Archive for the 'Speed Learning' Category

Does Reading Fiction Make Us Better People?

That is an interesting question this BBC article addresses quite well – does reading fiction make you a better person?

One thing we do know for sure is that reading MORE non-fiction books ensures you’ll have a better, higher-paying career.

 

 

 

 

Should I read or listen to a book?

Each is best suited to different purposes, and neither is superior.

By Daniel T. Willingham, a psychologist at the University of Virginia.

A few years ago, when people heard I was a reading researcher, they might ask about their child’s dyslexia or how to get their teenager to read more. But today the question I get most often is, “Is it cheating if I listen to an audiobook for my book club?”

Audiobook sales have doubled in the last five years while print and e-book sales are flat. These trends might lead us to fear that audiobooks will do to reading what keyboarding has done to handwriting — rendered it a skillthat seems quaint and whose value is open to debate. But examining how we read and how we listen shows that each is best suited to different purposes, and neither is superior.

In fact, they overlap considerably. Consider why audiobooks are a good workaround for people with dyslexia: They allow listeners to get the meaning while skirting the work of decoding, that is, the translation of print on the page to words in the mind. Although decoding is serious work for beginning readers, it’s automatic by high school, and no more effortful or error prone than listening. Once you’ve identified the words (whether by listening or reading), the same mental process comprehends the sentences and paragraphs they form.

Writing is less than 6,000 years old, insufficient time for the evolution of specialized mental processes devoted to reading. We use the mental mechanism that evolved to understand oral language to support the comprehension of written language. Indeed, research shows that adults get nearly identical scores on a reading test if they listen to the passages instead of reading them.

Nevertheless, there are differences between print and audio, notably prosody. That’s the pitch, tempo and stress of spoken words. “What a great party” can be a sincere compliment or sarcastic put-down, but they look identical on the page. Although writing lacks symbols for prosody, experienced readers infer it as they go. In one experiment, subjects listened to a recording of someone’s voice who either spoke quickly or slowly. Next, everyone silently read the same text, purportedly written by the person whose voice they had just heard. Those hearing the quick talker read the text faster than those hearing the slow talker.

But the inferences can go wrong, and hearing the audio version — and therefore the correct prosody — can aid comprehension. For example, today’s student who reads “Wherefore art thou Romeo?” often assumes that Juliet is asking where Romeo is, and so infers that the word art would be stressed. In a performance, an actress will likely stress Romeo, which will help a listener realize she’s musing about his name, not wondering about his location.

It sounds as if comprehension should be easier when listening than reading, but that’s not always true. For example, one study compared how well students learned about a scientific subject from a 22-minute podcast versus a printed article. Although students spent equivalent time with each format, on a written quiz two days later the readers scored 81 percent and the listeners 59 percent.

What happened? Note that the subject matter was difficult, and the goal wasn’t pleasure but learning. Both factors make us read differently. When we focus, we slow down. We reread the hard bits. We stop and think. Each is easier with print than with a podcast.

Print also supports readers through difficult content via signals to organization like paragraphs and headings, conventions missing from audio. Experiments show readers actually take longer to read the first sentence of a paragraph because they know it probably contains the foundational idea for what’s to come.

So although one core process of comprehension serves both listening and reading, difficult texts demand additional mental strategies. Print makes those strategies easier to use. Consistent with that interpretation, researchers find that people’s listening and reading abilities are more similar for simple narratives than for expository prose. Stories tend to be more predictable and employ familiar ideas, and expository essays more likely include unfamiliar content and require more strategic reading.

This conclusion — equivalence for easy texts and an advantage to print for hard ones — is open to changes in the future. As audiobooks become more common, listeners will gain experience in comprehending them and may improve, and publishers may develop ways of signaling organization auditorily.

But even with those changes, audiobooks won’t replace print because we use them differently. Eighty-one percent of audiobook listeners say they like to drive, work out or otherwise multitask while they listen. The human mind is not designed for doing two things simultaneously, so if we multitask, we’ll get gist, not subtleties.

Still, that’s no reason for print devotees to sniff. I can’t hold a book while I mop or commute. Print may be best for lingering over words or ideas, but audiobooks add literacy to moments where there would otherwise be none.

So no, listening to a book club selection is not cheating. It’s not even cheating to listen while you’re at your child’s soccer game (at least not as far as the book is concerned). You’ll just get different things out of the experience. And different books invite different ways that you want to read them: As the audio format grows more popular, authors are writing more works specifically meant to be heard.

Our richest experiences will come not from treating print and audio interchangeably, but from understanding the differences between them and figuring out how to use them to our advantage — all in the service of hearing what writers are actually trying to tell us.

You can buy my audio book here or you can buy the print book here.

9 TED Talks Recommended For Students By Students

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.

TED stands for:  Technology, Entertainment, Design.

Try watching 1-2 TED Talks a week whenever you have 15 minutes to spare.   The more you learn, the better!

Here are 9 very interesting TED Talks selected by students for students.

Enjoy!

