Ever heard of TED Talks ? TED Talks is devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (maximum of 18 minutes) on various topics. There are near 1500 videos on their website. Whenever you need inspiration, motivation or just to look at something interesting or different, select one amongst the various subjects and spend some quality time expanding your perspective.
I admit, I am biased. I have 5 university degrees, all completed in record time. I am a speed reader. All I care about is learning quickly and remembering as much as I can.
I am a HUGE fan of technology (I have been using Macs/Apples before they became trendy 25 years ago). I do “everything” on my beloved MacBook Air and 27″ iMac Desktop… Except take notes when it’s important and I want to learn something new.
I do that on paper and with a pen – using MindMapping principles.
If you are a Millenial or younger, I can already hear the sighs of disagreement. All I can say is – SEE FOR YOURSELF.
Take one subject and take ALL your notes on your laptop and take another SIMILAR subject and take all your notes with pen and paper.
YOU decide which one produces better results:
Which one is quicker, easier?
Creates better retention/memory/recall?
Produces the best grades – with the least amount of effort.
Then stick to what works for YOU.
Chances are, it’s going to be pen and paper – you’ll have to accept that, or live with lower grades. Hmmm…..
The weakest ink is stronger that the strongest memory.
As The Exponential Growth Strategist, I present to audiences around the world. I reveal the most powerful and valuable insights for people who want to achieve extra-ordinary results. People pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to hear me speak and deliver my content. Content I have gathered and collected over the past 20+ years, information extracted from more than 1,000 books and 3,000 academic articles. Knowledge acquired via 5 university degrees…
And the thing that surprises me the most is that the vast majority of attendees do not take notes – the EXPECT to remember what I have said.
I can make a list of the 4 Keys To Success and within 10 minutes ask the audience to repeat them to me and THE ONLY ONES WHO CAN are the ones who took notes. How do the others ever expect to remember it the day after or a week later?
Chelsea Wilson, the Community Relations Manager for Washington University School of Law’s Online LLM program, informed me that @WashULaw recently created a new study aid in the form of a Spotify Playlist composed of late baroque era classical music. The playlist was created based on a Stanford study that discovered music engages the areas of the brain involved with paying attention, making predictions and updating the event in memory. Due to the phenomena, it is believed students and professionals alike would be well served to find ways to incorporate music into their lives, careers, and studies.
If you are struggling to learn a new subject, it might be because of your learning style. I cover this in detail in my study guide in detail, but one of our readers offers this great inspirational story that might help you.
I was helping Fred with his upcoming “electricity” exam last evening.
Fred is kinesthetic.. He loves stories- people’s experiences and all things sports.
He excels at and enjoys history, social studies as he lives the experiences of people from hundreds of years ago.
As you can guess… Fred was less than enthusiastic about electricity et al…
I helped him by making up a story about how RESISTANCE is just a bunch of tough guys in an electrical circuit, conductance is like a conductor of a bus bringing the volts to their “potential” and making a difference… and because it can be a long bus ride.. it’s important to keep the “INTENSITY” of the current high… etc…
He had already memorized the formulas and done the leg work.
He just needed to add meaning- a story – to what electricity is about.
It was pretty cool to see his physiology change right before my eyes. Ironically, with every new idea. I could see eyes LIGHT-UP – sorry couldn’t resist
He was excited, passionate and spent the next half hour telling me all about his plans for finishing this school year and what he will do differently next year !
Anyway, all this reminded me of an episode of WKRP, which I showed Fred, and thought you could use on your blog…
Get it now and start improving your grades while you walk, drive or take the bus to and from school or work. It’s the easiest, effortless way to improve your grades!
As you know by now, I am not into promoting lazy student habits, but I have to admit listening to audio books is the laziest, easiest and most effective way to use your ‘downtime’ that is otherwise just lost and wasted.
Did You Know?
Using your commuting time to listen to educational audio programs is the equivalent of a full credit college or university course!
Did You Know?
Listening to an audio book or program on the same subject as a book you’ve read can double your memory retention and increase your ability to recall information?
Did You Know?
That whilst reading a book triggers your visual learning style, an audio book or recording stimulates your auditory and kinaesthetic learning styles?
CLICK ON THE HYPERLINK -> OR ON THE AUDIO BOOK IMAGE TO GET YOURS NOW!
As a student preparing for an important exam or test, you can use this to either NOT forget or TO forget… Let me explain.
Study Tip #1: Interrupt your pattern when you’re stuck on something
If you are struggling with a topic, problem or even writing your term paper or essay, you might want to get up and walk out the door and come back in – to interrupt your pattern and use the encoding specificity principle to trigger the needed interruption and re-setting of your memory.
Study Tip #2: Stay seated until you’re finished studying or writing your essay
There is a lot to be said about full immersion and concentration of focus. The Scientific American article explains in detail why, when you’re “in the zone” – you should say put (seated) and NOT get up and walk through a doorway – literally.
Even though this may sound superstitious, it’s not.
I know anecdotally these study tips work. I would study, compile research, read and write for hours and when I wrote my MBA and Ph.D. theses without interruption. Often, I would be at my desk for several hours without getting up – BECAUSE I had momentum, focus and total concentration.
