Oneness Ministry

We are One

Learning Tips and Tricks

on January 30, 2021

Most students these days know these tips and tricks I am going to share with you here. Read on though because there may be one you didn’t know and can use. As I covered in my previous blog on learning, link here, we learn in different ways. I listed 7 learning types. What I did not cover was actual hands on learning tools.

Let me start with one that has served me and many other students well over the years. When taking notes use pen and paper or stylus and pad. Writing is different than typing and turns out to force the mind to think about what is being recorded. Typing is mostly just recording the material without the conceptual process. If you do type your notes, go back after class and hand write the notes over, organizing and expanding as you remember. Do this also even if you hand wrote originally. Do it as soon as you can after the class so you can remember more of what was presented. I know this is twice the work, but it will result in more than twice the recall. You may actually learn the concepts presented rather than memorize them. It takes a lot of self discipline to make yourself do this after every class, though the results make it easy to justify. The technique can be used for any type of learning whether formal class or personal project.

The next tool or technique is in reading. Understanding how standard writing is composed helps to read faster and retain more. Paragraphs are constructed with a introductory topic sentence first, the body, and then a summary or declarative sentence last. Of course writing can and does get more complicated than this, but just know to skim read or get the gist of what is said, only read the first sentence of each paragraph. For a long paragraph, perhaps read the last sentence too. Leave as much of the paragraph viewable as possible since the subconscious will see the whole page and absorb what is written as you go. This is a type of speed reading or summary reading. It is surprising the amount of information one can gain from reading this way. It is especially helpful when researching a topic and all you need to do is get the gist or find specific information. Once you find what you are searching for then slow down and read in detail.

When taking Multiple Choice tests know a few important facts, ( Taking tests gets easier as you grow older and become more confident. One way to get more confident is to understand how the system you are in is constructed. The US uses standardized tests, so taking practice tests can be helpful as is going over the results of the test afterward. Any good teacher will provide the correct answer to each question after the test so the student can learn from their mistakes. A test that tries to trick the test taker is not teaching it is annoying. The point of any test is to assess the students knowledge of a subject as presented by the teacher. That last part is KEY. Many subjects are diverse and subjective, so testing may be difficult to pin down. In this case, essay questions offer the best evaluation of knowledge.

Essay questions are a way for the student to demonstrate a understanding of the concepts presented in the class. Be clear, concise, and constructive in your answers. Rambling vague circular answers will be seen for what they are, B.S. Here again, practice helps tremendously. Use the study material you have and write short essays about what you know will be on the test. Have a friend go over your answers and/or share in a study group.

Study groups are invaluable to learning! Though you only get out of them what you put in. (as goes all learning and life itself) Participation is required. Help those who need it and ask for help when You need it. Study groups can be with two people but can also include up to six, though four is an ideal number from my experience. Bigger study groups are classrooms, so do not apply to what we are discussing here. Learning occurs in the process of engagement with others in a give and take manner. It is rarely conscious or purposeful, it takes place in the background. This is the power of study groups.

“The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn …and change.” Carl Rogers

Sequoia Elisabeth

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