How can I become a good learner
Study Tips for Students: The Best Tips and Tricks
There are students who learn - against all odds Learning tips - your material always at the last minute. During the semester they go to lectures, read scripts or books, memorize a little something. But the real learning is usually only done shortly before the exam - including exam anxiety. You can do it like that, but it's not the best method. Researchers say: it is worthwhile at best in the short term
➠ Content: This is what awaits you
➠ Content: This is what awaits you
Learning tips for your studies: The 10 best methods
Amazingly, very few students - and even fewer employees - actively participate Methods and learning techniques apart. Admittedly, many approaches are easy to explain, but need some practice to be optimally implemented.
This investment of time and energy is worthwhile, because once you have the suitable method for you you can tap into, understand and memorize new content quickly and easily. This not only saves you time, it also saves your nerves and leaves you with more energy for other activities.
We recommend the following learning tips for sustainable memory:
In the alphabet method, the letters of the alphabet serve as classification features. Each letter is assigned a picture, for example a book for the letter B. For example, if you need to remember the notion of relativity, you could imagine Albert Einstein reading a book. Such images are easy to memorize.
Do you have a good imagination? Then this concept could be ideal for you. The principle works as follows: You mentally construct a building from the content to be learned. The basic contents form the foundation, the most important points can represent supporting pillars and details close off your palace of thought as a roof. If you let this building arise very consciously and recall it several times, you will soon have internalized the contents.
Many people get to know this learning method in their first years of school. The classic approach is to write a term on the front and its definition on the back of the card. For example, a card index box can be divided into three sections. Right at the front is all the content that has yet to be learned. The second section contains content that you have to review and the third section contains the terms that you have already mastered and only go through every few weeks.
Those who cannot do much with more optically oriented learning methods are better off with lists. Information can be easily and clearly structured through different levels. This structure, in turn, can help to easily absorb the content and understand interrelationships. Lists, for example, are ideal for simplifying complex content. The simplest variant is the familiar to-do list.
This method is said to have its roots in ancient Greece. The principle is based on the linking of places and objects with learning content. For example, if you are preparing a lecture, you should choose a route that you either walk or follow with your eyes. You then assign certain content to each point on this route. You can then call up these point by point and save the content in this way.
If you are more creative, the well-known mind map technique is ideal for preparing content and showing relationships. Branches with further information and individual aspects depart from the central topic or catchphrase. The sub-items can create any number of new branches. From a certain level of complexity, however, a mind map becomes confusing, and electronic solutions can only help to a limited extent here.
With the idea of the SQR3, the American educator Francis Robinson has developed an elaborate but effective way of working on complex scientific texts. To begin with, read only the table of contents and the headings (survey). Then you hypothesize what the text could be about and write down all the questions you want an answer to after reading it (question). The third phase consists of reading the text, which you should do carefully and work with markings and comments (Read). Then summarize the text section by section (Recite). Finally, give the content of the text (review).
One of the most basic learning tips of all: When it comes to texts and new content, focus on understanding the context and statements. For now, ignore all the details and numbers and really just focus on principles and structures. Details are then the icing on the cake that rounds off your understanding.
If you are endowed with a vivid imagination, you should also use it for learning new content. Associate content with images and imagine the situations and statements described as vividly as possible. Work very consciously with the most vivid pictures possible and use organizational charts and mind maps, for example, to literally visualize the content.
The best known of all learning methods: Repeat the content to be learned until you can reproduce it safely. The criticism of this method is obvious: blunt repetition can work with pure factual knowledge, but is time-consuming and not very effective. In combination with or as a supplement to other learning methods, however, repetition can be useful.
50 tips for better learning
We have even more practical learning tips in our free guide "50 tips for better learning" summarized. You can download it as a PDF HERE.
Short-term learning is worthwhile, but doesn't last long
Pressure refueling for the head: cramming, cramming, funneling - even the synonyms for learning make it clear that this is not something that falls to you.
