That’s how many hours there are in a week.
If you’re a student, you probably feel like this isn’t enough. I know… You have so many assignments to do, projects to work on, and tests to study for.
Plus, you have other activities and commitments.
And I’m sure you want to have a social life, too.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could study smarter (not harder), get good grades, and lead a balanced life?
Of course it would. That’s why I wrote this article.
The main aim of education isn’t to get straight A’s. But learning how to learn is a vital life skill.
So I spent hours scouring scientific articles and research journals to find the best ways to learn more effectively.
I’m a lifelong straight-A student myself, and I’ve since completed my formal education. Over the course of my academic career, I’ve used almost all the tips outlined in this article, so I can verify that they work.
Let’s get started. Here are 20 scientific ways to learn faster.
1. Learn the same information in a variety of ways.
The research (Willis, J. 2008) shows that different media stimulate different parts of the brain. The more areas of the brain that are activated, the more likely it is that you’ll understand and retain the information.
So to learn a specific topic, you could do the following:
- Read the class notes
- Read the textbook
- Watch a Khan Academy video
- Look up other online resources
- Create a mind map
- Teach someone what you’ve learned
- Do practice problems from a variety of sources
Of course, you won’t be able to do all of these things in one sitting. But each time you review the topic, use a different resource or method – you’ll learn faster this way.
2. Study multiple subjects each day, rather than focusing on just one or two subjects.
It’s more effective to study multiple subjects each day, than to deep-dive into one or two subjects (Rohrer, D. 2012).
For example, if you’re preparing for exams in math, history, physics, and chemistry, it’s better to study a bit of each subject every day. This approach will help you to learn faster than by focusing on just math on Monday, history on Tuesday, physics on Wednesday, chemistry on Thursday, and so on.
Because you’re likely to confuse similar information if you study a lot of the same subject in one day.
So to study smart, spread out your study time for each subject. In so doing, your brain will have more time to consolidate your learning. [Read more…]