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Last Updated on October 30, 2020

Hack Your Learning With These 9 Simple Study Habits

Hack Your Learning With These 9 Simple Study Habits

If you want to improve your learning and retentive capacity, good study habits are key, and they’re not difficult to pick up.

It is no doubt you face a lot of issues in your daily lives, and these things compete for your attention. This makes it difficult for you to focus during your learning or study sessions.

These issues will never go away completely, so you will need to be proactive in improving study habits that can help you hack your learning.

Find out why study habits are important and the habits you need to cultivate to enhance your knowledge.

Why Are Study Habits Important?

Impact Your Motivation

Study smarter says the adage, not harder. By building good and simple study habits and learning techniques, you will keep yourself supercharged. This will assist you in attaining your goals efficiently and quickly, which will help you maintain high levels of motivation.

You can check out the video below to help you learn how to train your brain to crave learning:

Position You for Success

Cultivating simple study skills is not only relevant to life in university; these skills will position you for success in life overall. Every leader out there from Bill Gates to Elon Musk is a die-hard reader and learner. If you desire success in life, be studious.

Increase Your Self-Esteem

Good study habits impact your competence, confidence, and self-esteem. When you lose your self-esteem, you can lose the motivation required to learn.

Study habits help in safeguarding the most crucial ingredient to your success. It can also reduce the anxiety you usually have about deadlines.

Save You Time

As soon as you become proficient in your studying skills, you will cut down on the hours you spend on studying. This will give you more time to focus on other things that are crucial in your life.

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Enhance Your Learning

Cultivating practical study skills will improve your retention and your ability to learn. It will also make learning more exciting and rewarding.

With these benefits, you may then ask which study habits are the most essential.

9 Study Habits to Hack Your Learning

You may already have a good grasp on some of these and be weaker in others. Focus on developing any of these study techniques to improve your ability to learn.

1. Review Often

Design a study plan to review your notes and other class materials. This will help you to maximize every study session. It will also reduce the pressure of cramming before any significant examination or job interview.

Reviewing is also a means of enabling your brain to store facts and new information in your long-term memory. If you cram often, you tend to forget what you have learned as the information will be stored in the short-term memory.

You can look at the graph below to get an idea of how reviewing helps you[1]. The more often you review, the less information you’ll forget over time.

Ebbinghaus' forgetting curve and review cycle. 

     

    2. Comprehend

    Some learners try to memorize all the information while studying without trying to comprehend it. They will find it difficult to cope when they are faced with structured questions during examinations or interviews where the application of knowledge is needed.

    If you study to comprehend, you will be in a better position to attempt any question on various topics presented to you. It becomes easier to explain a hard concept when you study to understand the concept. You’ll also be in a better position to learn how to debate, teach, or analyze.

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    3. Employ Different Study Materials

    Do not depend on your book or all those good notes you take. Make use of different materials to aid your learning.

    If you’re not sure of your learning style, now is a good time to figure it out. If you’re a visual learner, making flash cards will likely be helpful. If you’re an auditory learner, try listening to additional podcasts or lectures on the topic. This is all about knowing your strengths and how your brain likes to learn.

    You can check out a learning style guide here to help you figure out which kind of learning will be best for you.

    4. Utilize Flashcards

    Employing flashcards can enhance memorization. It will assist you in recalling vital concepts and key terminology as it utilizes something called “active recall,” which refers to attempting to remember the concept from scratch rather than simply staring at the passage in a textbook[2].

     

    Flashcards will help you condense voluminous amount of notes. You can also form the study habit of drawing diagrams to recall important information and details about the topic.

    5. Take Breaks

    Breaks are very crucial in between study sessions. It helps you to store and retain information in your long-term memory.

    Prolonged studying can make you feel tired and put pressure on you. You cannot learn effectively when you are under pressure.

    Overloading your brain can cause congestion. Taking breaks will provide your brain the required time needed to refresh before absorbing new information.

    Research suggests that studying for one hour and then taking a 15-20 minute break is ideal[3].

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    6. Teach Others

    Several studies have found out that you learn better when you teach others a concept you have studied.[4]

    You cannot teach what you don’t know. Teaching other people positions you to learn as you have no option but to regularly recall learned information. This reinforces the information as you repeat while teaching others.

    At some point, your “students” will ask questions, which you will need to analyze before providing answers. In this way, teaching enables you to gain a better understanding of the topic.

    7. Evaluate Yourself

    Evaluation is essential to determine if you understand what you are studying. It will enable you to gauge which aspect you need to work more on.

    Evaluating yourself enables you to gain an in-depth knowledge of the subject matter. You can leverage online tests or quiz.

