“if you can’t explain it simply then you never understood it well enough” – Richard Feynman
Richard Feynman was an American theoretical physicist. He is known for his contribution quantum electrodynamics and particle physics.
Richard Feynman proposed a technique which enabled a faster learning process. This technique allowed one to pinpoint problem areas in our learning.
He suggested that if you are not able to explain complex ideas into simple way then you probably are missing something or have not understood it properly.
Steps to use Feynman technique to learn faster
- Read and understand the concept or theory which you need to learn. You can read once twice or as many times you want. The point is you need to understand what you are reading. Feel free to write if that is your style.
- Explain this concept/theory to your friends/peers/parents. You can explain it to yourself. Now here comes the silver lining when explaining it to your peer/friend/parent or yourself then notice it there are any gaps or points which you have missed. It can also be a feeling of dissatisfaction with your explanation.
- Review the explanation which you have given, find areas where you were not able to explain a point, or you have used complex terms as a substitute. Go back and learn them again or review them to have a better understanding of your fault areas or problem areas.
- Now go back and rehearse in your mind the concept/theory You do that by explaining to yourself. Now check it again if you are satisfied with your explanation or if there were discrepancies when you are explaining to somebody or rehearsing in mind.
Feynman technique applies to process and reprocessing of information in different ways. This enables learning to be incorporated in long term memory block.
This is tried and tested way of faster understanding of concepts/ideas/theories. Your time is reduced, and you are putting smart effort instead of reading it again and again.