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Using Pomodoro technique to study better

Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Ever heard the advice from parents boasting that in their time they used to study night and day for an exam and probably wondered is that all there is to get good marks. Sitting and studying for longer duration will certainly get you in list of toppers, right? .. Wrong! Actually slogging for long hours may not be that beneficial. Chances are, you would forget most of it.

You have heard this phrase “All work no play, makes Jim a dull boy”. Turns out this is true regarding your work efficiency. Studying continuously for long hours will make you prone to mental exhaustion.

 

However, this doesn’t mean that you entertain the idea that studying for shorter duration. Doesn’t work that way.

 

There are many examples when students of schools, colleges and institutes ask that how many hours of study is required to score good marks or clear an examination.

 

Obviously, much of discussion revolves around the number of hours taken proportional to your result. There seems to be a tacitly agreed upon consensus that more numbers of hours (time) one puts in more better will be the result.

 

Coming back to the antithesis established in first para, that studying for 15 hours duration on average is not beneficial but debilitating.

To our rescue there is a technique which helps us study throughout the day and is not so menacing as methods suggested by our parents/peers talked about. Time is of the utmost importance, when we are studying. We can use time more efficiently and perhaps do less mental labor.

 

A time management technique that helps,

 

Pomodoro technique

 

This method of time management was invented by Francesco Cirillo. Believe it or not the technique suggests taking breaks and fragmenting studying sessions into intervals. So, in a way it is suggesting you to take breaks in between your study sessions.

 

Step by step guide to use study session

  1. Study for 25 – 30 minutes.
  2. Take break but not longer than 1o minutes.
  3. Study again for 25- 30 minutes.
  4. Repeat these study sessions with short intervals or breaks in between those study sessions (breaks should not extend beyond 10 mins).
  5. After approximately 5 such sessions you would have studied for  2.5 hours and your break would have been 40 minutes.
  6. After 5 such study sessions it is suggested taking a longer break of about 25- 30 minutes. This will replenish you again for intensive study sessions.
  7. Study throughout the day using this technique. You will feel less exhausted.

 

Pomodoro technique allows for mind to replenish by taking systematic breaks. It helps reduce procrastination also. You can study longer more effectively without mentally exhausting yourself. It makes you more efficient in your studies. This way you will be doing smart work and not just hard work.

 

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The SQ3R method of studying effectively

Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Studying can be a task. If only it could be done rather efficiently and effectively. Often we study book from cover to cover. This article brings in an effective studying approach which can reduce your mental strain and effort. It was propounded by Francis P. Robinson. The SQ3R method.

Francis Pleasant Robinson, a popular educational psychologist, is the inventor of this effective method of studying. During his time in Ohio State University, he worked with an assessment team which worked on studying skills and habits of the new recruits in the army during World War 2. They used the data to devise certain high level strategies for learning and skill development.

 

Later Robinson’s book effective study outlined SQ3R method which suggests and effective way of studying. This method provides a systematic way of studying in less time.

 

What does SQ3R stand for?

 

Survey

Question

Read

Recite

Review

In essence this should be your approach when you are venturing to read a text.

 

Using SQ3R technique?

 

  • Survey

Read the index and preface to get an idea of how you are going to approach. Your survey of the book should be of finding target areas (example concepts,facts) which are important for your exam/assignment. A cursory reading of sub topics and sub dimensions given in the book will certainly help. The survey should be short, usually not more than 5 – 7 minutes.

 

read here study hacks

 

  • Question

Now after completion of survey, ask questions to yourself regarding the text you just surveyed. Use the subheadings and dimensions given to form queries. What happens is, this way of questioning will increase your general curiosity and interests in text you are going to delve into. The questions you form, write them down in a workbook systematically.

 

 

  • Read

Post jotting down questions to the text you just surveyed, go for hunting the answers in the text. Only this time be alert and more focused than you were when surveying. Read areas of concern/importance very carefully and thoughtfully. Read twice/thrice if required.

 

 

  • Recite

Now comes the challenging part, try to answer the questions which you had written earlier in your own language and briefly (suggested). At this point note down what important points are required (should make notes in your own words). These notes will provide a basis for reviewing material later.

 

Make sure that you don’t copy from the book and write very briefly about the topic. This uses kinaesthetic form learning which equally important as other forms of learning.

 

  • Review

After completing everything, the final step is to read the notes you have made by reviewing them at spaced intervals (an hour, next day, after a week). The way you shall go about reviewing is to recite in your mind all the major sub heads, dimensions with what they are implying. Through this you will work on recalling material when revising. In essence you are reinforcing what all you have read.

 

This method of reading was later introduced to graduates also. Mr Robinson had published this method in his book effective study (1946). The book outlines ways to improve on study methods and acquiring effective study skills.

 

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 Feynman Technique to learn anything Faster

Feynman Technique to learn anything FasterReading Time: 2 minutes

“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.

richard feynman

 

Steps to use Feynman technique to learn faster

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.