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Published on January 7, 2020

Hack Your Learning With These 9 Simple Study Habits

Hack Your Learning With These 9 Simple Study Habits

Do you know you can learn some good study habits if you desire to improve your learning and retentive capacity?

These study habits incorporate approaching study with a positive mindset, selecting an appropriate learning environment, avoiding or reducing distractions, establishing a realistic study schedule, and leveraging learning techniques and memory games.

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 at any point in time, but 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?

Good Study Habits Impact Your Motivation Level

Study smarter says the adage, not harder. By building good and simple study habits, as well as learning techniques, you will keep yourself supercharged. This will assist you in attaining your goals efficiently and quickly.

Improving Study Habits Positions You For Success

Cultivating simple study skills is not only relevant to the university; these skills will position you for success in life. 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.

Effective Study Habits 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.

Developing Good Study Habits Saves 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 save you more time to focus on other things that are crucial in your life.

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Good Study Habits Enhance Your Learning

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

With these benefits, you may then ask, ‘what are the essential study habits?’ Read on.

9 Study Habits to Hack Your Learning

1. Review Often

Design a study plan to review your study notes. 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.

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. Some even claimed they failed a test they prepared hard for without knowing they did not understand what they studied.

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.

3. Employ Different Study Materials

Do not depend on your book or lecture notes. Make use of different materials to aid your learning.

This study habit enables you to understand the topic you are studying thoroughly. It also helps you to prepare for any major test or examination.

You can access Lynda Library or other online and local libraries to source for materials relating to the topic you are studying.

4. Utilize Flash Cards

Employing flashcards can enhance memorization. It will assist you in recalling vital concepts and key terminologies.

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Flashcards will help you condense the voluminous amount of notes. You can also form the study habit of drawing diagrams to recall important information and details about the topics. This technique will help you revise before a major examination, test, or interview quickly.

Using flashcards can be very helpful as you can carry them around everywhere you go.

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.

You can take a break of 10 minutes, having studied for thirty minutes to one hour. You can watch an exciting video clip during this break or take a walk in the garden to relax your nerves.

6. Teach Others

Several studies have found out that you learn better when you teach others a concept you have studied.[1]

You cannot teach what you don’t know. Teaching other people positions you to learn as you have no option but to express the information in your words. This is because you reinforce the information as you repeat while teaching others.

At some points, your students will ask questions which you will need to analyze before providing answers. 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 dwell on.

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Most times, you think you know a topic, but when you evaluate yourself using the test, you will find the topic or concept challenging.

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. The evaluation also helps you in managing your time during the study.

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. This method is also known as MNEMONIC.[2]

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. This can also be applied while learning.

9. Take Good Care of Yourself

This is an aspect that most learners don’t manage properly. Quality sleep and healthy eating habits affect your assimilation. Learners who neglect proper diet and quality sleep will find it hard to retain information fast.

You should drink at least eight glasses of water, have eight hours of sleep, and a take balanced diet daily. Food such as berries, fish, groundnut, egg, and broccoli have been found out to boost brainpower: 12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

How to Learn Study Habits

So, how to learn these study habits in order to learn more effectively?

Do the following before you study:

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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 the exercise impact your career and personal development?

Set Priorities

Several topics would clamor for your attention. It is important to prioritize them in order of importance. I recommend starting with the simplest to the most complex topics.

Plan

Design a 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.

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

The study habits mentioned in this article will help you to become more productive while studying and learning.

Utilize different materials and resources for adequate comprehension. Introduce breaks into your study sessions so you can recharge from pressure.

If you imbibe these study habits, you will find it easier to hack your learning.

More to Help You Learn Faster

Featured photo credit: Bonnie Kittle via unsplash.com

Reference

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Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Published on June 22, 2020

7 Characteristics of a Smart Auditory Learner

7 Characteristics of a Smart Auditory Learner

I spent five years as a middle and high school teacher, and I would often hear people talking about learning styles. “Betty is a visual learner. Sam is kinesthetic. Emma is an auditory learner.”

I hadn’t read any research about learning styles at the time, but on the face of it, it makes sense. Some people seem to learn better when they see things, others when they’re active, and some when they hear things. I know that I really struggle when someone spells a word aloud. I have no idea what word they’re spelling. I’ve always just made the excuse that I’m a visual learner and will need them to write it down for me. But is there any truth to learning styles?

Before we delve into the characteristics of a smart auditory learner, let’s take a step back and explore what research says about learning styles more generally.

Debunking Learning Styles

In the 1990s, a New Zealand school inspector named Neil Fleming[1] came up with a questionnaire to measure people’s preferred learning style. Now called the VARK questionnaire, it’s still used today to discern whether people are Visual, Auditory, Read/Write, or Kinesthetic learners.

Fleming’s learning styles theory gained popularity over the decades, but no studies have confirmed its legitimacy. In a study by Polly Husmann and Valerie Dean O’Loughlin[2], they found that people who used their preferred learning style did not see any improvements in learning outcomes. In short, there was no correlation between learning style and actual learning.

