In today’s article you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to be a good student.
Effective learning is extremely important for our personal and career development. The hunger for knowledge must accompany us all the time. Have we finished our formal schooling or not.
However, irrespective of our will, sometimes our efforts to learn something are ineffective or ineffective. We haven’t got time to study in a crowd of assignments. We are battling constant distractions. New facts that we are attempting to assimilate quickly get out of our heads.
Have you ever wondered how it’s that the best students can easily assimilate knowledge? They not only learn fast, but they can even remember it for a long time and put it to good use. There is nothing magical about their methods, but many of them use methods that are conducive to learning and acquiring knowledge. You can even use it to increase your study efficiency.
Explore 10 proven, experience-based ways to help you learn faster and become a better learner.
Here are 10 ways to learn faster and how to be a good student
A common problem faced by students of all ages and stages today is distraction everywhere. Today’s modern and dynamic world is full of noise and distraction. We are surrounded by things that are continuously bombarding us and competing for our attention. In such an environment, our ability to focus on one thing for a long time has weakened.
Don’t succumb to the pressure of multi-tasking. Multi-tasking destroys your ability to concentrate. Research shows that people who multitask without delay spend more time doing it. They also made more mistakes than those who focused on one particular activity. By doing several things without delay, our brain has to jump from one task to another, which is ineffective. Focus on one thing at a time. Do it right and then take on the next task.
Technology, particularly smartphones, which we are practically inseparable from, kills our focus. This causes distraction, increases the risk of delays and wasted time on low-productivity activities. To increase your focus, turn off all notifications. Notifications about new e-mail, social media and other applications. When you want to work with focus, it will switch your phone to airplane mode, or preferably turn it off while you’re studying or doing a little important task that requires concentration.
2. Define your WHY
What are your study goals? Why are you studying? What do you hope to attain with this knowledge? What do you want to learn?
It’s hard to learn if you are not sure what you want to learn and why. Determine your learning goals. Whether it’s personal development or professional development. If you have a WHY, you are more motivated to learn. It’s also easier to stay focused and combat distractions.
Research shows that learning attitude is among the main factors predicting academic success. A positive attitude towards learning is a combination of motivation, clear goals and self-efficacy. It is a belief in one’s own abilities and skills to attain one’s goals. It’s also about surrounding yourself with people who support you in your educational goals, support you and expect you to attain them.
To learn better, know WHY.
3. Develop a lesson plan and stick to it
If you see meaning in your learning and know your WHY, set clear educational goals for yourself.
Long-term goals should align with your long-term personal or professional development plans. Long term goals might be, for example, to complete graduate studies. Also set your medium and short term goals. Build your lesson plan around this. All of this so you know what you want to study and when you want to study.
Also remember about the plan for each learning session. Every learning session must have a purpose and something must be the result of it. This will improve your concentration. You’ll also save time because you will know precisely what material you need to study, when and why.
4. Use every learning opportunity to learn
Especially when you have graduated from school, it’s difficult to find time to study and develop yourself. We are busy with work, family, and we have many other commitments that result from “adult” life. But do not let lack of time be your excuse. We live in an exquisite time, in the information age, where access to knowledge has never been easier in the history of mankind. Thanks to technology you can study anywhere without having to carry heavy books or visit the library.
You can access a wealth of knowledge with a single click on your smartphone or other mobile device. The choice is big from e-books, audiobooks, YouTube videos and full courses. Many of these knowledge resources are available freed from charge, not counting the price of Internet access. Use your time to study and read as you go to and from work or college. You wait at the post office to pick up the letter, you stand in line to shop.
Reserve time for learning and development in advance on the calendar. If you do not do this, there will all the time be other activities to occupy you. If something is important, you need to find time to do it. And learning and self-development are important.
5. Get enough sleep
Do you want to know which is the simplest way to learn faster and more effectively? It’s easy – sleep well.
Sleep is the time when our brain processes and “compiles” the information we have experienced and learned throughout the day. Sleep is the key to consolidating newly acquired information.
The amount of sleep a person needs varies. Some people need fewer hours of sleep, others need more. It is usually recommended that healthy working adults get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per day.
6. Exercise regularly
What does science must do with sports? Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, increasing concentration, efficiency and mental clarity. They increase the ability to remember new facts and enhance learning and associative processes.
Practice particularly has a positive effect on your concentration, which makes it easier for you to solve diverse problems and acquire knowledge. Research shows that exercise makes you more concentrated even hours after the workout.
If it weren’t for your physical and mental health, plan a practice routine so you can learn faster and be a better student. Even if it is a half hour walk at a brisk pace a few times a week. It’s important to get your body moving, and your mind will benefit from it too.
