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How to Learn Anything Fast By Wayne Huang, PhD Elizabeth James, PhD
Rapid Learning Center

The Rapid Learning Survival Guide

Introduction................................................................................................. 3 What is Rapid Learning And Why Should We Do This?....................................... 3 Chapter 1: The Science of Rapid Learning ................................................... 4 Introduction ............................................................................................... 4 Optimize Your Learning Mind......................................................................... 4 The VARK Learning Styles............................................................................. 7 Visual Learning Style................................................................................. 8 Aural Learning Style.................................................................................. 9 Read / Write Learning Style ......................................................................10 Kinesthetic .............................................................................................11 Multimodal Learning Style.........................................................................12 Critical Thinking: How Critical is it Anyway? ...................................................12 Chapter 02: The Skills of Rapid Learning................................................... 15 Learning from Lectures Effectively ................................................................15 How to Read a Science Textbook and UNDERSTAND IT ....................................20 How to Solve Science and Math Problems ......................................................21 5-Step Process for Math & Science Problems ...............................................21 KUDOS Method for Word Problems:............................................................23 How to Get the Most Out of Laboratory Learning .............................................25 How to Test-Prep: The Cheat Sheet Method ...................................................28 How to Memorize: The AIR Method ...............................................................31 How to Create a Mnemonic Device ................................................................33 Chapter 3: The System of Rapid Learning.................................................. 37 The Success Formula of Science Mastery .......................................................37 What is the Rapid Learning System? .............................................................37 Core Concepts ...........................................................................................37 Problem solving .........................................................................................40 Super Review ............................................................................................41 Summary ..................................................................................................42

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The Rapid Learning Survival Guide

What is Rapid Learning and Why Should We Do This?

Does learning science and math seem difficult to you? Do textbooks, manuals and lecture seem overwhelming and often confusing? Does the thought of a quiz or exam make you feel stressed? Do you just not have enough time to learn everything that is required? Are you confused by how to solve problems on the very information you just read? So what is Rapid Learning? By our definition, Rapid learning is a set of break-through methods to increase the speed of learning and deepen the understanding of the subjects, by breaking down complex subjects into manageable units and facilitating rich-media teaching, providing an effective multi-modal learning opportunity. The rapid learning survival guide and methods describe a straight forward process to divide the course into manageable units with a format that best suits your preferred learning style. This will make it easier for you to learn and remember. You will also learn how to make effective study guides that can be used to prepare for exams.

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1. The Science of Rapid Learning

Chapter 1: The Science of Rapid Learning

Introduction You may have a fear that you arent cut out for learning science or math. Thinking, Im just not a math person, or I dont have a logical mind Im a creative thinker or even Im just not smart enough. Maybe you havent been presented these subjects in a way that suits your mind. You can learn these subjects; you just need to work with your mind, not against it. The following sections will teach you how to do that.

Optimize Your Learning Mind

The Mind is a Meaning Making Machine

What does it mean to say, The mind is a meaning making machine.? The primary function of your mind is to take incoming information and attach meaning to it. Sometimes what is presented has no inherent meaning. For instance no one has ever really seen an electron orbital. Yet this is a fundamental concept in chemistry and physics. So how is your mind to make meaning out of this concept and others that do not have an inherent or obvious meaning in your life? To find meaning and learn new information it must first be relevant. For instance do you: ! ! ! ! Like baseball? Play video games? Like music? Follow the political process?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you found something in these topics that made this information relevant. To master any subject especially those that are hard use the minds quest for relevance to develop meaning. This is done by making these subjects relevant to you. Learning trigonometry is easy when it is relevant: you balance best when you are at 90o with respect to the floor, at what angle do you topple over?

Take Advantage of Patterns

In addition to finding relevance, finding patterns in what you are learning also helps creates meaning. In fact, intelligence could simply be described as being able to see and construct patterns from the world around you. Finding patterns is finding a .: :. 4

1. The Science of Rapid Learning relationship between facts or concepts. For example, when learning the amino acids you can group the 20 molecules by non-polar side chains (i.e. glycine CH3), uncharged side chains (i.e. serine CH2-OH) and charged (i.e. lysine CH2-CH2-CH2CH2-NH3-) polar side chains. Use the brains natural tendency to find patterns in any subject you are learning.

Emotion is Key in the Learning Process

Emotion plays a role in how we learn - if you are anxious about taking a test and havent eaten or slept, learning the material is made more difficult. However, we also know that being over-relaxed (often as a result of understimulation) can lead to boredom and a lack of motivation. The brain needs a non-threatening environment with enough challenge to evoke an emotional investment in the subject. Use these practical tips to engage your emotions and to evoke an emotional investment: ! ! ! Write out your goals (including why you want to achieve them), stick them by your computer and read them every morning. Journal about what is going on for you emotionally while you are studying. Make time for those things that you know are relaxing, walking the dog, listening to music, exercise.

Learning Environment is Vital

Craft your environment so that learning is favored eat, sleep, limit the distractions and dont let a little frustration while you are learning get you down; it enhances the whole process. Here are a few tips to enhance your learning environment: ! ! ! Create a study zone away from distractions (library study area, quiet room somewhere). Dont multi-task: turn off your phone and mp3 player or leave them at home or in your car. Lighting, seating and temperature should be comfortable but not overly so. You dont want to become too relaxed.

Multi-Modal Learning is Highly Effective

Learning is a complex process. Interacting with your environment enhances all aspects of learning. It is a mistake to think that full concentration on the subject .: :. 5

1. The Science of Rapid Learning of interest is what is going to ensure rapid and lasting learning. Countries that require music and art classes have higher overall standardized test scores than countries that do not. Tips to practice incorporating your environment into your study: ! ! If you have a hobby, nurture it. Treat it as part of your learning practice not as a reward once you attain a goal. Surround yourself with those things that please and stimulate you, art, music, or your favorite movies.

