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Unlocking Your Learning Potential - Samhitha Sudharsan

Learning doesn’t happen by skimming through a book or merely memorizing information to pass a test. The real purpose of learning is to understand the world around us, but unfortunately, most people don’t take the time to deliberately learn and comprehend deeply. Instead, we tend to memorize what we need for our academic courses, only to forget much of it later in life. As a result, we fail to apply our knowledge effectively, and life often presents us with challenges.

To become better learners and excel in exams, there are several techniques we can follow. The Feynman technique, the Pomodoro technique, and the 4Rs approach are highly helpful methods. To implement the Feynman technique, start by selecting a topic you want to learn and briefly skim through its subtopics. Then, explain the concept using simple terms, as if you were teaching it to a child. Take note of areas where you struggle to explain or understand fully – these areas need further study. Review and deepen your understanding in those specific areas. Repeat the process of explaining the concept, refining your explanation each time. This method forces you to simplify and clarify the information, leading to a deep understanding of the material, allowing you to answer any questions related to the topic.

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method that divides work into intervals. Set a timer for 25 minutes (a “pomodoro”) to focus on a specific task without distractions. After each interval, take a short break. By working in focused bursts and taking regular breaks, you can improve productivity and prevent burnout.

The 4Rs of studying involve Read, Recite, Reflect, and Review. Begin by reading the material, then try to recite or verbally explain what you just read in your own words. This reinforces your understanding and helps identify areas for further review. Reflect on the material, and regularly review what you’ve studied to reinforce learning and retention.

For note-taking, the Cornell method is effective. Divide your note paper into sections, and during lectures or readings, take notes in the right-hand column while writing cues or keywords in the left-hand column. Summarize the main points at the bottom of the page. This structured approach helps organize and retain information.

Additionally, incorporating walks, using images, meditating, and getting enough sleep can boost efficiency and aid in memory retention. It’s crucial to study for understanding, not just to pass a test, and avoid cramming. By adopting these techniques and a deeper learning approach, you can enhance your knowledge and excel in exams.

Study for Understanding, Not Just for the Test. Stop cramming.

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