7. Take notes
There is no way to study effectively without repeating material. The first step to remembering what you have learned is grabbing your own notes.
Taking notes that capture the essence of the material you are studying and writing them down yourself, in your own words, not only facilitates repetition, but also facilitates the process of making connections in the brain, which is so important for deeper learning. To better remember what we learn, it is good to make notes yourself.
Write down all important dates and names, definitions, arguments, conclusions and examples. If you are studying for practical purposes, for example to solve a particular problem in your company, write down what is important to you, what should be taken into account. Use an example from your life to illustrate your concept.
There are many systems and methods for taking notes. One of them, which is very effective is mind mapping.
8. Fight the forgetting curve
The student’s biggest enemy is “forgetting the curve”. This is a curve that shows the relationship between the amount of information stored in memory and the time that has passed since that information was memorized.
Historically, the concept of the forgetting curve was developed by the German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus. The forgetting curve diagram shows how quickly we forget what we have learned, if we don’t process and use our knowledge. While there’s some controversy about Ebbinghaus’ research, it’s worth remembering.
As a result of research, it turned out that almost all of the information that’s remembered is forgotten in the first few days of remembering, reaching a level of about 25% on the fifth day (this is the fast forgetting phase). At the same time, a further decrease in the amount of information memorized was no longer so abrupt – by the 30th day since recall it reached a worth of just over 20%.
To make sure that your newly acquired knowledge does not fade from your memory, plan repetition of material and re-learning sessions and write them into your calendar. This can be as easy as going through notes or browsing and scanning the titles and chapters in a manual. Choose the most efficient way to play back your notes. It’s important that you remember this.
The influence of science on the shape of the forgetting curve
Successive reminders in the learning process change the shape of the forgetting curve. The decrease in the amount of information remembered after successive repetitions decreases.
What’s the best way to help you remember?
The most effective strategy for better remembering what we have learned is to apply, as soon as possible, our newly acquired knowledge or skills. Practically applied knowledge is best remembered.
Adults learn best about things that are important to them. When the knowledge and skills acquired can solve real problems. The ability to carry out practical projects, even short and easy ones, provides a wonderful opportunity to quickly apply and implement the theory studied. This significantly increases the effectiveness of learning and remembering.
9. Don’t worry about the learning style, but pay attention to the context
The theory of learning styles (eg visual, auditory, kinesthetic) is still quite strong. But in reality, the scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness is ambiguous and controversial.
You can use whatever learning method and style you prefer, but more importantly, consider the learning context.
If you are listening to an audiobook that you want to assimilate and retain lots of information, it is most likely best not to listen to it while driving a car. First of all, you will not be capable to fully think about driving and listening. Second, you will not be capable to take notes. Choose something less demanding. If you will be reading on the train, consider taking a notebook or making notes on your app or the reader you are reading with.
If you want to learn a practical skill like knitting or dancing, it is better to watch video tutorials or enroll in a course than to read a book or article on the subject, even if it contains pictures. These materials can definitely complement your knowledge, but the most significant thing is to see how it is finished and experience it personally.
10. Establish your study routine
Study routines are a robust way to improve your learning skills and skills. As Aristotle used to say: “We are what we repeatedly do”. With your routine you act like an “autopilot”. You do not need to remember that you must study now, you haven’t got to struggle for motivation, you just start working quietly and benefit from regular and systematic learning.
Start with even the shortest amount of time you can spend studying, but be practical. 5 minutes may not be enough to learn something effectively. The simplest way to engage in regular study sessions is to take advantage of the time already in your schedule. Time for commuting, time for exercise, lunch breaks or time for diverse chores and homework can all work well here. Just add reading, listening to an audiobook or watching a series of educational videos and remember to take notes to increase your study efficiency.
Another big advantage of having regular learning slots in your calendar is that you can plan your “repetitions” too. If you read about Emotional Intelligence today, for example, summarize the most significant finding from today’s reading tomorrow – to reinforce your knowledge.
So plan your study sessions and choose in advance when you’ll study. Include these sessions on your calendar to make time available for this purpose. Keep this promise! If he acts like this consistently for a long time, you’ll see how much you can learn and how much you can improve.
You are motivated for lifelong learning and self-development. You devote time and energy to learning. Now you need to maximise your return on investment in learning. Use these 10 ways to study effectively, based on evidence and practice, to take your learning outcomes to new heights.
Implement these strategies in your life and over time you’ll see the difference they can make for you. Your “brain power” will increase, your memory will improve. You will be a better, more efficient, and more effective student. Lets do it!