Treat Mind And Body As If They Are Connected

Just because the mind and the body seem to be separate from each other, that should not lead you to believe that thinking and movement are independent of each other. Research shows that areas of the brain that are important for movement are also vital for learning. How do you take advantage of that fact? Exercise increases the chemicals in the brain that allow us to respond rapidly to learning challenges. Rapid learning is enhanced by something as simple as exercising 20 min a day. Tips to enhance your actual study time: ! ! Make time to incorporate exercise or movement into your daily routine. If you are stuck when trying to learn something new, take 20 min. out to dance or walk or run.

Every Brain Registers Information Uniquely

Every mind is unique. Accelerate your learning by taking advantage of the unique way in which your mind takes in information. You may have noticed that you learn quite easily if the information is presented to you in a certain format (e.g. outlined before the lecture) and that other formats frustrate and confuse you. You may be the type of person who can learn easily while the teacher is talking and writing on the board, or you might be someone who cant comprehend anything unless you are doodling while someone else is talking. Instead of resisting how you take in information, take advantage of how you learn.

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1. The Science of Rapid Learning Example: You are attending a Chemistry laboratory, before the experiment begins the teacher wants to make a couple of points about the experiment. 1). She has written a few notes about the compound you will isolate on the board. 2). She has a model of the compound and is talking about the chemical structure. 3). The instructor has beakers and flasks with the compound at different stages of isolation sitting on the laboratory bench. She demonstrates how to use the ring stand to safely attach the flasks. So what information did everyone in the class absorb? Depending on your learning strengths, different information has been imparted. For the student preferring Kinesthetic learning, the main message imparted was how to physically do the experiment: swish the flasks, attach them to the ring stand and so forth. If you prefer to learn in a Read/Write format, the notes on the board are copied carefully and may be annotated by pictures of the set up. You may, however, have missed the verbal instructions about how to attach the flasks or use the instruments. If your strength is as an Aural learner, her verbal instructions are crystal clear and other aspects such as handouts were missed. The student with a more even balance of modality strengths or preferences (Multimodal) will take a bit of everything that is presented. Depending on their unique combination of learning strengths, a different take home message has been acquired. Each of these four students, if asked to summarize the pre-lab discussion, would undoubtedly come up with a variation on the lecture.

When learning strengths and preferences are understood, optimized and utilized, it is easier to compensate for weaker modalities. Once you have determined your learning strengths, you will experience a new level of freedom and power over your ability to learn any subject.

The VARK Learning Modalities VARK is an acronym for Visual, Aural, Read/Write and Kinesthetic and used to describe four common learning modalities. VARK is also a method that when applied will help optimize the preferred learning strength of an individual. By knowing, for example, that a person prefers to learn by using pictures, study guides and notes can be created that are heavy in images. This will make learning easier and memory 7

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1. The Science of Rapid Learning or retention of the information better. By learning how to learn anyone can be a good student and you will have the satisfaction of knowing more about your self.

Visual Learning
1. Visual learning is characterized by a holistic approach to learning subject as opposed to reducing the subject to its smallest parts and reconstructing. The appearance of the subject its color, texture and design are interesting and drawing comes naturally. 2. Student prefers to learn material as a series of images. 3. Image types include: diagrams, symbols, flow charts and graphs. 4. Text is made more like an image by underlining with different color pens or highlighting. As an example a chemical symbol may be drawn to look like the atom or molecule. 5. Symbols and spaces are used in place of words. 6. Optimal lectures would include gestures and language that is image driven. 7. Textbooks and handouts having concepts displayed as diagrams, pictures and graphs are preferred. If a course text book does not have adequate images look at other books and on the internet for images of the topic.

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1. The Science of Rapid Learning 8. To prepare for exams, which are usually written, translate materials such as lecture notes, text books and hand outs into diagrams, images, flow charts etc. 9. Practice turning visual clues back into written words for exams.

Aural Learning
1. Learners with strong aural abilities prefer hearing something to reading it. 2. Effective learning is enhanced by explaining what they have heard and being asked questions verbally. 3. Lectures are enjoyable experiences. 4. Discussions with other students, teachers and presenters have high impact and learning value. 5. Can remember what is spoken more easily then what is read. 6. Often taking notes of a spoken lecture is secondary to listening so notes may have to be augmented by listening to tape recordings of the lecture or speaking to others. 7. Information mastery is acquired by teaching or speaking about it to others. 9

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1. The Science of Rapid Learning 8. Reading your notes out loud, even just to yourself is an excellent method to again hear the material. 9. To answer exam questions it is helpful to imagine that you are talking to the teacher or examiner and verbally giving the answer. Listen to the answer in your mind and write it down. This can be practiced by going over previous exams and practicing listening to your inner voice and writing it down.

Read / Write Learning

1. Read / Write learning is characterized by preferring to read about a topic and then to write or take notes. Lectures and pictures are fine but you prefer to read about what you are learning. 2. Schools and colleges mostly require students to demonstrate learning in written form usual emphasizing reading. 3. If you prefer to learn by reading you benefit by: making lists, outlines, and writing definitions. 4. Learning material include: textbooks, dictionaries, and handouts.

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1. The Science of Rapid Learning 5. Mastery of the material is by writing what has been read. This would include writing definitions, cycles and sequences, changing reactions, augmenting diagrams and pictures with words. 6. To prepare for tests it is useful to rearrange lists and notes into questions, multiple choice and essay and to write the answer. Lists and descriptions written should be rewritten. Words and concepts should be arranged into primary points and hierarchies.

