Study Techniques: Studying is easy if you know how to do it
Table of contents:
- Study techniques: strategies for collecting and selecting information.
- Study techniques: memorization.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve studied; it’s been years since I’ve picked up a book…”. These words are often shared among people who start to learn something in adults. If a priori you identify with this statement, let me remind you of one thing: you may not have picked up a book for a long time, but your brain does not forget and is capable of much more than you think. Here you find a couple of techniques that help you learn and memorize faster.
You have to know that the brain is a muscle that we can train and from which we can keep learning continuously.
Study techniques: strategies for collecting and selecting information
When: After a first glance, in the second reading.
Objective: To locate the words or phrases that contain the basic or fundamental information of the topic.
The underlined must make sense by itself (not grammatical sense, since most of the underlined words have to be nouns, adjectives, and verbs).
Hierarchize ideas using a personal code (general idea: one box/red color; main idea: one circle/blue color; secondary ideas: underlined with two lines/green color).
Link and structure the ideas of the text using connecting arrows or annotations in the margins that help us organize the text (introduction, characteristics, conclusion…).
Tip: To find the main idea read the text deleting the underlined, and check if it loses sense. Another method is to look for the most repeated concept, either the same word or synonyms.
When: Once the underlining has been done, we will progressively and hierarchically place the most essential underlined words.
Objective: to obtain an overview of the topic, global and concrete at the same time, to elaborate its “skeleton”.
It must “enter through the eyes”, be grasped at a glance (obtain a “drawing” that will help us to retain this information in our memory).
We will only use keywords (hierarchized by their placement, size, or color).
Tip: among all the possible forms, we will choose the one we find most attractive and visual (key, branched, arrows), and we can also change its form (concept map, mind map…).
When: once the outline has been made, we will only have to join the concepts found and fill it in.
Objective: to constitute an extract of the basic ideas of the topic following the outline as a guide.
To express with few and precise words the most important of the subject.
To use our language to favor its comprehension.
Try to have unity: relationships between ideas among a text or essay help you see all the concepts holistically and within a system.
Study techniques: memorizing
Initials technique: invent a word, with or without meaning, formed with the initials of a series of concepts that we are interested in remembering (we can alter the order or use the first syllable of each idea to form a more understandable and easier to remember the word).
Technique with mental images: it is about using the imagination to memorize, inventing pictures, and associating them to the concepts to be remembered. It is recommended that the images are unusual and surprising, full of oddities and disproportions, and are in motion.
Chain technique: the keywords of the text to be memorized are converted into images, even if they are abstract, linked to each other in order to remember all the words in order through our own “mental movie”.
Itinerary technique: we take an already known route (our house, subway stops, our street…) and convert each concept into a clear and easy to visualize. We associate each image to a place on the chosen itinerary, establishing an attention-grabbing relationship (the idea is to “leave” the concepts in specific places and then remember them only by walking through the itinerary).
What is easier to remember?
What is surprising (what is not usual)
What is necessary (what we see the usefulness in)
Stories (more than single words)
Music (when memorizing, we tend to hum)
What is learned quickly is forgotten quickly – the greater the effort, the greater the memory!