Thursday, January 31, 2013

6 Tips to Learn Lessons More Quickly

You know how some students just seem to "get it" more quickly than others?

It's true that some of us have more (or less) intelligence than others.  That's a fact, and it's important to realize it.

So if you're not one of the "intelligent" people, are you doomed?

Not necessarily, but it's even more important that you take the right approach when you're learning.

Here are six (6) tips to improve your chances of learning something:

  1. Create a Mini Pre-Test
  2. Take Notes
  3. Ask Questions (During the lesson)
  4. Review Your Notes
  5. Try Doing (or Applying) New Ideas
  6. Ask Questions

Let's take a quick look at each one of these.

1. Create a Mini Pre-Test

Of course, you are not going to know everything that will be covered in the class.

However, you probably are taking that class for a reason, even if it is a "required" class.

Take a few moments--BEFORE CLASS--to think of questions that YOU would put on the Pre-Test for the  lesson.

Those questions do not have to be "correct," nor do you need to know the answers to them, yet.  You just need to start thinking about what the upcoming class just might cover.

Result: You start shaping your mind to expect different parts of the lesson, and we're more likely to keep paying attention and retain more.

2. Take Notes

Even if you don't take great notes, at least try.  Don't worry about getting "everything."

Just try to get the main points.  If time permits, then jot down as many details as you can, but make sure that you capture those main points.  You can always lookup the other details later.

If you don't take notes, you might remember it.

If you do take notes, you won't have to worry about remembering it.

Result: You have a written record of some parts of the class, and since writing forces you to think about the topic as you're scribbling notes, you're more likely to remember them, anyway.

3. Ask Questions (During the lesson)

A lot of people get nervous about asking questions, but these are a great part of the learning process.

Chances are good that some people will be irritated by you asking questions, but you're a customer.  You paid to take the class just like they did.  (Even if you didn't pay with money, you're paying with your time.)

If you make a point to ask, at least, one question during class, this will force you to pay attention.  You don't want to ask a question like, "Uh....What's the name of this class, Dude?"

You can ask the instructor (trainer) to...

  • clarify a point,
  • repeat a statement that sounded important but you could not write it (See #2: Take Notes) quickly enough, or
  • you might ask a "what if" style question.
(NOTE: That "what if" question must be related to the discussion...strongly.  If you aren't sure, don't ask this type of question.)

Result: When you force yourself to ask questions, you will be actively learning, and that answer will be emphasized in your mind.

4. Review Your Notes

This is a huge mistake that many people make.

Many people take notes...only to NEVER look at them...ever.

Personally, I often will recopy my notes, but I realize that most people are not interested in doing "all that work."

However, if you review your notes...maybe 1-3 times a day for the next couple of days, you have a much better chance of retaining it.

It also let's you see something that you did not understand as well as you thought you did during class.

Result: By reviewing your notes shortly after the lesson, you will work a little harder those first few days, but later it will take you less time to "remind" yourself...if you even need that "reminder."  You'll probably remember it from the repetition.

5. Try Doing (or Applying) New Ideas

Now that you just learned something, go try to do it (or apply it).  This way you will know whether you REALLY understand something.

This will let you know if you should be asking for more help.

Result: You will learn more for one of two reasons.  You are actively doing something, and you are making it your own, OR you know what you don't know, and you can focus on EXACTLY what you need to ask that person who presented the idea to you.  You can't help but know it better.

6. Ask Questions

Finally, now it makes sense to ask those questions you have from reviewing those notes and trying new things.

It's a lot easier to learn something what you know what you don't know.  That's a whole lot better than, "I don't get it."  Plus, that gives your trainer a better chance of knowing what to explain so that you understand what you need...and want.

As much as these seem like common sense, the statistically average person is NOT doing hardly ANY of these steps.  Even if you only follow a few of these tips, you will probably learn more than most of the people  who took the same training that you did, even if they're "smarter" than you.

Just imagine how well you will learn things if you take ALL SIX (6) OF THESE STEPS.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hey there! Thank you for taking time to read my post and share your thoughts with me and my other readers. I'm always tickled when I get a non-SPAM comment. Honestly, sometimes I'm even okay with some borderline SPAM.

Let me know if you would like for me to address a topic by sending me an email at

Thanks, again. I look forward to seeing you soon.