Did you happen to learn something, and after a day you don’t know what you learned? I think we all experienced this at least one time in our life. Or that you looked on Facebook, but after an hour you didn’t remember anything you saw before?
The mind has interesting mechanisms through which it forgets and ignores information to which we do not pay much attention and for which we do not make an effort to retain it. We have all experienced fatigue after the tenth repetition of a lesson. The feeling of boredom and frustration that what we wanted to learn does not stick to us. But what if the fault is not the poor memory, but the (wrong) way in which we… learned to learn ?! So, here are 7 practical methods to learn more effectively:
1.Give yourself a test
Read the lesson. Read it again. Select some information then create questions with it. After all this preparation, close the notebook and the book and give yourself a test. Set a timer each time so you don’t waste time (usually no more than 10 or 15 minutes).
Every time you make a mistake you will look for the answer. And you’ll realize how silly you were to be wrong. This will make the information cling to the memory and it will be easier to learn. The expression “you learn from mistakes” is as true as can be!
2.Make logical connections between lessons and personal life
I believe one of the best methods to learns is to make logical connections between lessons and personal life. The curriculum contains a lot of information, so it is almost impossible to learn all the notions if you do not make certain logical connections between them. It can help you when you can’t remember a name, to make a connection with elements of your personal life that remind you of it.
Cut out some cards or sheets, write the information or a question on one side, and the main idea or the answer to the question on the other side. It doesn’t take long to make them and it’s an effective method to learn, used by many. I also use it from time to time in subjects such as history. On one side of the flash card I write a year and on the other side a historical event. You can use flash cards for any subject, be it German, biology or chemistry!
Then you memorize the definitions and learn to correlate them with the names on the back of the flash cards. To test yourself, you put them all in a stack, with the information / answer in play. Pull one by one and try to remember what name / concept / idea is on the back, after reading the definition or the questions on the face. It’s simple!
4.Don’t move on to the next lesson until you understand the first one well
Fix your basic knowledge well, deepen it and only then move on. If you skip the basic steps, you will be left with gaps, which will make it difficult for you and you may not understand the next chapters too well.
5.Turn off your notifications or put your phone in Airplane Mode
Surely, you already know and have experienced this on your own. Constantly checking notifications slows down your learning and makes you lose focus.
A recent study says that time spent on social media jeopardizes academic performance, especially for people with lower grades than most. The longer you stay on social media, the less and superficial you will be able to learn.
Interestingly, spending time on social media did not influence people with outstanding academic performance as much. So, if you feel that you fall into this category, you can check 2-3 notifications from time to time.
6.Take a nap after you have learned
Sleep helps a lot in the long-term memory, relaxes you and prepares you for new learning sessions. A nap will help you retain matter better. Besides, if you sleep between learning sessions, you don’t confuse the subject. If you go from chemistry to history, it’s not good. If you finish with chemistry, sleep for 30 minutes and start history, you will certainly not confuse the information you learn.
There will be no need for as many repetitions of matter, because during sleep the essential information is coagulated in memory.
7.Listen to music
Pop, rock, rap, jazz or any other kind of alert or with lyrics does not help at all to learn. I’m sure you’ve done this in the past. You definitely put your favorite songs in the background while studying a boring subject. Eh, that doesn’t help you at all. It doesn’t make you focus. On the contrary, music steals your attention.
Classical music is the only kind of music that can increase attention, instead of reducing it. In the future, when you learn more, put chamber music in the background. You will no longer focus on the lyrics or the beat of the song, but on studying it