Kinesthetic Learning
1. Kinesthetic learners like to experience learning and exams. 2. The preferred method of learning is by doing something. A subject is only meaningful if it feels practical, and relevant. 3. To acquire information and to master it an activity must be done. 4. Hands On Method of learning is beneficial, e.g. performing experiments, building models and test taking. 5. It is helpful to review a subject while exercising, standing, writing, or drawing and role playing.

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1. The Science of Rapid Learning

Multimodal Learning
Most individuals are multimodal learners. That is they do not show an exclusive preference to one learning modality but blend their preferred methods. For example a person who prefers to listen (aural learner) but is also visual may record a lecture and draw pictures or schematics of the topic. The blend may include 2, 3 or all four methods of learning. To maximize your time learning it is useful to use as many as the modalities as possible in the process. For example by listening to a taped lecture and rewriting notes to images, three styles, aural, visual, read/write are incorporated into the activity. This is useful for the multimodal learner.

Critical Thinking: How Critical is it Anyway? Critical thinking is a process where a subject is conceptualized. This typically requires the breakdown of the information into its components. The components are then reassembled into a format that is relevant to the student in the preferred modality. There are many advantages to critical thinking. First it removes the need to memorize the material because the topic is understood. Additionally the material can now be applied to different situations. An example of this is an organic synthesis. A student can memorize each step of a synthesis A"B"C"D. Alternatively or by critically analyzing the process identify reactive bonds and 12

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1. The Science of Rapid Learning reaction products and apply this knowledge to the formation of compounds in each step. In science and math critically analysis allows real mastery, allowing the student to make inferences, conclusions and predictions.

Strategies in Critical Thinking: ! ! ! Group all the relevant facts together. Break the facts into component parts and draw out implications of each. Verify that each fact is internally consistent and doesnt contradict another fact.

Step By Step Process ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! What is the objective of the lesson, method, function? Is the conclusion supported by the facts? Does this make sense? What are the main concepts: theories, laws, principles? What facts are provided? What are the inferences, interpretations, conclusions or solutions? Are there assumptions about the facts I need to know? How would the conclusion change if I am wrong?

Cognitive or concept maps are one method of breaking down and grouping information. There are many formats and rarely one right way to create a concept map. A concept, instead, displays a persons unique understanding and interrelations of concepts. In this method the facts are diagramed or charted. Ideas, words, process, etc. are linked or grouped to represent the information. Variations on the mapping of information can be done to fit visual, read/write, aural and kinesthetic learner. Example of a Cognitive Map: Spectroscopy is a technique used in physics, chemistry and biology. Mathematics is used to analyze information. Imagine that you have been presented with a series of lectures on spectroscopy. Using critical thinking how you would breakdown a subject that encompasses so many fields of science and math? Diagram or write out the major components of spectroscopy. ! Instrumentation: used to acquire data in the laboratory. 13

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1. The Science of Rapid Learning ! ! ! Analysis: equations described in lecture, reading and lab. assignments. Description (image) of what a spectrum actually consists of. Major aspects of spectrums e.g. energy, frequency, radiation etc.

Construct a learning tool. This can be a list of equations or theories, a concept map or diagram that reflects what you are trying to systematically learn (critical thinking).

Goal Definition & Critical Thinking: refine the diagram or flow chart by asking your self what the goal of that series of lectures on spectroscopy is. Enhance or edit your diagram to incorporate the goal(s), objectives, facts and theories that were presented. Using your critical thinking and learning aid(s) work some problems. aids help in problem solving, does it work? See if these

The actual format will depend on you. Perhaps instead of pictures in the above example, a Read/Write learner would have texts and lists of items in each segment. The point is to apply the step of critical thinking to breakdown the topic into logical groupings.

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2. The Skills of Rapid Learning

Chapter 02: The Skills of Rapid Learning

Learning from Lectures Effectively Lectures are one of the most important opportunities a student has to: ! ! determine course expectations goals learn the administrative requirements for the class such as test dates and format, written assignments, office hours of teachers, how grades are assessed etc. determine the teaching style, how the material will be presented.

To get the most out of these important meetings (lectures), it is important to prepare. As you gain experience in a specific class you may decide to modify your preparations. Before Lecture ! Identify learning preferences and use them. For example, if your preferred method of learning is listening consider recording the lecture for replay. Be familiar with the course outline. topics will be emphasized. This will typically indicate what

! ! ! !

Read the text book and any other handouts for the upcoming lecture before the lecture begins. Write down any questions on the material you read prior to the lecture. Pre-lecture preparation will increase lecture effectiveness by 20-50%.

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2. The Skills of Rapid Learning Example Pre-Lecture Preparation If you know that the upcoming lecture is on a specific cell cycle, have the cycle drawn before lecture. The benefit of doing this is that you can pay attention to what is said not copying what is being drawn on the board. You now have the time to add the teachers comments to your diagram.

For math, engineering or physics classes, your pre-lecture preparation may include a formulas, drawings or diagrams relevant to the next lecture. Example Math & Engineering Lecture If there are Proofs, Diagrams or Step Processes in the up coming lecture have them already laid out so you can fill in.

Before class: write out equations, if appropriate draw diagrams to fill in during lecture. Highlight anything that is confusing, unclear or appears contradictory to something youve already learned. Be prepared to ask about this if lecture does not clarify the point.