Don’t take notes on your laptop or tablet

I know some people think I am “old school” when it comes to taking notes with pen and paper, after all, it’s 2015…

But all I care about is – RESULTS.

A recent article extols the benefits of taking notes with pen and paper and NOT on your laptop or tablet.

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…..

 

 

Note Taking – how important is it?

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?

It baffles me.

Students of course take notes in class – BECAUSE they want to know what will be on the exam, but they usually don’t take them effectively – that’s why if you want to take the BEST notes possible, you need to switch to MindMapping To Get The Best Grades With The Least Amount Of Effort.

Note Taking, Student Notes, Class Notes, Lecture Notes

Thank you to John Weiss of Keymetric Business Solutions for mentioning this quote during my Blogging For Small Business Workshop, in Corona, California. An event sponsored by Allegra Corona and attended by VIP Mastermind Club Members.

How observant do you think you are? Take this quick visual test

We all think we’re observant, but you’d be surprised at how many details we miss on our first glance…

Take this quick visual test and see if you’re as observant as you think you are… Good luck!

Listen to music to get better grades

Brain Activity - MusicChelsea 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.

The playlist includes works by Vivaldi, Bach, Beethoven and Handel, among others (the style of music used in many studies). You click on the hyperlink to determine how you can listen to music to improve your grades. Click on this hyperlink for the Spotify playlist to improve your grades.

 

 

How To Learn – Help For Kinesthetics

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.

Hi Marc,


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…

Have a Great Day !
Andrew


Free Audio Book Sample

We recently announced the new Audio Book version of our bestselling study guide: Get The Best Grades With The Least Amount Of Effort. We’ve just uploaded the free sample to the product page and it’s yours for free, no opt-in or email required.

We believe you’ll realise you need to get it so you stop wasting countless hours studying for nothing when you could learn HOW to learn while taking the bus or walking to school.

There is no faster, easier way to learn these study tips. The MP3 files are compatible with your iPod, iMac, iPhone, iTunes, iPad and Windows Media Player.

Audio Book, Study Guide Audio, Study Tips

Audio Book

Audio Book, Study Guide Audio BookWe’ve just launched the Audio Book version of our bestselling book Get The Best Grades With The Least Amount Of Effort!

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!

How to remember more – don’t walk through doors!

Memory, Cramming For Exams, Exam Prep, Exam Preparation, How To Remember MoreI previously blogged about Exam-Taking Tips with the second suggestion highlighting  the encoding specificity principle when studying for an important exam.

In a recent Scientific American article, they explain why walking through a doorway makes you forget.

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 want to get better grades with the least amount of effort – you want to use these study tips and make them work FOR you rather than AGAINST you.

Try them out and let us know how they work for you!

By the way, the Scientific American article was sent to me by Bree Robbins of Paddington PupsQueensland’s #1 Doggy Day Care and Grooming Facility.

Thanks Bree for sharing, I won’t forget it!

Get Better Grades Now

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…

College Study Tips

Click on the hypelink to get your hands on
How To Get The Best Grades With The Least Amount Of Effort

Mindmap To Improve Your Grades

As a reader or subscriber to this blog, you know I am a huge fan of MindMapping.

I used it as a student to collect and gather all my study notes before important tests and exams.

I now use it in business for all my strategic planning and as a visual tool for personal goal setting and journaling.

I teamed up with a fabulous artist – Paul Telling – to create a How To MindMap To get Better Grades Program. You can more about it by clicking on the hyperlink.

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.

Doodle Your Way To Better Grades

If you thought doodling was a waste of time – think again. This short 5-minute video reveals the creativity that lies hidden in all of us and how it can help you get better grades.

If you want to learn the ultimate in note taking skills – try MindMapping!

Doodling Can Help You Get Better Grades!

Having trouble focusing while studying?

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.

How To Learn A New Language

A lot of people have asked me how they can learn a new language. First, I am not a language teacher, but I am multi-lingual and have some suggestions.

As you’ve come to expect, with an an antimimeticisomorphism approach, I will have a few twists to offer. But first, let me tell you a story.

Continue reading ‘How To Learn A New Language’

Hard To Read = Easier To Remember!

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.

Speed Reading, Get Better GradesDr 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?

It did.

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.

Why my study tips work

I think you should watch this video, it’s only 3 minutes long and explains…

How and why my study techniques work

Note Taking Examples

Peter sent me these… What do YOU think of them?

I’ll give my feedback once I get yours first

Give us your feedback by leaving a comment below.

Get Better Grades, Note Taking, Note Example

Note Taking - Sample #1 - Chapter 1 Summary

How do your class notes look compared to these?

Get Better Grades, Note Taking, Note Example

Note Taking - Sample #2 - MindMap Diagram

What suggestions do you have for Peter to improve his note taking?

Get Better Grades, Note Taking, Note Example

Note Taking - Sample #3 - Use Of Colour

Sleep Reading?

As a reader of this blog, you know I’m an advocate of Speed Reading, with a program that guarantees you can double your reading speed in less than one hour.

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!

How To Speed Read

Sleep Reading?