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Limitations on communication prevent the instantaneous transmission of knowledge. Instead you listen to lectures, read textbooks and take painstaking notes to try and comprehend a subject. You are fed building supplies, bricks, mortar and glass. It is up to you to assemble the building. Unfortunately, most learning strategies fall into two basic types: 1. Memorization – Instead of building anything you simply stare at each brick for several minutes trying to record its position. 2. Formulas – This is the equivalent to being blind, fumbling around a new house. You can’t see the building itself but you learn to come up with simple rules to avoid walking into walls. There is nothing particularly wrong with either of these strategies, assuming they aren’t your entire strategy. The human brain isn’t a computer so it can’t memorize infinite sums of knowledge without some form of structure. And formulas no longer work if the questions they are designed to solve change scope. Learning Holistically The alternative strategy is to focus on actually using the information you have to build something. This involves linking concepts together and compressing information so it fits in the bigger picture. Here are some ideas to get started: 1. Metaphor – Metaphors can allow you to quickly organize information by comparing a complex idea to a simple one. When you find
Abstract ideas are difficult to memorize because they are far removed from our senses. 4.Find someone who doesn’t understand the topic and teach it to them. I remembered the pattern by visualizing my hands moving through the numbers. Shift them closer by coming up with vivid pictures. one adding and one subtracting. Test Your Mobility . referencing one idea to help explain another. 5. Open up a word document and start explaining the subject you are working with. Compare neurons with waves on a string. This exercise forces you to organize. When I learned how to do a determinant of a matrix. If you can’t jump between sections. you won’t be able to reach them during a test. feelings and images that relate information together. 3. Fast learners do this automatically. you won’t be able to think through the connections during a test. but if you leave islands of information. come up with analogies to increase your understanding. Teach It .2. relationships between information. Use All Your Senses . . Spending five minutes explaining a concept can save you an hour of combined studying for the same effect.A good way to know you haven’t linked enough is that you can’t move between concepts. Leave No Islands – When you read through a textbook. Make metaphors comparing parts of a brain with sections of your computer. every piece of information should connect with something else you have learned.
Information becomes easier to organize if you can identify broader patterns that are similar across different topics. but are useful for describing abstract ideas. but it created a workable image for future ideas. 10.Find Patterns – Look for patterns in information. . When I was trying to tackle the concept of subspaces. I visualized a blue background with a red plane going through it. This isn’t an entirely accurate representation of what a subspace is. The way a neuron fires has similarities to “if” statements in programming languages. Your only goal is to understand the information so it will stick with 6. 7. Build a Large Foundation . The more you already know. Don’t Force . Crystallizing one particular mental image or experience can create a model you can reference when trying to understand. the easier it is to learn. 8.I don’t spend much time studying before exams. 9.Reading lots and having a general understanding of many topics gives you a lot more flexibility in finding patterns and metaphors in new topics. Forcing information during the last few days is incredibly inefficient. Instead try to slowly interlink ideas as they come to you so studying becomes a quick recap rather than a first attempt at learning. Build Models – Models are simple concepts that aren’t true by themselves. Learning is in Your Head – Having beautiful notes and a perfectly highlighted textbook doesn’t matter if you don’t understand the information in it.
and phrases. these study tips can help you tailor your learning for your intelligence type. Use notes and books as a medium for learning rather than an end result. When you realize what you’re good at. They enjoy coming up with solutions to logical problems and figuring things out. People are smart in different ways. Based on Howard Gardner’s theory of intelligence. or be the center of attention. Some people can create a catchy song at the drop of a hat. give these strategies a try: • make your notes into numeric charts and graphs • use the roman numeral style of outlining . letters. these study strategies can help: • make flashcards • take extensive notes • keep a journal of what you learn Number Smart (logical-mathematical intelligence) . paint a masterpiece. Don’t be afraid to get messy when scrawling out ideas on paper and connecting them in your head. equations. you can figure out the best way to study. and having discussions.Number smart people are good with numbers. Others can memorize everything in a book. and logic. If you’re word smart. Word Smart (Linguistic intelligence) – Word smart people are good with words. If you’re number smart. tests and life.you for assignments. playing scrabble or other word games. They enjoy activities such as reading.
and visiting art museums. They enjoy physical activity such as exercise. attending concerts. these activities can help you study: . and outdoor work. They enjoy being creative. sports. Picture smart people can benefit from these study tips: • sketch pictures that go along with your notes or in the margins of your textbooks • draw a picture on a flashcard for each concept or vocabulary word you study • use charts and graphic organizers to keep track of what you learn Body Smart (Kinesthetic intelligence) – Body smart people work well with their hands. and creating songs. These study strategies can help body smart people be successful: • act out or imagine the concepts you need to remember • look for real-life examples that demonstrate what you’re learning about • search for manipulatives. watching movies. If you’re music smart. that can help you master material Music Smart (Musical intelligence) – Music smart people are good with rhythms and beats. such as computer programs. They enjoy listening to cds.• put information you receive into categories and classifications that you create Picture Smart (spatial intelligence) – Picture smart people are good with art and design.
People smart students should give these strategies a try: • discuss what you learn with a friend or family member • have someone quiz you before an exam • create or join a study group Self Smart (Intrapersonal intelligence) – Self smart people are comfortable with themselves. try these tips: • keep a personal journal about what you’re learning • find a place to study where you won’t be interrupted • keep yourself involved in assignments by individualizing each project • • Be good to yourself. o Keep physically fit and rested. They enjoy going to parties. and sharing what they learn. o Use positive affirmations: "I can pass American History." .• create a song or rhyme that will help you remember a concept • listen to classical music while you study • remember vocabulary words by linking them to similar-sounding words in your mind People Smart (Interpersonal intelligence) – Those who are people smart are good with relating to people. Attitude is all-important. They enjoy being alone to think and reflect. If you’re self smart. visiting with friends.
) Review notes immediately after class. o If a handwritte assignment is acceptable. o Attentiveness and concentration increase markedly. work. o if you must sit toward the back of the room. Don't waste time rereading. o Word processors are a plus. o Even for five minutes. Sit in the front row. o (First and last facts are remembered best.• • • • • • • • • • Provide your own psychological edge. o . o Neatness counts. Use index cards for quick review. Throw your highlighter away! o Remember: frequent review takes facts from short-term memory to long-term memory — learning as opposed to cramming. Listen on way to school. o b. o Something magical happens! Review your notes out loud. Tape chapters (find out if your textbook has companion pod cast chapters). questions on test. be it a positive attitude or a "lucky pen. Appearance raises grades. Study in short bursts." Be a chronic enthusiast! Used textbooks may provide insights on a course. therefore. it will accelerate learning. o Keep them simple. o They are crucial — important announcements. use erasable pen. Don't miss the first and last minutes of class. etc. Use a variety of study techniques. o a. o Read your chapters out loud. lean forward.
o Are you "normal. or an early bird? Eliminate stress in your life. o This is considered mandatory by "A" students. Stay with initial hunches.. o Don't be afraid to drop a course that is not working for you. Test professors before they test you." a night owl. Make extra credit mandatory. Become an expert test taker. o . Go with initial hunches. BUT be aware of all official dates to withdraw and any vital state legislative restrictions ( Texas has a limit on total number of W hours. Never miss a class. physically and spiritually fit. Study according to your biological clock.) Volunteer to edit a friend's paper.• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Rely on "pen in hand" and SQ3R. Stay mentally. o what material will be covered. Be prepared to bail out. EXERCISE is the best antidote. Study smart—not hard! Time management skills and discipline pay off. o Ask questions about what kind of test to expect. o Use it as a learning experience.
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