Learning is hard work. So it's no wonder that some people try to keep this to a minimum - at a maximum Learning effect. For this efficient learning, umpteen learning tips and methods have already been developed, which also work.
Just not equally good for all of them. So you cannot avoid identifying those methods for yourself that are optimal for your temperament and Learner type fit.
But what about the short-term Timpani for an exam or exam: Is it even worth it?
The psychologists Doug Rohrer and Harold Pashler looked at optimal learning curves some time ago and found surprising things in their comparative studies (PDF):
First they divided their subjects into two groups and let them Look up vocabulary.
- The first group crammed the material five times - and thus achieved a very passable result.
- The second group buffeted twice as hard, so ten times. And indeed: With this additional effort, they achieved three times as good test results.
So learning more leads to better grades. But that was not the end of the experiment:
The researchers tested their subjects again - after a week and three more weeks later. Here, too, initially the same result:
- The students who crammed twice as long achieved significantly better results after one week.
- Three weeks later but their advantage was gone.
Now both groups performed roughly equally (badly). Or to put it another way: they had most of their knowledge again to forget.
A clear argument for short-term learning before the exam or exam - too Bulimia learning called. Anyone who tries to internalize knowledge will soon turn it into one test to retrieve it again can save the effort of Permapaukens as a rule. Because of this, he won't keep in the long run.
The forgetting curve: after a week three quarters are forgotten
The whole thing also has something to do with the so-called Ebbinghaus’s forgetting curve (see graphic). Do not you know? Maybe just forget ...
This is exactly what the German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus found in his Self-experiments out:
- After around 20 minutes he had already forgotten 40 percent of what he had just learned.
- To one hour the half-life of knowledge fell to 45 percent.
- To one day he remembered at most a third (34 percent).
- After only six days the memory has shrunk to a ridiculous 23 percent - in the long run we just keep it 15 percent of what has been learned. It's a shame actually.
How can you stop forgetting?
Every day becomes ours brain flooded with a wealth of information. If we tried to memorize all of the information, our brain would blow like a fuse. For us, forgetting is at the same time vital and therefore vital inherent part of our life and learning.
So that our upper room doesn't overheat, we process 100 billion Neurons Thousands of impulses every split second and filter new information: important things are saved permanently and unimportant things are discarded immediately.
If we from memory When we speak, we mean the ability to organize, store and retrieve information. It is a complex network of different areas of our brain. When we memorize something, a connection is made between different nerves. This connection is crucial so that we can learn something new.
Learning enlarges the hippocampus
Neuroscientist Eleanor Maguire from University College London studied the changes in the brain of London taxi driver applicants. You have to know that London is one of the largest and probably most complicated cities in Europe. If you want to drive a taxi here, you have to memorize a good 25,000 streets. It won't be done in a couple of weeks. Many a candidate spend four years for it.
Well, Eleanor Maguire had the chance to scan the brains of her 79 test subjects (and 31 control persons) over a longer period of time. Lo and behold: if you passed the taxi driver test at the end, you had one significantly enlarged hippocampus - The volume remained the same for the participants in the control group and those who failed.
According to the Brain researcher conclude:
- Learning is still possible in old age. And those who learn - especially difficult things - will continue to improve their ability to learn new things in the future.
- However, not everyone succeeds (as the failed ones show). A warranty, to learn for life, there is not any.
How does the learning work?
When we call up stored information, it is transmitted as a stimulus from one nerve end to the other. For the Learning process and the memory training, it is crucial how well the stimulus transmission works:
- At a strong stimulus this is not only passed on, but the receiving nerve also reacts more strongly to a weaker stimulus the next time. Communication between both nerves becomes faster and we can remember this information more easily.
- Is the However, the stimulus is too weak from the startthe receiving nerve will not react at all the next time. This connection is very thin and we have problems retrieving the information in question.
