Study Technique General
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The other thread is shit, use this one
Currently building Anki Flashcards and trying to train myself for pomodoro
Need to do about 6 hours work today and its a struggle to keep myself focused.
I also make a list before I begin studying of everything I need/want to get done and just tick them off as they are finished.
What more can I do to improve my concentration and productivity? (other than modafinnil because $110 for 60 tabs is just bananas)
MechE major here. I use this routine and it never fails me.
1) Pretend to teach after you've learned all the material. Go by each section and pretend to teach a student all of the material that you've just learned, explain it thoroughly and make sure that you cover key points.
2) Pomodoro. Always take 5 minute breaks every 30 minutes.
3) Google everything you don't know, use the teacher's notes as a guideline. Google videos and notes online to help, while watching videos or looking at notes, take down important information. I've found that just watching educational videos doesn't cut it, you've really got to take down notes while you watch these videos in order to understand it. Sometimes, you need to take notes and watch the video, then go back and just watch it without taking notes.
4) During class, use the Cornell method of taking notes. I personally don't write a summary of what I learned at the bottom of the page, but the way it's structured is much cleaner than the way some teachers present notes. The Cornell Method makes notes easier to read from.
5) If you're a highlighter junkie, stop. Highlighting is actually shown to be distracting and useless for learning. I personally highlight things that I just want to go back to in the future. Don't highlight a lot, if not a lot, then at all.
6) Whilst studying, take a step back and ask yourself questions. "Why does this happen?" "What am I learning?" "Why does it work this way?" Usually, this comes intuitively. Try and be more of a skeptical person if you can. Really be someone who criticizes everything that's in front of him.
7) If you study in front of a PC, open up notepad and set it to fullscreen. It gives your work area brightness and won't distract you which leads me to another point, don't get distracted while you work. Get rid of anything that will hinder you from studying.
3-4 hours a day of studying does it for me. I find anything more is unnecessary.
8) Keep up your motivation. This doesn't occur when you're studying, but always ask yourself, "Where will I be in 5 years?" "What's at stake here?" "What's the reward for me doing all of this?" Have some motivation. Keep a nice clear picture of a successful you in mind.
9) Listen during class, that teacher or professor has the balls to go up there and teach your ungrateful ass some material. Listen to what he/she has to say even if he/she is insufferable. You don't want him/her to teach it just because you don't like him/her? Then why don't you go up there and teach it? Obviously you're not qualified to teach, but this is the kind of mentality you have to have.
9) Don't do drugs. Don't smoke weed, don't drink alcohol. It messes with your mind and makes you slow.
10) Exercise and stay fit. Now you may ask, "What does this have to do with studying?" Well, I used to be overweight/fat. This is based off of anecdotal experiences but, I never had any motivation while I was fat. I always used to play video games 24/7 and never used to do shit. Seriously, losing weight and being healthy was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I believe being fat has negative impacts on your cognitive functions, but I may be wrong.
10) SLEEP, seriously. I was at a point in my life where I only slept for 4 hours a night. It was awful. I just couldn't go through the day without feeling like shit, it made me feel depressed at I couldn't focus that well at home or during class.
11) If it's not your problem, then stay away from it. I know I'm kind of getting into more general life advice now, but there are things in life that need to be avoided in order for you to be successful. Listen, there's too many people out there that go out of there way to help others because they care too much about what others think of them. You should stay independent, humble, and only participate in conflict when it's relevant to YOUR life. This'll save you a lot of time.
How the fuck do i reduce my study time by half and be equally effective? Please help a brother out, what i do is i fuckin burn through the problem sets and mark and that's it, i don't know most of my questions are application based so i can't memorise like a bio major, how should I do different, what did you do that worked? I work like 6 hours a day, no kidding like a fuckin sweatshop slave, please get me out of this nightmare.
PS i've been using this from highschool, my life's a fuckin nightmare in Undergrad cause there's a limit to how much this can be used i guess.
11) Tying back to #1, if you can teach a "student" all of the material, then you're good to go. Just review it the next day and make sure you've got the material down. Don't spend unnecessary time studying.
12) Have the right mentality. Pretend everyone else in your class understands the material perfectly. You know what I mean, you've seen that one guy who always says, "This is too hard!" or "I can't do any of this!" Don't be this kid. Be the guy that steps up to the plate and can take anything. It doesn't matter how hard the material is, everyone else in your class understands it.
