Study hacks to help you learn faster
Learning new things is a vital part of life, so you should strive to learn and improve at all times. However, studying and memorizing new data can be time-consuming. So, how can you make the most of your time and speed up your learning?
Here at Later Life Learning, we will give you some hacks on how to better absorb and retain new data faster and more effectively. Here are four proven hacks to help you learn faster:
Take notes with pen and paper
Skip the laptop and take notes the old way by using pen and paper to speed up your learning process. According to studies, those who type their lecture notes on their phones or laptops process and retain new data at a slower rate than those who take their notes by hand.
Even if taking notes by hand is more time consuming and tedious than typing, the act of writing down the info improves comprehension and recall. In addition, rephrasing data on your own terms helps you retain it longer.
Below are some basic tips when taking notes:
- Take notes in your own words while you listen
- Leave gaps and lines between major concepts so you may go back and add more details later
- Write short phrases rather than full sentences
- Learn to focus on the most crucial details
Connect new info with something you already know
The more you can connect new concepts to ideas you already know, the faster you will retain and pick up new data. This tactic is used by Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and SpaceX.
When learning new things, Elon described knowledge as a semantic tree. He advised to ‘make sure you understand the principles, like the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves or there is nothing for them to hang on to.’
Read your notes out loud
Research shows that speaking is a more effective way for improving memory than reading or thinking silently since active involvement improves learning and memory.
When we add an active measure to a word, it becomes more distinct and vivid in our memory. In short, mentally practising is good, but rehearsing out loud is far better.
Take a power nap
The bulk of the memory retention process takes place during sleep. That is why even a short nap may help you remember things.
In one study, two groups of participants memorized graphic cards to test their memory strength and took a 40-minute break. One group took a nap while the other stayed awake.
After the break, both groups were tested on their card memory. The group who slept did better, retaining an average of 85% of the patterns compared to 60% for those who stayed awake.