How to Learn Faster
Whether it be from new job skills to language mastery, people are always finding ways on how to learn faster. In fact, companies on the rise are constantly looking for people who are quick learners and adapt to different scenarios quickly and effectively. So, n the following post, we are going to go over 7 different ways on how to learn faster.
These tips can be started at any point in time and can even be passed along to friends.
1. Teach Someone the Topic
This is a great way to get to be a fast learner. When you are reviewing the material that you want to learn quickly, imagine that you will be teaching this topic to someone in the near future. According to a study that was conducted at Washington University in St. Louis, the expectation that you will be teaching a new subject matter to a friend or colleague actually enhances your ability to learn a new topic.
If you are looking for a great way to learn faster, this would be a great strategy to implement. Furthermore, you don’t even have to pretend. You can grab a friend and actually review the material with them so you’re getting a more hands on experience.
Organizing the subject material and structuring them into solid, concise points helps you learn faster.
2. Space out your Learning
Some educational experts advocate learning in short doses. In order to learn faster, try spacing out your studying into 30-50 minute doses. Anything below 30 minutes may be too brief to acquire any knew knowledge about a topic. Anything over 50 minutes might be too much that you lose focus. Keeping a solid middle ground is an ideal way to learn faster.
It is typically agreed that brief, frequent learning or studying sessions are better than infrequent, long ones.
3. Use the Mental Spacing Technique
Typically people like to “cram” material in their brain in order to learn faster. However, this is the absolute worst way to learn new material and retain that information. According to research, the mental spacing technique is the most beneficial learning strategy you can ever use if you want to learn faster.
To use this technique, try to learn new material earlier, rather than later. For example, if you have a test on a Friday and today was a Monday, start studying the material as soon as possible. Then, two days later, start reviewing the material again.
The way this mental spacing technique is applied is under the theory that the brain pays less attention during short learning intervals, so repeating the learning intervals over a large period of time helps retain information.
4. Take Notes by Hand
Of course taking notes on your laptop or tablet might be faster, but research suggests that you may not be retaining that information to the best of your ability. Researchers at Princeton and UCLA discovered that the students who took notes by hand listened more actively and were able to learn faster than the students who took notes on laptops. Laptop users are more prone to “mindless transcription” and are more prone to digital distractions such as email and internet browsing.
The next time that you are looking to learn new material faster, try rewriting your notes as well, as it can be a handy tool to learn material and retain it in the future.
5. Take a Break
The most overlooked aspect of learning new material is to take breaks. People typically think that taking a break to learn new material might be counterproductive, but frequent rests in between learning session have actually been found to increase productivity and help with information retention.
A good method to incorporate into studying or learning sessions is called the “Pomodoro technique“. With this technique, you are setting a timer for a set period of time for work, and a short period of time for rest.
Try this method out for yourself!
- Set a timer for 25 minutes
- Work until the timer goes off
- Take a short break once the 25 minutes has come to an end (5 minutes or so)
- Restart the timer for another 25 minutes
- Take longer breaks after 4 25-minute sessions.
Don’t underestimate the power of a break! It could be the difference between you learning quickly, or not!
6. Don’t be Afraid to Practice Differently
Finding out different ways to learn material might sound challenging, but it can actually boost productivity and learning big time. Changing the way that you master a skill or topic can help you learn faster according to a study at Johns Hopkins University. In their study, they had participants learn a computer-based task. The group that used a modified learning technique during their second session actually scored higher, and performed better than the group that did not modify learning techniques.
A good example of this, that you may apply to studying in high school or college, is studying alone with flash cards one day, and then the next, perhaps grabbing a study group to quiz each other or play a game related to the topic.
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In conclusion, there are a bunch of different ways in which you can accelerate your learning. Whether it be from different learning techniques, brain supplements, or both, there is great potential in all of us to become faster learners. Next time you are in a rut, or looking for a way to learn faster, give these 7 tips a try and let us know how they worked for you!