If you’ve been reading or have subscribed to this blog, then I am sure you’ve enjoyed the study tips I’ve revealed here – imagine getting the behind-the-scenes content… Hmmm…. Have a look at this 1-minute video that I just published…
If you feel a little intimidated about drawing by hand, you can use a Digital Mindmapping Software that does it all for you – it works on Macs and PCs.
Believe it or not, Digital MindMapping Software can help you write essays and term papers faster than ever before by helping you capture more data, notes and information in one place. With one single view of everything you want to say in your essay or term paper, you can get down to writing with fewer edits.
After all, time is precious when you’re a student – so many deadlines and never enough time!
This is one study tool you simply can’t do without if you want to get a lot more done in less time.
If you’re trying to cram for an exam or otherwise trying to get a lot of studying done or reviewing a lot of notes in a short period of time and losing focus, you might want to stare out the window – or even better, take a walk outside.
Seriously, if there are trees out there, it might just help.
According to Attention Restoration Theory (ART) people can concentrate better after spending time in nature, or even looking at scenes of nature. Natural environments abound with “soft fascinations” which a person can reflect upon in “effortless attention”, such as clouds moving across the sky, leaves rustling in a breeze or water bubbling over rocks in a stream. The theory was developed by Rachel and Stephen Kaplan in the 1980s in their book The experience of nature: A psychological perspective and has since been found by others to hold true in medical outcomes as well as intellectual task attention.
If you don’t have direct access to nature, researchers seem to agree that WATCHING VIDEOS might be the next best thing.
I did a quick YouTube search and found this video – I am sure some of you can find a better one that we can share… Please post the YouTube URL as a comment and I’ll publish the best ones!
The key is to envelop your visual sense in the experience…
You only need a few minutes of involuntary ‘effortless’ attention to then return to your task and have full concentration and focus.
A PARADOX of education is that presenting information in a way that looks easy to learn often has the opposite effect.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that when people are forced to think hard about what they are shown they remember it better, so it is worth looking at ways this can be done.
A piece of research about to be published in Cognition, by Daniel Oppenheimer, a psychologist at Princeton University and his colleagues, suggests a simple one: make the text conveying the information harder to read.
Dr Oppenheimer recruited 28 volunteers aged between 18 and 40 and asked them to learn, from written descriptions, about three “species” of extraterrestrial alien, each of which had seven features. This task was meant to be similar to learning about animal species in a biology lesson. It used aliens in place of actual species to be certain that the participants could not draw on prior knowledge.
Half of the volunteers were presented with the information in difficult-to-read fonts (12-point Comic Sans MS 75% greyscale and 12-point Bodoni MT 75% greyscale). The other half saw it in 16-point Arial pure-black font, which tests have shown is one of the easiest to read.
Participants were given 90 seconds to memorise the information in the lists. They were then distracted with unrelated tasks for a quarter of an hour or so, before being asked questions about the aliens, such as “What is the diet of the Pangerish?” and “What colour eyes does the Norgletti have?” The upshot was that those reading the Arial font got the answers right 72.8% of the time, on average. Those forced to read the more difficult fonts answered correctly 86.5% of the time.
The question was, would this result translate from the controlled circumstances of the laboratory to the unruly environment of the classroom?
When the researchers asked teachers to use the technique in high-school lessons on chemistry, physics, English and history, they got similar results. The lesson, then, is to make text books harder to read, not easier.
This photo was just too good not to share with you – One of the biggest mistakes you can ever make is to read in bed, creating a neural association between reading and fatigue, but that being said, you have to admit, this photo is PRICELESS!
I am not into labels – I think they are a self-fulfilling prophecy. I know too many people who claim to be the World’s Worst (Best?) Procrastinator and buy ‘owning’ that label, they are reinforcing the very behaviour they actually want to avoid.
With ADHD it’s often the same thing, but that is a discussion for another day.
If you think you have ADD or ADHD, let me show you how you can USE your so-called affliction and HELP you get BETTER GRADES.
Watch the video below and you’ll see if you can keep up. If you can’t you certainly don’t have ADD or ADHD.
If you can keep up – FANTASTIC. It doesn’t mean you have or don’t have ADD or ADHD, it just means you can read really, really fast.
Chances are if you think you’re ADHD or ADD, you simply lack the discipline to FOCUS, when Speed Reading – YOU HAVE TO FOCUS, you have NO CHOICE.
A parent recently bought my study book for her 15 year old son. Despite his high IQ 120 (which actually could be as high as 143) he struggles with being “ADD non hyperactive”. She explains that it rears its head in the typical way, lack of focus, organisation, etc. His weakest areas are working memory, visual memory, sequencing and auditory processing. Skills like targeting sports, math and science CONCEPTS are learned easily. His superior reasoning skills are in the 95th percentile and work well for him except when the topic has many details, rules and/or he is not interested in learning them.
Because he learns concepts quickly, he is overly confident (wrongly) thinking that he has learned it all, so he takes few notes.
He also has a writing deficiency, which combined with poor working memory makes it difficult to take notes and keep up with what’s being presented. As a result, details fall to the wayside and no longer exist as something that he must know. So he is convinced that
he knows the material and does not need to study. He used to do OK in earlier grades that required less detail retention and recall,but now he is failing courses that intellectually he should have no problem with.
The question the mother asked was:
“How can he apply the 80/20 concept when he doesn’t think there is a 20 percent that he doesn’t know and thinks he has it 100 percent down?”