Another study by Abby R. Knoll, Hajime Otani, Reid L. Skeel, and K. Roger Van Horn[3] also found that learning style had no relationship with recall. Participants who preferred visual learning did not recall images they saw any better than words they heard.

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There’s no evidence that learning styles help people learn or recall. Instead, they should be thought of as a learning preference. I prefer when people write things down for me, but there’s no evidence that this improves my recall.

7 Characteristics of a Smart Auditory Learner

Having a preference for auditory learning means you gravitate toward verbal communication. Audiobooks and lectures might be your cup of tea instead of the charts and graphs of a visual learner.

So what if you think you’re an auditory learner? Let’s say you have a knack for processing audio communication and can close your eyes and pick up all the important details of a lecture or audiobook. The following list is for you. Here are 7 characteristics of smart auditory learners—people who use their auditory preference to their advantage.

1. They Take Learning Styles With a Grain of Salt

This bears repeating. There is no evidence that people’s learning styles impact their learning, so a smart auditory learner definitely takes learning styles with a grain of salt.

Think of it as a preference. Smart auditory learners know they prefer audiobooks and hearing things out loud, so there’s no harm leaning into that preference.

Just don’t assume it’s going to improve your test scores.

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2. They Get Rid of Distractions

Just because you’re an auditory learner doesn’t mean you can sift through lots of auditory inputs at once. No matter your learning preference, make sure you put effort into limiting distractions.

An auditory learner might struggle to study while listening to music or have difficulty working with the TV on because they’re so receptive to auditory information. Therefore, you should find a quiet place to learn, so you can focus all your energy on whatever it is you’re trying to retain.

3. They Match Learning Task With Learning Style

The real secret to improving your retention and recall is to match the learning task with the learning style. A smart auditory learner knows the best time to rely on auditory learning. They don’t always fall back on listening. Instead, they strategize the best approach for each individual learning challenge.

For example, I might know that I favor visual learning, but if I need to memorize my lines in a play, I might be better served recording the other characters’ lines, so I can practice saying my lines when I hear my cues.

Maybe I’m more kinesthetic. That doesn’t mean that I have to move to learn. Instead, I have to be strategic about when and how I add movement to my learning process. It might make sense for me to memorize countries or states by drawing a giant map and running to the right spot when someone yells out that geographic location. However, it doesn’t make much sense to dance around while I’m reading Foucault. The learning style should be in service of whatever it is that’s being learned.

Instead of catering to people’s learning preferences, we should be matching the learning style with the task at hand. Ask yourself, “What’s the best style (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, reading/writing) for this particular learning task?”

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4. They Use Their Voice

Auditory learners might need to read things aloud or listen to audiobooks instead of silently reading. Adding your voice can help turn reading/writing into an auditory exercise.

Get creative with it. If you consider yourself to be an auditory learner, think of different ways to add an audio element to your learning. Sing it. Yell it. Turn it into a poem. Just don’t get stuck in the reading/writing learning style when you prefer to be hearing and listening.

5. They Practice Listening

Smart auditory learners don’t take listening for granted. Just because you prefer auditory learning doesn’t mean you’re great at it. Instead, smart auditory learners take their preference and improve it over time.

Practice your listening skills. Give people your undivided attention, clarify what you’ve just heard, and challenge yourself to be as active and present a listener as possible.

Asking clarifying questions and repeating back what you’ve just heard can help you assess how accurate your listening is[4]. You should also transfer what you’ve heard to other learning styles. Write it down or draw it as pictures, charts, and graphs. That brings us to the next characteristic of smart auditory learners.

6. They Use All Learning Styles

Smart auditory learners use all the learning styles. They may have a preference for listening, but using all types of inputs helps improve retention and recall.

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If you’re studying for an exam, don’t just record your notes as audio or listen to online lectures. Use flashcards, read your notes out loud, quiz yourself, create an active game that requires you to move around, and teach the concepts to your roommate. This gets as many parts of your brain and body involved in the learning as possible, which increases your odds of retaining the information and acing the exam.

7. They Reflect on What Works and What Doesn’t

Smart auditory learners are also reflective and self-aware learners. After you try a learning strategy, assess and reflect on how it went. Did you retain as much information as you’d hoped? Build off your successes and change strategies when a learning style isn’t working for you.

Smart auditory learning is really just smart learning. Create a game plan that uses multiple, appropriate learning styles. Then, follow through by removing distractions and studying your heart out. After assessing how much you’ve retained, reflect on what worked and what didn’t. Then, refine your game plan for more success next time.

Final Thoughts

It would be magical if learning styles were a silver bullet for learning. I’d love to be able to say I’m a visual learner and then be able to recall every single piece of information just by seeing it represented visually. Unfortunately, that’s not at all how learning styles work.

Learning is complex and messy. Just because we prefer one learning style doesn’t mean it helps us learn better. What we really need to do is experiment with all the learning styles and try to match the right learning styles with each specific task.

Knowing your learning style is important. It’s good to know how you prefer to receive information. Just don’t stop there. Use your preference for auditory learning strategically and when it makes sense to do so.

More Tips for When You’re an Auditory Learner

Featured photo credit: Blaz Erzetic via unsplash.com

Reference

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