So that learning works well and we can quickly remember what we have learned, we need well-functioning nerve connections. With every new information arriving, the connections between our nerves are recombined. Information from old connections are then no longer available, they are practically overwritten.
You can like this process Road works Imagine: A road that is broken and little traveled is replaced by a new one. Only the new road leads to a completely different place.
Sweet distraction: why should I learn this?
Reluctance and delaying unpleasant work not a phenomenon of pupils or students alone. Even adults are often unmotivated and listless at work, and any distraction is welcome.
But what is that exactly? There are usually three main reasons that stand in the way of learning:
They don't see what the effort actually brings - many students think: Why should I learn geometry? I'll never need that again later! But if they recognize that all sorts of useful everyday rules are hidden behind surfaces and angles, they learn much more readily.
Lack of self-discipline
Learning in the form of buffalo and memorizing is not fun, but sometimes has to be. Only bite (technical jargon: volition) and good time management help. But hardly anyone manages their learning workload without a plan and self-discipline.
Lack of self-motivation
In fact, it is not easy to yourself after a hard day also sit down and learn. In most cases, the need for rest and relaxation predominates, and learning is postponed until the next day. But it doesn't look much better there.
Is willpower just a matter of attitude?
In research there is different opinions on whether our willpower is inherently limited or can be trained.
Established in 2011 Roy Builder in his book Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength the thesis that every person has only a limited amount of willpower - if it is exhausted, the work performance drops sharply.
This thesis refuted in the same year Greg Walton and Carol Dweckwho, based on their observations (PDF) of students, were able to show that a person's performance depends on his or her attitude:
If he thinks that his willpower will eventually end, he'll give up more quickly. But does he believe in his ability to perform and overcomes a low point, it not only performs better - endurance also increases over time.
Why are students distracted while studying?
Now, of course, the above might not apply to you. You got over it and sat down, opened the book, and started reading and studying. Nevertheless, the necessary one wants to concentration Don't stop at all - your mind is constantly wandering and you have to read a sentence three times before you can understand it.
Don't give up and don't despair: there may be another reason for this.
An experiment by Judy Xu and Janet Metcalfe was recently able to show why our thoughts keep drifting away from the subject matter. In short: it depends on the material and the learning materials themselves - either they are too easy or too difficult.
According to the research, the optimal learning ability and ability to concentrate is only achieved if the subject matter is yours Sweet spot corresponds to. Means: has your individual and optimal level of difficulty.
So it is not always the lack of motivation or the low level of intelligence, because of which the learning success fails, but the inappropriate one balance of the learning material with a view to the complexity and the know-how of the learner.
5 tips against distractions
We have five crisp learning tips for better concentration here in this one free download compiled for you as a PDF.
4 mistakes in learning and how to avoid them
The Google Effect
We remember certain information more poorly when we know that it is available online and that we can look up it at any time.
How to avoid this mistake: Try to remember the information yourself and not just where it is to be found. For example, in a statistics exam, it will be of little help to know that the formula you need is on the bottom left of page 94 if you do not know the formula itself.
The Zeigarnik effect
We forget a little faster when it comes to completed processes. The Russian psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik noticed this when she was sitting in a restaurant and watching the waiters take orders. She found that the waiters were better at remembering orders that were still open.
How to avoid this mistake: Most students only study on the exam date. After the exam, the event is over for you and the knowledge is no longer important. This leads to the fact that the knowledge already learned is forgotten. Try to make it clear to yourself that you will continue to need and want to use this knowledge.
It is difficult for us to classify and remember things that do not fit into our worldview. We want a view of the world that is as consistent as possible. Because of this, our brain tends to resolve contradictions.This is what the British psychologist Frederic Bartlett found out when he read a story about Indians to British participants. All references to ghosts and supernatural phenomena disappeared from the retelling of the test subjects.
How to avoid this mistake: Here it is enough to be aware of this fact. Be self-critical with the interpretation and presentation of information. Always keep in mind that your point of view is influenced by your culture.
