Whether you are a student who routinely has to study for exams, an employee who needs to read and interpret information for work-related projects or a person who likes to indulge a thirst for knowledge recreationally, you can benefit from trying several techniques that help you to become a faster learner.
Like Personal Growth on Facebook
Even if you have concentration problems or other deficits that hinder your progress in absorbing and retaining information, these simple tricks are highly useful for encouraging efficient and accurate learning. Put yourself on the path to being a fast learner with the following 15 methods, all of which can be tailored to your individual circumstances and resources.
1. Stick To A Consistent Study Regimen
One of the core elements of becoming a faster learner is to practice diligently and consistently. Dedicate yourself to studying, whether for work or pleasure, on a daily basis in order to sharpen your skills in processing information. Try to commence studying on your own shortly after you are introduced to a new concept, as this is when your interest level will be at its peak.
2. Be Diligent With Note Taking
No one has an absolutely perfect memory, which is why instructors often encourage students to take notes when they are learning about new topics in a course of study. Type or hand-write your notes in a neat, organized and easy-to-follow manner, and refer back to these notes often as you learn independently. This is a valuable study technique that allows for more rapid retention.
3. Take Advantage Of Specialized Learning Kits
In the age of information technology, it is easier than ever to locate external resources that can aid you in your quest to learn faster. While traditional self-help books are still widely available, you may want to explore some of the latest learning kit formats, such as time-management apps, self-testing websites, dictation software, entertaining online study tools and downloadable flashcards.
4. Try Not To Feel Anxious About Learning
Anxiety serves as a roadblock to success in many types of self-improvement journeys, and its potential to hinder your ability to learn more efficiently can be significant. Try not to focus too much on beating a certain record or accomplishing a large number of tasks in one study session.
Pace yourself and maintain a relaxed and open mind. A non-stressed brain is much more efficient in retaining information than an anxious one.
5. Absorb Information In Short Bursts
Many people find that they are able to absorb, retain and recall information more effectively when they study in “chunks” of time with breaks in-between rather than try to concentrate without interruption for hours on end. Plan a study schedule that involves working for 25 minutes, resting for 10 minutes, and then repeating the pattern. Set a timer to help you stay on track.
6. Stay True To Your Learning Style
Being able to identify the type of learner that you are is highly useful for honing your academic skills. Whether you learn best through auditory methods (sound-based recordings), visual methods (graphs, charts and pictures) or physical methods (hands-on materials), staying faithful to your strongest learning style is ideal if you wish to increase the speed of your memorization and comprehension skills.
7. Choose A Distraction-Free Study Environment
Quick learning is difficult to achieve when you attempt to study in crowded, noisy and busy areas. Avoid having your attention easily diverted from your studies, by choosing a calm, quiet and peaceful learning environment and making sure to opt for an area that is well-lit in order to prevent eye strain. Try a library, home office or sunny outdoor space.
8. Use Memorization Tricks As A Shortcut
If you are tasked with remembering a great deal of material in a relatively brief amount of time, you will want to take advantage of the many tried-and-true shortcuts for retaining information. These include using flashcards, learning acronyms that represent a series of names (such as “ROY G BIV” for the colors of the rainbow) and memorizing sections of text.
9. Exercise To Keep Your Brain Alert And Energized
Mental fatigue is detrimental to fast and efficient learning, and one way to provide your brain with a jolt of much-needed energy is to get some physical exercise right before you sit down to study. Take a brisk walk, practice some yoga poses, do some sit-ups or push-ups, or ride your bicycle for 10 to 15 minutes to get into learning mode.
10. Give Yourself Periodic Self-Tests
In order to determine whether or not you are truly becoming faster at learning, put your studying on pause periodically so that you can test yourself on the concepts that you have explored most recently. Do this by going back through questions in your texts and attempting to answer them without looking at the solutions. You can also ask a friend to quiz you verbally.
11. Ask Questions As Soon As You Need To
If you need clarification on certain concepts while engaging in the learning process, do not be intimidated to ask a professor, supervisor or other person overseeing your progress questions about the material. Allowing yourself to remain confused about an idea is a hindrance to your overall ability to learn quickly and accurately. Seek answers to your questions so that you can proceed with studying.
12. Turn To The Experts
The art of fast learning is one that a number of people have dedicated themselves to mastering. In order to improve your studying methods under the guidance of the experts themselves, search for online lectures, blogs and interviews that address the topic of fast learning in a well-rounded way. Compare and contrast the techniques that experts use to determine which work best for your learning style.
13. Single-Task Rather Than Multi-Task
Just as attempting to learn in a chaotic environment prevents the natural flow of absorbing information, trying to focus on multiple areas of study at the same time is tiring for your brain. Work on speeding up your learning capacity by single-tasking instead of multi-tasking. Master one concept thoroughly and confidently before moving on to the next task on your agenda.
14. Make Sure That You Are Well-Rested
Inadequate or irregular sleep is a significant factor for many learners who are struggling to take in and retain knowledge at a fast pace. Deter the fatigue, mental cloudiness and irritability that impair quick learning by sleeping for a solid seven to eight hours each night. Stay on a consistent sleep schedule, and strive to make your sleeping environment comfortable and restful.
15. Give Yourself Incentives For Mastering A New Concept Quickly
Small rewards are a great motivator for learning, so be sure to give yourself a treat on occasions when you have succeeded in studying a subject rapidly and effectively. Eat an indulgent snack, buy a special trinket or watch a favorite movie – the choice is yours! Then, get back on track and continue with your journey to becoming a fast learner.