    Most books have evaluation sections or questions to answer. These are designed to test your knowledge and manage your study time.

    8. Link Your Previous Knowledge to What You Are Learning

    You can link your study notes to concepts you have learned previously. This helps you to recall things accurately.

    Utilizing analogy can enable you to learn the content faster. You can also make use of acronyms to recall concepts, which is known as a mnemonic[5].

    For instance, the BODMAS acronym is utilized to solve difficult mathematical problems. Any mathematics student understands that subtraction comes last while solving a mathematical problem, thanks to the BODMAS acronym.

    9. Take Good Care of Yourself

    This is one of the key study habits that most learners don’t manage properly. Getting a good night’s sleep and eating healthy both affect your ability to assimilate information. Learners who neglect proper diet and quality sleep will find it hard to retain information fast.

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    You should drink at least eight glasses of water, have eight hours of sleep, and a eat balanced diet daily. Foods such as berries, fish, groundnuts, eggs, and broccoli have been found out to boost brainpower.

    How to Learn Study Habits

    How can you learn these study habits in order to learn more effectively?

    Focus on the Big Picture

    How many topics do you want to cover? What amount of time do you have to cover them? What’s the purpose, target, or objective of studying the topics? How will learning this impact your career and personal development?

    Set Priorities

    Several topics will likely clamor for your attention. It’s important to prioritize them. Perhaps you work better by starting with the most complex topics, or you prefer to get your feet wet with an easier piece of information. Choose what works best for you.

    Plan

    Design a daily study schedule of what you want to study and when. A learning or study calendar is one of the essential tools to organize your learning activities.

    Allocate a Considerable Amount of Time

    It does not matter what purpose you have for studying; cramming is the least effective means of retaining information in your long-term memory. You need considerable time to study in advance to achieve your learning objectives, especially if it’s a topic you’re struggling to understand.

    Establish a Suitable Study Area

    Discover a spot where you can quickly spread out your materials, notepad, books, and your computer. The place should be well-lit, cozy, and devoid of distraction. It could be inside a public library or a private study area in your house.

    The Bottom Line

    Everyone learns differently, and each brain picks up information in different ways. However you learn, the study habits mentioned in this article will help you remember important information to become more productive while studying. Pick which ones you think will work best for you and get started.

    More to Help You Learn Faster

    Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

    Reference

    More by this author

    Leon Ho

    Founder & CEO of Lifehack

    How to Achieve Goals and Increase Your Chance of Success how to start over How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide) Do You Know Your Motivation Style? How to Move Forward After Achieving Goal Success

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    Last Updated on June 1, 2021

    How to Use the Learning Style Quiz to Accelerate Your Learning

    How to Use the Learning Style Quiz to Accelerate Your Learning

    If you’ve ever taken a learning style quiz, you know that the idea is to find your most prominent learning style. The question then becomes: what do you do with that information?

    A textbook definition of learning styles is:[1]

    “Characteristic cognitive, effective, and psycho-social behaviors that serve as relatively stable indicators of how learners perceive, interact with, and respond to the learning environment.”

    That’s a fancy way of saying that different individuals interact with their learning environment in different ways. You’ll often see learning styles in conjunction with higher education and other types of cognitive learning courses. The theory is that, if the teacher is aware of the various ways in which people perceive information, they can differentiate the instruction to meet those needs.

    To the casual learner, understanding your learning style can help you find the best way to learn new information. There are seven different learning styles, and everybody uses a little of each one (on a sliding scale).

    In this article we will talk about how many different learning styles there are (and what they mean), get you to try the learning style quiz, and find out how to use your specific learning style to improve your life.

    The 7 Learning Styles

    The following is an overview of the various learning styles[2]:

    1. Visual / Spatial

    A visual learner thinks in pictures. They prefer having illustrations, pictures, and other types of images to help form a mental image of what they are learning. Visual learners are typically spatial thinkers.

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    2. Aural / Auditory-Musical

    An aural learner learns through music and rhythm. While actual music isn’t necessarily required to reach an aural learner, it certainly is more effective.

    3. Verbal / Linguistic

    A verbal learner prefers using words, both in speech and in reading. A person with this learning style might prefer a good lecture or textbook to more visual and auditory styles.

    4. Physical / Kinesthetic

    A physical learner prefers using their body, hands, and sense of touch. A person with this learning style is more of a “hands-on” learner who prefers to learn by doing.

    5. Logical / Mathematical

    A logical learner prefers information to flow from one thought or idea to the next. A person with this learning style prefers mathematics, logic, and reasoning.