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2. The Skills of Rapid Learning

Example Chemistry Lecture

By having a complex chemical structure already in your notes you can annotate it as the professor points out important parts. Chemical Formula: C32H26N6O4Cl2 Chemical structures have a great deal of fine detail, such as double bonds and charges +/-. Drawing and grouping structures prior to lecture based on function, charge or other characteristic will avoid costly mistakes and allow you to listen instead of draw. At least once a week or following the conclusion of a segment or chapter, summarize your notes. This process should include the clustering of ideas, details and related concepts under a central topic or categories. These summary sheets will be used later in preparation of a Cheat Sheet Study Guide to prepare for exams. How can you optimize your time in lecture? Okay. You have prepared for lecture and you in class. How can you make the most out of the time? Start by sitting near the speaker, typically within the first three rows of the room. If the presenter is available and you have any particular questions, don't hesitate to go up to the professor before class begins and ask if it will be covered during class. The teacher will appreciate the feed back and either answer it during lecture or direct you to the solution. During Lecture ! Come a few minutes early to lecture in order to: copy anything that has been written on the board, speak with the teacher and get the seat you want. During the lecture pay attention to the professor--don't daydream. Copy everything that is written down on the board. If it is a diagram that you drew before class compare the structures and make sure they are identical. Write on only one side of the paper. During the lecture listen actively. Active listening means to have an internal conversation with the speaker. Question what is being said, make notes on your questions.

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2. The Skills of Rapid Learning ! ! Lay out your page such that you leave room on sides to add comments post lecture. Lay your sheets of paper out by category. For instance add administrative information at the top of the paper. Administrative information can include details on assignments, exams, laboratory information, and office hours. Take notes for two purposes: content and directed study. It is often difficult to take complete notes as the speaker lectures. It may be possible to only write a word, equation or formula and not the complete detailed description. Leave space to fill in later. Leave large "white areas" on your paper to be used to fill in later as you study or complete notes. These areas can be to either side in large margins or by skipping lines. During lecture determine what to write down. Ask yourself, Whats the point of the statement? What are the main objectives of the course? Analyze what information in lecture fits in with textbooks, labs. and seminars. The amount of time an instructor spends on a topic is a clue of what they think is important to know and learn.

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What should you do after lecture? As soon after lecture as possible, take a few minutes to think about the class and notes you made. Are there any points of confusions? Did you write contradictory or incomplete statements? Did you miss something and were unable to get any notes on that point? ! ! ! After lecture fill in any blanks or partial thoughts and explanations by reading, asking fellow students or the teacher. Once notes are completed ask yourself what the point is for that lecture, chapter, experiment or equation. Reformat the lecture in your preferred method of learning. If you like diagrams take written notes and draw them out, if you like to listening replay a lecture and so on. After lecture review your notes: o o o Fill in points. Identify points in the lecture that you don't understand. Summarize main points.

Are there any other ways to optimize lecture? .: :. 18

2. The Skills of Rapid Learning ! ! ! ! Do not bring in drinks, food or other distractions to lecture. Engage in the lecture, listen and think--dont just copy or daydream. Use loose leaf paper so handouts can be integrated. Make the material relevant to you.

What would a master study guide look like?

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2. The Skills of Rapid Learning How to Read a Science Textbook and UNDERSTAND IT Textbooks are the major tool you will use to master the material required for a course. Textbooks can be used as a guide or outline for your study. The layout of a typical textbook includes major headings and subheadings, chapter and section objectives and often focus questions to enable you to determine if you have understood the material correctly. Chapters or sections often have a conclusion or summary and is followed by review, practice or thought questions. Before Diving Into the Details of a Chapter Do the Following ! ! ! Browse the book, note headings, subheadings, "Learning Objectives" and any other highlighted section breaks. Get a feel for the big picture. Ask yourself at the end of the chapter what should you have learned? Finally take a look at any chapter questions or calculations.

Okay so you have reviewed the chapter you are studying and looked at the objectives and questions. How do you maximize understanding and learning the material you will read? Reading and Highlighting Textbooks ! ! ! ! ! Highlighting, underlining and writing notes in texts are a good way to optimize learning and understanding. Be consistent in your methodology. Handouts are a good hint at what an instructor thinks is important. Rework handouts into formats that work for your learning preferences. Highlight books to reflect the learning expectations of the instructor, but also add notes or underline areas that you find either problematic or would require further or alternate explanation of.

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2. The Skills of Rapid Learning Notice that the important sections have been highlighted. A question mark placed adjacent to an underlined sentence requiring clarification. And finally a segment boxed indicating it was covered in lecture and is therefore likely to be important. Check your comprehension of the material by answering questions or problems in the text. Math, Physics and Chemistry Text Books ! ! ! ! Do the problems in the book. If you get stuck, get help and determine the nature of the problem e.g. arithmetic, understanding etc. Work through examples. Make notes in the book of things that you don't understand. Ask questions about what youre reading: "Why are these topics discussed in this order?", "Does this make sense?", Are there any steps missing?". Restate the material in your own words. Look up any definitions you don't understand. Study diagrams.

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How to Solve Science and Math Problems 5-Step General Method and KUDOS Method for Word Problems

5-Step Process for Math & Science Problems

"Known, Unknown, Define, Output, Substantiate" 1. Identify what is known or given in a problem. ! ! ! ! ! Read the problem carefully. It is natural to leap at what you know and therefore what you "think" is being asked. Write down any information provided, e.g. weight or mass of an object. Look for stated or implied relationships. Reformat question into a mathematical equation. For chemistry problems draw structures include charges, electrons etc., or identify reactive sites.

