(summary of the course “Learning how to learn”)

1. Avoid procrastination:

* Manage your time (Pomodoro technique): set the timer to 25 minutes, turn off all interruptions (TV, cell phone, music, etc…) and focus on your work until the timer rings. Then give yourself a little reward like a few minutes of break, web surfing, a cup of coffee, etc. before working on the tast again.

* Plan your weeks and days. Write a weekly list of key tasks and a daily to-do list the niht before to keep your work in progress.

* Find a quiet place to study: Learn in a surroundings that have little disturbance, such as the library.

* Set your priorities. Do the most important and disliked tasks first in the morning in order to keep focused on the work.

2. Improve your memory

* Use the spaced repetition technique to learn something. Instead of repeatedly trying to learn something many times in one day, it is better to study the materials a little each day and over several days. In addition, the number of days between the repetitions should be increased as you go along. For example, you will study the material a little on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, then have a break and study again on Friday and the following Monday.

* Use metaphor and analogy to make new and unfamiliar concepts more meaningful.Also, visual images will make you understand and remember better. For example, you can come up with the ball or the moon to learn the word “sphere”.

* Make good use flash cards to learn new words. Write the new word on one side of the card and its meaning and examples on how to use in context on the other side.

3. Use effective learning techniques

* Test yourself frequently by recalling. Read the material, look away and recall the key points. You should also try to recall when you are outside of your usual place of study so that you will not be dependent on the environment to remember (because exams often take place in a different room from where you study). This method helps you stay focused and learn more effectively than rereading does.

* Minimize the number of highlights you use in a text, only highlighting the key points.

* Studying strategically by focusing on your weak points. Deliberately practice what you find more difficult in order to fully master the materials. Repeatedly studying the materials can make you think you master when you are actually just learning the easy parts.

* Go to sleep. A reasonable amount of sleep keeps your brain fresh and healthy. It is also a good idea to study before going to sleep. This will increase your ability to understand and remember the materials.

* Do physical exercises. It will cause new neurons to grow in brain areas devoted to learning and memory.

4. Prepare for the test and apply some of the tips on the exam process

* First take a quick look at the test to find out what it is about, then start with the hard questions but quickly jump to the easy ones. Do the hard tasks first, and after 2 minutes you should change to do the easy ones if you feel stuck, after which you can continue with the hard ones. This will help you to avoid being stuck using the wrong approach and will only work when you have prepared well for the test. You can try this method on your homework to find out whether it is suitable for you.

* Shift your thinking from negative (afraid, scared) to positive (excitement, interest) as this will improve your performance.

* Take a deep breath when you feel nervous and stressed.

* Check your answers from back to front instead of the usual method from front to back. As you look at the answers in reverse order, it will enable you to find the incorrect ones.

Reference : Learning how to learn's review

By Trang Cao


  1. Hello Trang

    Thanks for writing this great Tips on learning skills..

    One question to ask, I always learns or read something today and when I try to apply it tomorrow I always forget it, then again I have to give time to learn that thing and then apply.

    Is there any good tips or anything to learn and keep stored in brain without losing it.

    Waiting for reply

    Fakhrul alam

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