantee mastery, only adequacy. What is needed is deliberate practice.

Only putting in time does not lead to mastery. You may improve at first but will eventually reach a comfortable level and stay there indefinitely.

What separates growth from stagnation

Research on violinists shows that those who went on to become concert performers didn't practice more, but the time spent in deliberate practice was much higher.

Deliberate practice means trading automatic behavior for strategies to increase performance.

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