2. Clarify the problem. What is being asked? ! ! Carefully read the question and in your own words restate what is being asked. Write down the unknown in equation form: For example, m=? grams. 21

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2. The Skills of Rapid Learning 3. Identify a strategy to solve the problem ! Determine what formula, equation, reaction sequence relates to the unknown you are solving for. It may be necessary to have more then one in order to solve a problem. Writing them down will help determine the sequence of their application. Once you have your equation determine if you have enough information to fill it in. If not what is missing? Is there a step prior to the application of the equation? Solve equations symbolically first before going on to step four. In the case of a chemical reaction sequence it can sometimes work to start from both ends of the mechanism: For example often you may have the starting product and be given the ending product and you are tasked with how to get from point A"B. Sometimes it is useful to determine what the step immediately prior to B or the first most reactive step following A.

! !

Looking at compound A it would be correct to assume that the double bond is the reactive bond. Then look to the product B and extrapolate back how or what might have occurred. A B

4. Output ! ! Perform the calculation. Perform the chemical mechanism.

o 22

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2. The Skills of Rapid Learning

o ! Plug in the Knowns including constants making sure to use correct units and generate the answer.

5. Determine if the solution is reasonable. ! ! Does the answer make sense? Check to see if the answer is reasonable: is the sign (positive or negative) what would be expected, have any natural laws been broken, etc. Verify that the units are consistent and expected. Determine the significant figures. This will usually be defined in some way by the question or the professor.

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KUDOS Method for Word Problems:

Example: Physics A ball is thrown at a velocity of 43 m/s to the east. A batter hits the ball and gives it a velocity of 51m/s to the west. What was the average acceleration of the ball during the 1.0 ms it was in contact with the bat? Step 1 What is known? The initial velocity of the ball Vi = 43m/s The final velocity of the ball Vf = 51 m/s Step 2 Write down the unknown in mathematical form. What is the average acceleration? a=! in velocity over time. Step 3 Write down the equation that applies to the problem. A= (Vf- Vi)/t Step 4 Perform the calculation Output making sure that the units are correct. Average acceleration = (Vf- Vi)/t Letting east be positive and west be negative. Average acceleration = (-51 m/s 43 m/s)/ (1X10-3 s) = -94000 m/s/s Average acceleration is to the west at 94000 m/s/s Step 5 Substantiation. Check the results or Output for validity, unit conformity and significant figures.

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2. The Skills of Rapid Learning

Example: Chemistry What is the pH value of the mixed solution when 0.300 L of 0.50 M of NaOH is added to 0.500 L of 0.40 M of HCl? # Step Instruction " Read the problem in its entirety (twice if needed) " Write down all knowns in math form with units " Look carefully for implied conditions Your Solution " Reading the entire problem carefully, ask your self the question: What are givens? " Write down all knowns: [OH-] = 0.50M; V[OH-] = 0.300 L [H+] = 0.40M; V[H+] = 0.500 L " This problem of mixing implies the neutralization reaction: H++ OH- ! H2O " What is being asked for is the pH, where pH=-log[H+]. Therefore, the goal is to find the final [H+] after the reaction, i.e. [H+] = ?M " The equation to solve this problem is: [H+]final = Moles(final )
Volume(final )

#1. Known

#2. Unkno wn

" Write down the unknown being asked for, complete with its unit

" Define a physical equation or formula linking the knowns to the unknown (from above) " Rearrange the equation so the unknown is on the left and knowns on the right

#3. Definiti on

From the reaction stoichiometry, we know that 1 mole of H+ will react with 1 mole of OH-. The excessive will be what we look for. " Since M = Moles / L, then Moles = M xL

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2. The Skills of Rapid Learning

" Perform the calculation or derivation to output the unknown by plugging in all the knowns with units " Use the proper conversion factors if needed " Write out the solution clearly and neatly

#4. Output

" Moles of H+=(0.40M) x (0.500L) =0.200 moles Moles of OH-=(0.50M) x (0.300L)=0.150 moles Remaining = 0.200-0.150 = 0.050 moles of H+ Total solution = 0.500 + 0.300 = 0.800 L " Ms unit is moles/L " Solution: [H+]final =
0.050moles / L # 0.0625moles 0.800L

pH = - log[0.0625] = 1.204 = 1.20 " Carry out a 3-point inspection to substantiate your answer (1) Validity 5. Substa ntiation (2) Unit (3) Significant Figures " The 3-point inspection: 1. Validity: Since the excessive H+ is added according the mole ratio of the reaction, the final solution is expected to be acidic (pH=0-7). The answer of 1.20 is certainly reasonable. 2. Unit: The pH scale is unitless (after the logarithm). 3. Significant Figures: The initial data has significant digits of 2 and the final answer should have 2 digits after the decimal according to the rule of significant figures for logarithm.

How to Get the Most Out of Laboratory Learning

Many biology, chemistry and physics courses have laboratory courses associated with them. The purpose of laboratory classes is help you understand the information presented in class in greater detail and depth. You can expect laboratories to have certain similarities. First, the room may feel strange and unfamiliar. But laboratories are laid out in a systematic fashion. Look around and see where the glassware, chemicals, samples and instruments are kept. Usually the laboratory instructor will spend a little time describing specifics of the current experiment. They will tell you about changes in the written lab instructions (be sure to

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2. The Skills of Rapid Learning

write these down!), describe or demonstrate complex procedures and let you know what the written expectations for the class are. As with lecture, it is important to prepare for the laboratory class in order to do well. Optimize the laboratory experience by practicing the following recommendations before, during and after the laboratory class meets.

Laboratory Learning Before coming to lab. ! ! ! ! Read all laboratory manuals and underlying subject matter. If the laboratory is part of a lecture course make sure to go to lecture. Know the material including the theoretical basis for the experiments. Diagram a flow chart using pictures, words or other method to decide what steps must be done and in what order. This helps avoid confusion. Outline in your notebook the flow of the experiment and make sure to include the equations: mathematical, chemical and physical that might be needed to analyze the data. Bring all text books, lab manuals and handouts.

