Monday, August 3, 2015

The Hidden Technique to Learn More Without Studying

Do you want a more effective way to learn?
Stop studying.
Start testing.
According to research in Science magazine, it turns out that there's actually a better way to learn than studying for a test.  That better way is to stop studying, and take an actual test.  
Testing, it turns out, is more effective at helping people retrieve knowledge later on than more traditional studying.  Some of those studying techniques include content review over sequenced chunks of time (or cramming), as well as concept mapping, which asks the learner to draw out connections between the different ideas of content on paper.
The conclusions from this research support the theory that people learn by doing.  It also shows why, when it comes to changing behaviors, there’s a big gap between knowing something and doing it.  (Or as I like to say, what is common sense is not often common practice.)
It may feel risky to try something new.    It moves us out of our comfort zone.
But isn't that what learning is?  Expanding beyond the familiar?  Testing (and doing) blazes new trails in our neurological wiring.  The more we activate these synaptic connections, the stronger the learning.  
So stop studying.  And start testing.
What other techniques help you learn better and faster? Join the conversation by leaving a comment below.

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