    6. Social / Interpersonal

    A social learner prefers to learn in groups or through social interaction. A person with this learning style usually prefers group-work and project-based learning.

    7. Solitary / Intrapersonal

    A solitary learner prefers to work alone. People with this learning style are great at teaching themselves and often prefer self-study and online courses to more traditional learning methods.

    Did you see yourself in more than one learning style? If so, then you understand that no one person has just one learning style. Each of the above styles exist in everybody to a certain degree.

    If you take a learning style quiz, you might see a certain style emerge as the strongest (and, thus, more preferred). However, that does not mean that person cannot learn in one of the other ways listed.

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    Learning Styles and the Brain

    Learning styles influence and guide the way you learn. They affect the way you internally represent your experiences, remember information, or even dictate the words you choose[3].

    Learning style quiz: Dunn & Dunn learning styles brain map [Source: Kos, (2017)]

       

      Research suggests that each learning style makes use of a different part of the brain. Here is the breakdown for each learning style:

      • Visual: Visual learners use the occipital and parietal lobes at the back of the brain.
      • Aural: Aural content is mostly processed through the temporal lobes (especially the right temporal lobe for music).
      • Verbal: Verbal content is processed through the temporal and frontal lobes.
      • Kinesthetic: Kinesthetic learning is processed using the cerebellum and the motor cortex.
      • Logical: Logical learning is processed through the parietal lobes (specifically using the left side of the brain as it pertains to logical thinking).
      • Social: Social learning happens in the frontal and temporal lobes.

      How to Use the Learning Style Quiz to Improve Your Life

      Perhaps you didn’t realize that people had different learning styles before you read this article. Maybe you already knew about learning styles.

      Whatever the case, you can learn a lot about yourself just by taking a short learning styles quiz. But what do you do with the knowledge you get from the results?

      Here are some tips:

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      Visual Learner

      If you’re a visual learner, focus on how you can make the material you’re learning more visually appealing[4].

      1. Stay Organized

      If a learning style quiz tells you you’re a visual learner, focus on getting your material organized. Your brain will likely feel overwhelmed if your notes are chaotic.

      2. Use Color

      Try color coding information in order to help your mind visually separate each bit. For example, if you’re studying for a history test, highlight dates in yellow, people in blue, and places in pink. This technique will set important pieces of information off in your mind and make them easier to remember.

      3. Watch Videos

      Ditch the audio-books and podcasts and either read or watch videos and lectures online. Your strength is found in visual explanation — seeing the information in a book, diagram, or demonstration.

      Auditory Learner

      If you’re an auditory learner according to your learning style quiz, focus on using your ability to hear to take in information[5].

      1. Limit Distracting Noises

      Traffic outside your window, students speaking nearby, or music blaring from a speaker won’t help you while studying. You’re already prone to take in the sounds around you, so if you want to learn something specific, find a quiet place to work where you can limit distracting noises.

      2. Read Aloud

      If you’ve taken notes in class, try reading them aloud to yourself. You can even create jingles or rhymes to help you remember specific bits of information.

      3. Record Lectures

      Instead of just simply writing notes as your professor or boss speaks, record the lecture or conversation and listen back later. This will help solidify the information with aural cues. Also, try speaking with classmates or coworkers to help “fill in” the information.

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      Kinesthetic Learners

      Your learning style quiz tells you that you’re a kinesthetic learner. Here are some study tips to help you[6].

      1. Teach Someone

      After you’ve studied the target information, try teaching it to someone else. This dynamic activity will help turn on your ability to recall the information.

      2. Be Hands-on

      Using your hands to create something will help your brain work through specific problems. If you need to remember 20 vocabulary words, try drawing a map and placing the words in specific places. This is related to the idea of a memory palace, which you can learn about here.

      Bonus tip: Try chewing gum, as the movement may help activate learning centers in your brain.

      3. Take Breaks

      As a kinesthetic learner, your mind won’t like being in one static position for very long. Take time to get up and walk around or do another physical activity for a few minutes between study sessions.

      Also be aware that most of the learning styles can fit into one of those three categories. You are essentially going to be one of these three types of learning styles paired with an interpersonal or intrapersonal preference. In other words, you either like working with others or you don’t.

      If you’re ready to take your learning to the next level with your learning style, check out the video below for some more tips and tricks:

      Final Thoughts

      Have you taken the learning style quiz yet? If not, scroll down this page a bit and try the quiz now!

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      If you spend just five to ten minutes on this quiz, it may give you insight into learning styles that will change your life.

      More on How to Use the Learning Style Quiz

      Featured photo credit: Eliabe Costa via unsplash.com

      Reference

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