During lab. ! ! ! Solve the problems by going step wise through the experiment and thinking about the data acquired at each step. If you have any questions regarding use of instruments, ask. Often laboratory reports are written and due at the end of the class or within a certain time. Verify the format, and due date and time, that is required for the report. Before leaving the laboratory, make understanding of report expectations. sure you have a clear

After lab. ! ! ! Laboratory experiments complement the lecture series. Ask yourself what aspects of the laboratory may be applied to the other material. Compare the experiments to be done in lab to what has been lectured. Compare any equations, synthesis or processes that you preformed in laboratory with that being presented in lecture. Include these points in your study notes. 26

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What can you learn from your lab notebook?

On the top of your page write a title. In this example stock solutions used in the experiment are being made. In the event of an unexpected result in the experiment you will have a detailed description of every component. Likewise any instrument calibration or results should be included in the notebook as well. Can Laboratory Notes Help Your Lecture Course? Yes! In the example below, the experiment was to determine the concentration of a previously isolated protein. The measurement is made in an instrument called a spectrophotometer and it measures the transmission of light through a sample held in a small container called a cuvette. In lecture spectroscopy is discussed and how measurements and concentrations are determined. The well laid out notebook shows: the equation(s) needed to evaluate the concentration, the units used in the calculations and how various factors must be accounted for. In this case those factors include the buffer and cuvette. These same types of calculations may be asked on exams. By doing the experiment and calculations in a clear and systematic way you will be able to conceptualize a solution when presented with a similar question on an exam.

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2. The Skills of Rapid Learning

How to Test-Prep: The Cheat Sheet Method The purpose of the "Cheat Sheet" method is to make learning large amounts of complex material more manageable. This is done by taking the most important and most challenging material (for the student) and reducing it into tractable segments. Cheat Sheets are distillations of your weekly (or daily) summary notes from lecture as well as selected parts of other reading or other materials. Only the information you still need to master is included, not information for which you have full understanding. Example: Chemistry Cheat Sheet The preceding week of Chemistry lecture has focused on the periodic table and the structure of the atom. You have taken several pages of notes and done the associated readings. You have summarized the material on a separate sheet of paper and used this to work the assigned problems. Most of the material now makes sense but some points are a bit "slippery", that is you seem to forget them or they are confusing. By looking at previous exams or talking with the teacher you know they are likely to be on an exam. These concepts go on your Cheat Sheet.

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2. The Skills of Rapid Learning

The structure of an atom and the layout of an element on the periodic table as well as an equation for the calculation of neutrons are included on this cheat sheet. Color is used to designate areas that are particularly important or confusing and these colors are kept the same when making new cheat sheets. As a course progresses you may find that a topic keeps reoccurring e.g. what a proton is or does and you may add additional color or other emphasis to subsequent cheat sheets. Also if you have a sloppy hand writing or drawing, use tools such as graph paper to keep your diagram clear or stencils for drawing. As the course progresses, topics may be covered that are relevant to this previous cheat sheet, such as the concept of isotopes. Notice that the Evolved Cheat Sheet I (below) has retained some of the information from the previous cheat sheet (information that has not yet been mastered), some information has been removed and yet other information is new. Also color has been added to the information to assist in a visual clue. It is possible to add more visual clues such as colorize neutrons (8, 9 and10) and the equation. But these are personal preferences and reflect what the student wants to focus on. Evolved Cheat Sheet I:

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2. The Skills of Rapid Learning On the Evolved Cheat Sheet II (below), all the previous information has been dropped because the student is comfortable that they have learned it. information has been distilled into the form of equations and definitions. The The

periodic table symbols have been dropped, atomic weight/mass and isotopes have been defined and two equations added that are a summary of the information on Sheet Cheat II. Evolved Cheat Sheet II:

This concept can be carried a step further by combining cheat sheets into the Master Cheat Sheet. By combining cheat sheets for cumulative exams, such as may occur during finals you can create a Master Cheat Sheet. To build the Master Cheat Sheet, review each of the previous cheat sheets you have made and select the information you know you need to learn for the exam. As before, you will have to learn only the information on one Master Cheat Sheet for the cumulative final. By the final you will have mastered and retained all the information from the previous sheets and they are in an easy format for final review. The benefits of this method are multiple. First, it will help you to do well academically. But in addition to that, you will have reduced the information from a large, overwhelming mass to small tractable units the "divide and conquer" strategy. By the time an exam or final comes along you will be able to do well on test but also feel confident. Confidence is extremely important in success when taking an exam. One final tip for maximizing the Cheat Sheet system is to be consistent. For example, the symbol # always refers to the word number (never pounds or any other unit), graph paper is always used, etc. The layout, paper and coloring are personal preference and you do not need to use the same coloring and symbols as shown in the example. What is important is that you remain consistent within and between Cheat Sheets. Keep all previous Cheat Sheets for review for final exams, identification of confusing issues and ultimately when studying for major exams such as SAT, MCAT and so forth.

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2. The Skills of Rapid Learning

In a Nut Shell

1. Determine what material is most likely to be tested. 2. Design a Cheat Sheet to include this material and represent it in a consistent fashion. 3. Vocabulary, equations, concepts etc. should all be included. 4. Diagram, draw or make flow charts if necessary. 5. Review Cheat Sheets. 6. Evolve Cheat Sheet removing and adding information as required. 7. Create a Master Cheat Sheet for cumulative exams such as finals, MCAT, SAT, etc.

