3 steps to improve your learning methods

Ever wondered why you forget such big parts of what you allegedly learned? Ever wondered why so many hours of hard “study” end up in a good grade in the near future and almost 0 knowledge in the long run? Well that’s because learning is not the accurate term for what we devote so many hours to, but rather memorizing.

Learning means passing the information through the judgement filter, forming logical chains with what you already know and subjecting the information to thorough queries, only then rendering you knowledgeable. Being thus does not mean assimilating tons of data, empty information, but rather being able to link broken pieces of information and form an answer solely aided by your reason. Who is “smarter” between one who knows all the answers because he has memorized them and one who is able to deduce the answers by accurate reasoning? We should not act like walking encyclopedias, but rather judge for ourselves what is worth knowing and how to know it (that is to say genuinely understand it or solely place it on a shelf in our memory, ready to boast with our unlimited “Knowledge”).

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That brings me to another common belief that is utterly preposterous and groundless, meaning the importance of ‘general knowledge’ over anything else. Indeed, it is crucial for us to have a minimum level of understanding as regards to all subjects, so as to understand the world we live in and find our way about. There is no problem with the concept in itself, but rather with the fact that we mistake having a broad general knowledge for being intelligent. And that is precisely what most of the people strive to attain by improving their general knowledge. One does not learn things for himself, to know how he came about and how the world evolved, but rather to brag to others about his ‘ingenuity’.

So what can we do to solve these problems?

1. Learn for yourself!

Perhaps this is the most important of all possible advice,  given that the reasons you have for learning a certain thing affect the whole learning process. When it is done because you want to seem clever or for another goal that is not related in any way to the pleasure of learning the process won’t obviously be fruitful in the long run. On the other hand when you do it out of true passion and curiosity the information seems to enter your mind by itself, and you’re subsequently not wasting your time.

2.Understand what you learn!

Don’t solely memorize the data, for it has minimal chances to resist after having served its purpose. Whenever a sentence does not make sense, don’t just skip it, but analyse it word for word. Indeed it might take longer, but your satisfaction will be bigger when you actually understand what you have learned and you have put in some considerable effort. It is amazingly difficult to change your studying methods after having gotten used to a certain way, but it is well worth it! After some time of analyzing each sentence everything will come naturally. Only thus the learning activity has sense, otherwise we have countless sources to aid us in the particular moment we need the information anyway (I’m referring to real life matters, not exams).

3. Find a way to make it appealing

Now it is true that we will undoubtedly have at some point to learn something we have no desire to (which is rather the problem of the educational system in general, not of particular people), so we’ll have to make do somehow. No matter how horrendous a subject might seem to you, if you set aside your repulsion for a minute you might actually find some interesting things. When you are fascinated by some details, cling to them and even if you only remembered a thing or two from the whole chapter you are still a winner. After all it is for our inner selves we learn first of all, and only then to meet the requirements of the society.

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6 responses to “3 steps to improve your learning methods

  1. This is such an interesting post and really helpful since I go to school myself and 99% of the subjects are boring. Learning for yourself is indeed the only way to really learn something. I myself learn about art, history, fashion and languages daily while some school subjects such as maths or chemistry I learn only for a desire to have excellent grades. Unfortunately, I can’t (and we all can’t, as you already said) learn only the things we want, and if that would be the case I would surely dive into the world of art and languages.

    Once again thank you for your, more than lovely, comments and support in this wide world of Internet. I’ve read lots of your post and they’re really interesting and you certainly have a wide range of subjects to write about. I have a question out of curiosity; do you live in the states or in the UK ? 🙂

    • Thank you for your appreciation! As a matter of fact I am neither American nor British. I live in Romania, Europe, but my dream is to live somewhere in the UK, perhaps London.
      Thank you for commenting, have a nice day! 🙂

  2. Pingback: Turn your mind into a work of art | Psycharma·

  3. Hey, great post. I don’t know why this does not have more likes. I have come upon this understanding myself after taking so many exams and discovering that I really don’t know much. And these days I spend alot of time learning for myself while mentally torturing myself over why I don’t do with enthusiasm what I’m supposed to do. So, I found this article reassuring. Thank you.

    • Thanks for stopping by! Well indeed the first step is to become conscious that what society so calls ‘learning’ is not in fact so accurate, and the rest just comes along (if one’s dedicated enough and truly wants to change that).
      Thank you for your appreciation!

  4. Finally, some meaningful writing among the loads of unoriginal data that impede us from finding the good stuff. But I guess it makes it all the more worth it 🙂
    I couldn’t agree more, learning and memorizing are so closely intertwined nowadays that intelligence has become a common trait allocated to those who know many facts.
    Keep writing, you are very good at what you do!

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