9 ways to improve your learning capacity


If you ask teachers and parents, and even some older students, for
tips on how best to learn, you will get lots of advice. Some based on
their personal experience – what worked for them – some on what they
have seen work for students and some derived from research.
Here are nine tips to improve your leaning capacity:
1. Vary your learning routine, locations and material:  Many students
have a fixed time and place to study. However research has shown that
varying your study location – at home in a different room, at school,
in a library- can improve learning. In a similar way occasionally
changing the time of day you study and the materials you use – laptop,
pen and paper, speaking into a voice recorder – also boost learning.
2. Get a good night’s sleep: Vary your sleep time depending on what
you are learning. If you are trying to learn facts like names,
formulas and dates, go to bed early and get the deep sleep of the
early evening. Then get up early and review what you had been learning
the day before.
The sleep that best consolidates creative thinking and motor skills
happens in the morning before awakening. So to learn these skills you
may find it best to go to bed a little later than normal and sleep in
a bit.
3. Space your study time: It’s better to do two one-hour study
sessions than a single unbroken two-hour session. You will remember
more if you do an hour today, then another hour tomorrow, especially
if you get the right sleep during the night.
4. Cramming for exam can work: This is a last resort tactic and is
proven to work short term, so you will probably do better in the exam.
But you won’t remember much long term.
Your brain makes long-term memories only after some forgetting has
happened. This is similar to a muscle that needs exercise to break it
down a little so that it can become stronger.
5. Use self testing: This is a strong, proven learning technique. You
can test yourself by trying to remember what you were learning, or
explaining it aloud to yourself or to someone who is prepared to
listen. You can get friends to quiz you. One of the benefits is that
is that you can get immediate feedback whether you are right or wrong.
To be continued

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