How to Memorize: The AIR Method There are instances where memorizing is the best way such as organic compounds, amino acids, cell cycles, anatomy, etc. Memorization is easier with: ! ! ! Using mnemonic devices Using all the senses (sight, smell, hearing) Recognizing what it is you are memorizing, visualize the material. If it is a reaction pathway its much easier to remember a structure if you can remember the goal e.g. if the next step is a breakdown product you know something is lost. The context of the subject. What is the objective, the ultimate goal, of the entire process not just the next step? For instance if energy is lost or generated you know what the sign of an equation should be even if you don't yet know the magnitude.

Attention Impression Relation (AIR) Attention: Focusing on the subject to be memorized is step one. ! How Do I Maximize My Focus? o o o o Tell yourself you are going to focus. Remove all distractions from your environment or go to a place where there are no distractions. Do not multitask. You are here for one thing and one thing only. During lecture, do this by sitting in the front, watching the instructor, take notes, do not bring into lecture any distractions such as food, cell phones etc. 31

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2. The Skills of Rapid Learning o Come to lecture, review class with a series of questions to ask. Listen for their answer within the context of the lecture and be prepared to ask if they are not covered.

Impression: Create a vivid image or memory of a fact. ! How do I make a memorable "fact" or "impression"? o o Repetition: repeat facts using several sources such as lecture, reading, homework, flash cards, explaining the material to others. Mnemonics: are memory techniques that use words, sounds and images to reflect a particular fact. This is covered in more detail in the next section.

Relation: join together all the parts of the topic to be learned. ! How can I learn to create relationships? Learning to relate the different parts of pathway, mechanism etc. is critical to the mastery of science and math. First think about all the individual parts of a concept that you are studying. If you have created images or study guides for these individual concepts, place them all on the table or desk next to one another for you to observe in their entirety (you don't want to be flipping back and forth in your notebook or text). Seek the relationships between step one and two and conceptualize and or draw this new relationship.

! !

Example: Chemistry Concept Mastery Using AIR The next chemistry exam is going to be covering the concept of water dissociation. Apply the AIR method to master this concept. Attention: remove all distractions while preparing study material(s) and reviewing. Image: create a vivid image. Use your preferred method of learning for this image. Relate: create a meaningful relationship to the student. Concept: Water (H2O) exists in equilibrium with its ions, H+ and OH-. The equation that describes the concept is: Kw=[H+] $ [OH-] = 1.0X10-14. The equation can be visualized in a several ways. Focus on the problem. Create an image that is vivid, one that you can visualize in your mind. Below are examples of some approaches. (#1.) atomic water is shown and the arrows indicate how these ions go back and fourth between existing as water and existing as the ion. This image when critically .: :. 32

2. The Skills of Rapid Learning analyzed provides a great deal of information. For instance: the hydrogens are not positioned at 180 angle and are equal distant away from the oxygen. Additionally the ions of water are shown to be charged. (#2.) The images of the atoms are actually placed into the equation. This enables the student to actually visualize the atoms not merely words or letters which stand for the atom/molecule. From the equation we can now visualize that the product of the concentrations of each "image" yields Kw (Equilibrium constant) for water. (#3.) The equation is written directly below the image to show in shorthand how the images and equation align. The images, diagram or model selected or created will be exclusive to each learner.

How to Create a Mnemonic Device Mnemonic devices can be created in a number of ways including: ! Word Relations that are used to create a memory trigger. An example of this is in music: EGBDF (to name the notes on a sheet) Every Good Boy Does Fine. Word Roots This involves breaking a scientific word or term into something familiar e.g. Polymer, Poly=many, mer=unit.

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2. The Skills of Rapid Learning ! Images that create a picture in your mind of the word meaning. And

example of this might be the polysaccharide= sugar) ! Creating a mnemonic (memory) device:

(candy sweet

1. List the keywords in a logical order. 2. Write the first letter (or pair of letters) of each word. 3. Create a phrase, sentence or word from the list created in Step 2. Example: How Associations work to remember the definition of the Mole or Molarity. Freshmen chemistry introduces the concept of measurement called Moles which is defined as 6.022 X 1023 particles. The 6.022 X 1023 particles equal the mass of the element or compound. ! Does an immediate association pop into your mind? If so use that; otherwise play with the sound of the word or concept to create an associate. In the case of defining the chemical Mole there is an obvious association to the animal mole. In chemistry a mole always has 6.022 X 1023 particles. A mole is also equal to the mass of the element or compound.

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2. The Skills of Rapid Learning 1. There are six mole total in each group representing the 6 in 6$1023.

2. There are two (2) columns of three (3) moles in each case. This is a memory nudge for the exponent e.g.1023. Steps (1) and (2) help us to remember that the number of particles in a mole is 6X1023. 3. Now to remember that a mole or 6$1023 also represents the mass of different

elements or molecules we have thin and fat moles standing on a scale. Even though there is the same number of moles of brown and blue the later are bigger and therefore their mass greater. Even though there are the same number of brown moles and blue moles their mass was different. Now simple equations using moles and figuring out how many there are and the mass become easier. Metric System Mnemonic: Mnemonic Diary Cows Make Milk Not Pink Flying Ants Name of Metric Deci Centi Milli Micro Nano Pico Femto Atto Math Equivalent 10-1 10-2 10-3 10-6 10-9 10-12 10-15 10-18

In this mnemonic the first word has the same letter as the metric word. Be creative with the mnemonics, but once you have one stick with it. Be sure to look at what it really is you are trying to remember before creating a mnemonic.

