Science-Backed Guide To Learn Faster And Better – 2021

Think about it.

We are always learning new things consistently. Learning is what helps us to progress in our life.

It is therefore vital that we learn how to learn better and memorize faster.

Even in academics, studying faster and remembering everything can help you a lot.

This comprehensive guide based on neuroscience will help you achieve the skill of learning faster today!

Understanding Your Memory (So You Can Improve It)

The process of learning faster is proportional to how great of a memory you have.

If you think you don’t have a really great memory, it might be because you are not understanding the way your memory works.

Why do we need to improve our memory first?

Improving your memory makes a huge impact on helping you prevail in this information-dependent society.

The memory of your past experiences will influence your creativity and your ideas.

By remembering crucial life lessons, you can avoid repeating the same mistakes and failures over and over again.

How our brains store information

Our brain can’t store information as isolated memories. Instead, individual pieces of information are grouped into larger units of separate time windows. This technique used by our brains is called chunking.

Because of chunking while it might be tough for us to recall old memories, when doing so, we will remember a whole lot of other memories of that time window.

You can also store a large quantity of information using the chunking technique. In this technique, you’ll have to group certain information to memorize things better. For example, it is difficult to remember a phone number if we try to memorize it this way 6-3-4-2-7-8-8. However, the same can be easier through chunking 634-2788.

The Power Of Visual Memory

Studies have proven that our brain has a peculiar power to memorize visual images better.

What do you think will appear more appealing to a student’s eye?

  1. The textual description of a chemical reaction.
  2. A pictorial representation of the same reaction.

Most of the students find the later easier to learn simply because it may appear more appealing.

According to Dr Lynell Burmark, an education consultant, images are directly processed into our brain’s long term memory. Words and texts, however, are processed by our short term memory.

Use Concept Maps to learn relationships between different components in a concept.

concept maps

Another effective method to recall the overview of a topic faster is to represent it in a mindmap.

mind maps

Processes can be explained better using flowcharts, and information can be better conveyed through infographics.

Mental Markers

A mental marker is one specific detailed visualization that helps you to memorize whole situations and ideas.

I will explain it to you using an example from Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography, one of the most entertaining books that I have read in the last five years.

In my mind I have a marker of Benjamin Franklin running up and down the street with a wheelbarrow full of paper.

benjamin franklin

This marker comes from a very specific story where he talks about guerilla marketing. In the story, he used to convince people that his business was thriving and doing so attract customers. I can remember a huge part of other related information since I have this marker.

Similarly, you can also make use of other mental markers to store information.

Logical Markers

Can you really learn faster by representing all the information as only visual markers?

Not really.

A huge portion of the markers we create will be logical markers. Examples of it includes:

  • Emotions such as excitement, anger, or confusion.
  • Symbols such as question marks or explanation points.
  • Arrows, circles, checkmarks, etc.
  • Diagrams, schematics, or flowcharts.

Systems to Achieve Long Term Memory

Many people think that learning faster and memorizing stuff is only for people like Sherlock Holmes. They feel that super learners rely on their extra human memory abilities to never forget anything.

But becoming a super learner is through storing information in intelligent ways and recalling them in an organized manner.

Spaced Repetition

If we don’t use the information that we have learned that often, our brain simply erases a huge portion of those memories.

forgetting curve
Source: Wikipedia

Using logical markers and connecting information, you can reduce the forgetting curve and in some cases even eliminate it.

But constantly updating yourself is the best possible way to maintain your skills. You should be practicing your skills once in a while rather than relying entirely on your memory alone.

As technology has seen a significant growth over the years, now we have applications like Anki that can learn how quickly you’re forgetting information and based on the difficulty of information, remind you to revise that on scheduled intervals that you’re likely to forget it.

Make notes of information so that when the software reminds you, it will be easier to do the revision.

Memory Palace

Another very effective method to store information in your brain is through a memory palace.

Memory palaces are buildings or structures that you create in your mind to imagine or remember something. Each piece of individual information is represented by an imaginary object placed in an organized manner inside a room in your mind.

You can then imagine to travel in a linear manner through that ‘mind room’ and memorize things through your object.

5 Number Memorization Techniques

SQ3R Method

This is the 5 phase learning process that will help increase the retention rates of the information that you learn, plus it also helps you to study much faster.

Let’s take a look at what each of those are:

Survey Phase

Before launching into detailed learning, you should scan or skim the content. This will help prepare your mind to process the new information.

Question Phase

You should ask yourself questions to improve your motivation. For example, ‘Why am I learning this’, ‘What is in it for me?’

Clear motivation improves the learning process.

Read Phase

You should start reading the content with pure focus. During this phase, you don’t have to waste time focusing on irrelevant details due to the clear understanding provided by the S & Q phases.

Recall Phase

Add details to the markers after reading paragraphs. This is our method to make sure that you can recall the information.

Review Phase

Review the information you just processed and connect it with your previous knowledge.

These are some of the expert-recommended methods to learn faster and better.

Make sure you use these methods since it can impact a lot on how you perceive information.

It took me a while to adopt to these methods, but it sure was well worth it.

Let me know what you think of these methods through the comments.

Also Read: Feynman Technique of Learning

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