Researchers believe that the human brain is best at absorbing information when it’s relaxed and free from distractions. Factors contributing to a good mental condition include not only the right amount of sleep but also a balanced diet, rich in magnesium, iron, phosphorus, zinc and B-group vitamins. Do you follow a healthy lifestyle but still struggle to remember things? Here are some effective learning techniques.
Effective learning techniques: mind map
It is a well-known fact that combining listening with taking notes helps you remember things. Your notes may take various forms, but a mind map is one of the most popular. How to make one? Write down a keyword in the middle of a large piece of paper. Draw a few lines spreading out from that word. Write down crucial associations next to them. If some of them are related, connect them with arrows. The form of your mind map depends on you. You may use various colors, symbols and simple graphics. Let’s begin!
Effective learning techniques: memory palace
Imagine that you’re in a palace. Information from various categories that you wish to obtain is hidden in each of the rooms (just like in a museum). Determine the location of the individual topics. You can divide them into narrower categories and assign specific locations to them, e.g. you may put information about past tense structures in English in the first drawer of a dresser in the king’s bedroom. Putting a piece of knowledge in a specific order in your imagination allows you to recall the information you need faster.
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Effective learning techniques: Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro technique involves splitting the day (which usually means time spent at work) into tasks that are meant to be done within 25 minutes. You can also apply it to learning. What is crucial here is that you need to focus entirely on studying just one topic and not get involved with anything else. You need to focus on one thing. After 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break. Only after completing four sessions, may you take a 30-minute break.
Effective learning techniques: nursery rhymes
Be creative and put together your own nursery rhymes using words that you want to remember. Even if these words are foreign, you’ll be able to come up with a suitable rhyme, won’t you? For starters, try out a simple rhyme. Playing with words is one of the most pleasant forms of learning.
Effective learning techniques: chain of associations
The only limitation here is your imagination. What is this method about? It’s about finding ridiculous associations. Each word brings a new association to your mind. It’s important to see a connection between subsequent words – between the first one and the second one, the second one and the third one and so on. Don’t make up a story, you should associate things one by one. This method is really effective for remembering schemes (e.g. cardiopulmonary resuscitation steps).
Effective learning techniques: replacing words
Most importantly, this technique is great fun. It requires you to replace unknown words (e.g. foreign ones) with familiar terms. You are free to drop letters, create new words or split a word into a few ones (e.g. Copenhagen – cope, age, gene, etc.). This technique is particularly effective if combined with the chain of associations or the memory palace.
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Effective learning techniques: storytelling
Learning by speaking aloud secures better results than just learning in your mind. Do you feel that you’ve learned everything you need for the exam? Share this knowledge with someone. Is this person not listening to you? That’s OK. Continue. You’ll remember more details and the learning process will be faster even if you’re talking just to yourself, you’ll see.
Effective learning techniques: 40 seconds
Frequent repetition is the key to success. It turns out that repeating the study material for 40 seconds makes you remember it longer. Even such short repetitions contribute to consolidating your knowledge, which is why you should repeat information, either aloud, in your mind or by drawing.
Don’t use all of the techniques mentioned above. Select one that you find the most suitable for you.
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