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2. The Skills of Rapid Learning

Example: Mathematics the Division Algorithm: Divide-Multiply-Subtract-Compare-Bring Down is the mathematic model to remember. Its mnemonic might read something like Does McDonalds Serve Cheese Burger Daily? Example: Biology Hormone Mnemonic F L A G T O P Follicle Stimulating Hormone Luteinizing Hormone ACTH Growth Hormone Thyroid Stimulating Hormone MSH melanOcyte stimulating hormone Prolactin FSH LH ACT GH TSH MSH P FiSH Leave Home ACTually Giving Help ToScHools MiSsing Home Profusely

One memory nudge could be FLAGTOP. However if you require more of a nudge, one that helps you remember the word as well as the order may require you to create a mnemonic in which it sounds like the word or has a spelling similar to the word.

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3. The System of Rapid Learning

Chapter 3: The System of Rapid Learning

The Success Formula of Science Mastery How you spend your time will define how successful you become. Learning methods help you to maximize your time. The Rapid

While preparing Rapid Learning study guides and cheat sheets, you reduce the large volumes of information from text books, the internet and lectures into small usable units of information. The cheat sheets and guides have formats that are customized to your strengths for learning. By using your study guides and evolving cheat sheets to divide and conquer a subject you avoid the feeling of being over whelmed and confused. Using mnemonics, seeking relevance and connections for and between concepts and visualizing or creating images or explanations that make an impact; you will be working with the brains desire for meaning and connection. Traditional Learning vs. Rapid Learning Traditional methods of learning have been largely based on repetition of information in a static form. Books with words and equations often had little meaning to the student and lectures were often just a restatement of the book. If a concept is foreign and makes little sense in the practical world, it can seem an impossible task to master, like trying to explain what snow is to a person who has always lived at the equator. Rapid Learning involves reducing the main concepts of a topic to small tractable units in a format that makes use of a students preferred method of learning e.g. visual, read/write, aural, kinesthetic. What is the Rapid Learning System? The Rapid Learning System presents the smaller concept segments for Rapid Learning in condensed tutorials that take about 30 minutes to study. Additionally there are questions, problems and exercises provided that relate directly to the tutorial and the major topics being learned. The exercises help to focus the student on the relevant material and demonstrate how to solve them, giving instant feed back--not just on the answer but how the answer was solved. Finally, there is a Cheat Sheet that summarizes all of major concepts, presenting them in a way that makes them easy to master e.g. images, mnemonics, graphics etc. Core Concepts Academic mastery of a subject may be achieved by use of each of three segments of 37

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3. The System of Rapid Learning the Rapid Learning System. These include the tutorial that has the core concepts of a topic, questions or problems that allow both a review of the concepts and facilitate clarification by supplying a step by step solution of each problem and finally a super review to guide the student in a quick and concise review of the material studied. Academic Mastery = Core Concepts+Problem Solving+Super Review Whats unique about the Core Concepts in the Rapid Learning System? The core concepts segment of the Rapid learning system begins with goal setting. At the beginning of each tutorial definite learning objectives are defined. This is followed by a concept map that links the learning goals with the topics that are to be covered by the tutorial. The tutorial utilizes a broad spectrum of the learning styles that students use. By using visual explanations, illustrations, graphs, flow charts and discrete definitions, a student is presented with the material in an interesting and relevant format. This helps the student learn and retain the subject matter. The tutorial summarizes the main points and demonstrates by review questions that the goals set have been achieved. Example: Core Concept visual tool for learning Salmonella characteristics.

Example of how images, information and real world relevance is presented to a student.

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3. The System of Rapid Learning Example: Concept Map Core Tutorial

The concept map shows the relationship between the topic being covered and the learning goals for the tutorial.

Example: Major topics and learning objectives are restated at the end of the tutorial.

Summary of primary points in the human physiology review.

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3. The System of Rapid Learning Example: Summary questions to refocus again on primary learning goals.

Review questions to refocus on the learning objectives. Problem solving Students often go through study material and feel confident only to be stopped when it comes to problem solving. The problems associated with these tutorials to focus the student on the major learning objectives and provide a step by solution and explanation. Additionally it provides a description of a method that be applied to chemistry, math, physics and biology problems. cold help step may

The problems include a series of questions that stimulate and focus thought on the major concepts and provides instant feedback for each question.

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3. The System of Rapid Learning Example: Problem presentation and feedback.

Problem review of the course goals. Note that the feedback not only provides the correct answer but directions on how to solve the problem.

Super Review How can a review help a student master a concept? We have all had the experience in which we have read something, worked problems that relate to the topic, and then a short time later have difficulty remembering anything we did. Cheat Sheets and Master Cheat Sheets serve to focus and distill the important points of each subject. The super review is a compilation of equations, definitions, formulas and major concepts covered in a tutorial. Concepts and definitions are presented schematically when appropriate and mnemonic devices (when necessary) along with other memory tools. By this method it is possible to effectively review an entire tutorial in 10 minutes.

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3. The System of Rapid Learning Example: Cheat Sheet review of major concepts.

Summary Mastery of any subject is not only possible, it is possible to do it with confidence. First decide you want to master the topic and are willing to engage your mind in acquiring the material. Second, know that there is a finite amount of material to learn. Third, recognize the important points, distill the material down to the basic message(s). Fourth, format the message in a way that is best for your learning strengths, i.e. pictures, sound, kinesthetic. Finally Just Do It. Set aside the time, engage in your material with critical analysis and apply the learning strategies.

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3. The System of Rapid Learning

Whats Next? --- Learn Any Course in 24 Hours! With the break-through Rapid Learning System% described above, Rapid Learning Center has developed a number of rapid learning courses in chemistry, biology, physics and math, with other subjects coming.

Master the subject visually and rapidly with rich media tutorials and game-based problem drills. Get started today and go to Enjoy your journey to rapid learning and massive academic success!

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