13) This is separate from studying methods, but it can improve your cognitive abilities. PLAY AN INSTRUMENT. Seriously, playing an instrument exercises your brain more than anything else. Here's another anecdote, before I started playing guitar and cello, I used to have around a 3.2 GPA, when I started learning how to play instruments, within a year my GPA skyrocketed. Of course it was a combination of me acquiring better studying skills. But I do sincerely believe that learning how to play an instrument helped me.
14) Playing FPS games for 30 minutes is not a bad idea. FPS games have been shown to increase logic and reasoning. This is helpful if you're a STEM major.
I agree with this guy.
I'll also add an expansion to #6 and that's (if you have time, obviously) go beyond what you need to learn in order to understand it. Are you just memorising words and blindly plugging numbers into formulas? Or do you know WHAT a field is, WHAT voltage/ current and so on are, HOW all of the formulas are derived, WHAT an exponent actually is and so on?
Obviously, this is time consuming, but if you start it early enough or when you first learn material you will become an expert in it in no time.
These all seem pretty good, Will have to look into the cornell method.
Im not a highlighter junkie, but If I have big chunks of printed notes I use a highlighter to mark key points for condensing later so I dont have to read through it to find the bits I want to convert to anki flashcards or something.
The notepad idea is good too
Let me add a few more points that may be helpful for math-heavy majors.
15) Practice problems and watch videos of how to do them online. You don't have to practice tons of problems, but just select a few of them and make sure you can do them. I've found this helps me a lot.
16) If you still don't know how to do something, ask someone who does. Have them teach it to you, use your resources.
17) Don't cram, and don't study unnecessarily. Seriously, you don't need to. Relax, and just make sure you have down the material.
18) Discipline yourself. If you do the Pomodoro technique, during your breaks, don't fuck up. Don't go off and do something that will get in the way of your studying. Don't make up excuses to why you can't study. Sit down, shut up, and learn.
That's all of the advice I have, I may add a few more points here and there. But these are the only things I can come up with right now.
I have no idea. I've never felt like testing for it since it wasn't that important to me. I feel like people who've tested and found out that they have high IQ's develop inflated egos. I don't consider myself to be smart, nor do I consider myself to be dumb. I believe putting labels on myself will affect how I view myself and may hinder my abilities.
Anki flashcards are fucking amazing for any kind of definition learning.
Would highly recommend. Creating the flashcards alone is great study and you can get through somewhere up to 200 flash cards in an hour for revision.
>How the fuck do i reduce my study time by half and be equally effective?
this is my problem too, I always end up taking a shitload of time to study what others do in half the time, and I do mean study, not fucking around
Anki Flashcards, condense notes, do sample problems, do like anon said and make sure you really understand what you're doing, that way even if you're taking ages to get shit done, you will have it very thoroughly learned.
Master the art of the micro study.
at the end of the week, redo all of your notes into a highly compact pocket notebook. this is your master codex.
take it with you everywhere. EVERYWHERE. got 5 minutes in line? read a page. gotta take a shit? thats 2 pages.
added up throughout the day and you get 1-2 hours of study time, without it ever feeling like you sat down for a session.
How do you guys take notes, say for Organic Chemistry? I always find myself taking like seven pages front and back of notes, because every detail seems important. Same for math and physics.
How do you guys condense them?
I take very sparse notes, if at all. I'm a math major so some of it may not apply (Organic Chem probably involves more memorization than math does)
>If you can find it word-for-word in your textbook, don't write it down.
>Don't bother copying worked examples. You need to actually DO problems to learn them; copying a solution is a waste of time.
>Never copy anything your prof says word for word. Paraphrase it into the barest form you can (as well as saving space, this makes sure you actually understood what he said and weren't too busy furiously copying for it to register), draw it as a picture if that's what he's describing.
>Your notes are only for you, shorthand is fine as long as it's intelligible later.
Honestly, I have no idea. There was a study done on musicians and how playing instruments is equivalent to a full body workout for your brain. I'd assume juggling would benefit your brain somehow. Maybe your pattern recognition or reaction speed would improve.
