Learning [lur-ning]— knowledge acquired by systematic study in any field of scholarly application.
Organize [awr-guh-nahyz] –
Learning is all about organizing! There is a system to school, and understanding that system can help you learn more efficiently and consistently. Below are five learnable ways to learn how to learn.
1. Identify the type of learner you are:
Most individuals fit into one of three categories of learners: visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. The video below also includes two, less known categories: Reading and Writing Learner—this is mine! — or an Environmental Learner. Knowing what kind of learner you are will help you understand why certain techniques don’t work for you.
2. Find a method that works. Here are a few I love:
Walking is a wonderful physical activity recommended by doctors, but did you know it also improves your focus?
B. Teach what you have learned
If you have someone in your life that says, “What did you do today?” tell them everything! When they understandably stop asking, you can take the lead by saying “You’ll never guess what I did today?!” You’ll be surprised how interesting you find a subject to be once you’ve told someone else about it.
C. Create flashcards
Short story: A couple of years ago I was enrolled in an International Business class with a professor who soon became one of my favorite teachers ever. Anyhow, I was such a nut in his class with my flashcards he actually made it my nickname. Which worked on two levels: (1) I felt special every time he used my nickname and (2) it made me feel like a cool boxer or something because I could turn in papers with my name listed like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, except mine was: asezas “flashcards” ABC.
If that “longer than intended” short story did not make it clear, I love flashcards! Writing information down and quizzing myself on it excites the Reading and Writing Learner in me. However, the earth lover in me hates flashcards, so here are some online alternatives: studyblue, cram, and examtime.
3. Be fascinated by the subject.
Tolerating a subject can be like watching a bad movie because you like the actor starring in it. You have to find your own reasons. Going to a teacher’s office hours and requesting feedback on assignments, becoming invested in class discussions by participating, and talking to people I know about what I’ve learned is how I stay fascinated regardless of the subject.
4. Sit front and center!
Here’s the truth: whether you’re in the front row or the back row of the class, you are still going to be there for 1-2 hours. Don’t waste that time! School is like everything else in life: you get out of it what you put into it.
Just in case my opinion is not enough, one study discovered a direct relationship between test scores and seating distance from the front of class: students in the front, middle, and back rows of class scored 80%, 71.6%, and 68.1% respectively on course exams.
5. Finally, learn to use Google.