It is now scientifically proven that negative memories fade faster than positive ones. Psychologists assume that this is done to protect yourself.
How to avoid this mistake: When you study for an important exam, you go to work with a positive attitude. For example, it is much more difficult for us to memorize complex formulas when we convince ourselves that business mathematics is the worst subject at university and that the exam will go wrong anyway.
Avoiding these mistakes is still there no guarantee for becoming the next world memory champion. But you will at least help prepare for the next exam.
Learning tips: Take longer and more breaks!
Now all this pressure refueling has two decisive disadvantages: It is extremely tiring and is even less fun. But there is a - also scientifically guaranteed solution: Take more breaks in between!
No joke: when researchers Soren Ashley and Joel Pearson from the University of New South Wales in Sydney examined successful learning strategies, they were able to prove that those who practice too much do smaller and smaller ones (as with the law of diminishing returns) Learning progress.
Or to put it in positive terms: learning success is quicker if you take breaks in between. Preferably on a regular basis: When learning new skills new connections are created in the brain, in technical jargon these are too neural plasticity called.
In order to acquire skills in the long term, however, these changes in the brain have to be made deepened and consolidated become. This can only be achieved through the transfer from short-term to long-term memory - for example through regular, longer breaks. "If the information and neural changes are not appropriately consolidated, the learning progress is only noticeable for a short time or does not even occur," says Soren Ashley.
This was also confirmed in Rohrer's and Pashler's studies: When they repeated their experiments, they also built breaks between the learning phases - from five minutes to two weeks. Result: Those who took a day off wrote the best tests if they took place ten days later. But if you were checked six months later, the optimal one lasted Learning break already a month.
The bottom line:
- Anyone trying to get one complex substance in a short time incorporating it will perhaps pass the exam well, but will not keep much in the long term.
- If you want to keep the knowledge afterwards (and be able to call it up in your later job), you should also learn during the semester, take breaks and the Let the fabric sag.
- And the more we learn (in the long term) the longer the breaks should be.
The ideal learning strategy would therefore be: reading books intensively, learning, putting them aside, going on vacation and then re-entering the knowledge shortly before the exam Short term memory rubble.
Learn while you sleep
It's true: we learn in our sleep. And those who go to bed right after the buffalo keep more. The renowned sleep researcher Jessica Payne from the University of Notre Dame came to this conclusion. Not in sleep, however, but in experiments with a total of 207 students ...
They first had to work hard - all day, between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Then they had to take tests: half an hour after studying, twelve hours later and again 24 hours afterwards. The trick, however, was that some of the subjects were able to get a good bit of sleep between the first immediate test and the second. And indeed: After that, they performed significantly better in the tests - even better than those who had stayed up again for a whole day.
Keep more with more naps
A new study goes even further: Anyone who studies or learns large amounts should in between more (not longer) nap Treat yourself to (so-called power naps). The French study by Stephanie Mazza from the University of Lyon comes to the conclusion that regular short sleep helps us to Process and remember information more effectively - even six months after we learned something.
The current study shows above all the positive influence of short ones Napping between two study units. On top of that, the power nap reduces the repetition loops in between - commonly known as the "cramming" of vocabulary, for example.
Those who take water with them to exams improve their grades
Researchers led by Chris Pawson from the University of East London and Mark Gardner from the University of Westminster had long suspected that Dehydration (also called dehydration) worsens academic performance. So the performance of 447 students recorded in different exams - depending on whether they took drinks with them to the exams or not.
Result: Taking water with you to the exams significantly improved the exam grades. But please pay attention to the wording: In fact, the scientists only registered the test results and whether the students had water had with them.
They did not check whether and how much water the students drank during the exam. "Our results suggest that taking water with you to the tests is enough to improve your grades," says study leader Chris Pawson. However - to be fair, this is a noticeable correlation, no causality.
It has been proven, however, that drinking helps reduce stress and stimulate the metabolism and thus the gray cells supple to keep.
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