>I feel like people who've tested and found out that they have high IQ's develop inflated egos
Good call anon, this happened to me and I'm overconfident to the point where it hurts me. In the end it doesn't matter for shit, it just makes me disable myself (e.g. giving myself the night before for a project that's supposed to take a week because "I'm smart, I can do it").
>If you do the Pomodoro technique, during your breaks, don't fuck up. Don't go off and do something that will get in the way of your studying.
What's a good suggestion of something to do during the 5min?
>tfw at a point where I can't fully relax because I feel like I should study more
Doesn't mean I'm actually getting myself to study for more than 3 hours a day but this might just be a start for not slacking off so much.
I explain things to myself.
Sometimes I will try to recite something as it is in the textbook on a blank sheet of paper, it seems to open up that part of my brain designed for referencing complicated data
I can vouch for nearly every point made on this list, and I'll definitely be trying the ones that are new to me (like the cornell method).
Saying no to drinking and that one hit of weed every other week really cleared out my brain, the same goes for having a good sleep schedule. You should think of your mind and brain as a muscle that should be nurtured, and stimulated, and exercised so it can develop and absorb new information.
Exercise really does improve mental performance, even some stretches and calisthenic bodyweight exercises in the morning will perk you up for the day and encourage you to stay fit and motivated, even in an intellectual pursuit, every aspect of your well-being is going to have an effect on your mental capabilities.
Which is why taking breaks, and spending time NOT studying is just as important as studying. If you spend all the time studying and nothing else you are not an intelligent person, you are a disorganized person who is not efficient at retaining their knowledge. This is probably the biggest issue that people are at fault for believing; its not how much you study, its how effective you are while you study. Consider that when learning new things, your brain is doing work, its being trained. It needs time to rest like anything else. After a certain period, you are just going to forget large amounts of information you processed, and you'll probably need to re-read things to remember them. Its much better to read something once, and then go back to it for a quick recap of some key point, than it is to re-learn everything because you didn't take the time to actually understand it.
Be honest with yourself, when you open up your textbook, are you browsing 4chan after every paragraph? Are you putting in the time to understand, rather than remember?
I have this issue. Please help a bro out
When I'm down to study for final exams I rely entirely on my friends's notes.
Anything I write down turns out useless in comparison to whatever my friends write down. I try to stay focussed in class but I can't keep up with everything & I can't filter most info my teachers dump.
1st-2nd year telecoms student if its useful
Make a study guide. It's the best way to study any topic because a) it makes you go over all the material for the course and parse only the most relevant things, b) makes you physically write or at least type all the material out which means you're actively engaged with it, and c) you end up with a concise study guide to go over at your leisure.
I use a distraction sheet to write down things that I want to do later during the 25-minute period.
For example, when I was studying calculus, I realized that I didn't empty my piss bucket in a week, but I didn't want to do it at that moment, since I was studying, however, I didn't want to forget about it either, so I jotted it down on my distraction sheet. Obviously, you don't want to do tasks that require concentration in the 5 minute relaxation period, but I like doing easy tasks like this, and this way they don't accumulate and consume hours of my time later.
>I am not American.
Neither am I. I live with my parents (it's pretty common for college students here in the EU), and I don't like going to the toilet at night, because I already have trouble falling asleep, and turning the on lights would just awake me even more.
I could piss in the sink without the lights on, but that would wake them up, and obviously they wouldn't like their son pissing in the sink. So I use an ice cream bucket for pissing. I put detergent in the bucket after emptying it, that way it stinks less. It's like a piss pot, and that used to be a normal thing back in the day.
The pic I posted is just for reference, so people won't think that I have one of those twelve-litre buckets stinking up my room, it's not my actual piss bucket.
I want to go through SICP. I also want to go through another few things. What's the best thing to do. Go through a little bit of each thing on each day, or go through each thing in big uninterrupted sections (e.g. go through a fifth of SICP without stopping).
I think the first method is better, with a bit of a caveat.
Don't go through 6 books reading 3 pages a day of each. You'll end up with fragmented understanding of everything you read.
But maybe alternate every chapter or couple of chapters. It's good to take breaks while studying a text so you can think passively about it and solidify understanding.
I find if I spend too long in a bubble of doing nothing but studying one text I start to get locked into the style of that text and especially its problems and it's tough to switch out of it.