Learning How to Learn

How to learn Faster and Easier (Part 4)

By Basu Nepal

This is final of the 4 article series of how to learn faster and easier. Click Here for previous Article

Group study and Teamwork

As a student, we all believe in group study and group discussion. Some may actually study in group whereas some may gather as a group and collectively blame exam to escape study or just talk sports. It turns out group study can be helpful to learn or prepare for an exam.

As an individual you may have illusion of competence, which can be pointed out by other when discussing the topic with other. Like eye’s blind spot, you may have blind spot in your learning as well. You may believe you are actually correct and don’t try to correct it unless pointed out by someone about it. Make sure you have at least another problem solver in the team who can correct your mistake, else your mistake may not be looked or corrected.

There may be few areas where you didn’t focus or pay attention leaving it behind which can be unknown to you unless pointed out by someone, so it’s a good habit to brainstorm among other peers to discuss topics which also gives a fresh perspective of same topic. You may have missed some points, other can catch your blind spot.

It’s only good if it’s about learning or discussing topics which the group was intended to. For example: it’s common to drift away from the goal of discussion and move into new topic completely irrelevant to what you are learning or trying to achieve, at that point it’s necessary to get back on track or just not be involved in the group all together. There should always be team checklist to ensure, the group is working towards planned goal of learning.

Final Tips for Exam

  • Start with the harder problem and then move towards easy problem after getting stuck in harder one, it helps you solve problem easier. After working on harder problem for some time with focused mode, your diffused mode kicks in and you may suddenly get answer or idea to solve it when you move away from that problem

  • You should have enough will power and self-discipline to actually leave harder problem and move to easier one after starting with harder problem. Continuously working on hard problem may backfire against you

  • When starting with difficult and moving to easier problem, your diffused mode tends to see problem from different perspective and come up with answer
  • Taking long belly breathe during learning as well as exam can help you relax
  • Plan for your worst situation so that you are prepared to face even the worst scenario, it gives you motivation
  • Try to get a thorough look and get bigger picture from the problem
  • Make a study group and study
  • Try to include one real problem solver in the group who can actually help you to correct and solve difficult problem
  • Teaching others can enhance your learning so learn as if you are trying to teach other

Conclusion and Review

By this, we have come to a conclusion to the summary of the course “Learning How to learn” by McMaster University & University of California San Diego. It was a great content taught by Dr. Barbara Oakley and  Dr. Terrence Sejnowski.

All the things I learned about learning is documented in this article series and it was such a good experience to learn how to learn as well as share through this article. If you are reading this, I would recommend you to join the course, it has much more to offer.

This is the final part of four part learning series, Click Here for Previous

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